The show jumping community witnessed a captivating afternoon of sport and thrilling competition during the $3 Million CP International Grand Prix, presented by Rolex at the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament on Sunday, September 10th 2017. The only double clear effort of the day, Germany’s Philipp Weishaupt took home the title and million dollar championship check in front of a capacity crowd after a flawless double clear performance in what is arguably on of the most challenging grand prixs in the sport.
Of the twelve riders who returned for the second round, three accrued four-faults, two brought in a single time penalty and only seven had jumped clean in Round 1. Pace was essential in order to stay within the tight 66 second time-allowed and course designer Leopoldo Palacios continued to test horse and rider combinations on striding with some of the biggest questions on course being the approach to the combination fences.
Weishaupt’s winning mount and previous Rolex Grand Slam partner was the 10-year-old grey Holsteiner stallion LB Convall who he also rode to victory in July 2016 at the Rolex Grand Prix of Aachen. This year’s win once again puts the young German star into the running for the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.
“I am super honored to be able to ride him, it’s so much fun you can’t believe it!”
“To be double clear here, in this grand prix, the two rounds are known as the toughest, but already this week I had a really good feeling on Convall – I had even told McLain I feel like I am in really good shape for Sunday – The horse was just outstanding, I am super honored to be able to ride him, it’s so much fun you can’t believe it.” Weisahupt detailed. “With many of the challenging lines on course including both triple combinations from round one and two, Convall jumped it like a gymnastic he just has so much talent.”
After a fantastic week on her first trip to Spruce Meadows, Portugal’s Luciana Diniz earned a silver medal in today’s spotlight event. It was a fight to the finish and although the last fence kept her from capturing the top spot, Diniz expressed that she felt good energy was surrounding her throughout the entire day.
“I must say it was completely my fault, I changed my strategy when I walked the course. I was planning on doing five (strides) down the final line and then I saw many people were doing four because the time was so short. After watching Philipp I decided I would do it,” Diniz detailed. “But anyway’s I am just so happy to be here and it was really meant to be Philipp’s day today.”
Finishing in the bronze medal position was the USA’s McLain Ward aboard the 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare HH Azur.
“One of my goals this year was the CP ‘International’ so we really tried to plan and build for it – I showed her quite casually early on this week to prepare for this – so these horses came into this quite fresh and that’s what you need for the biggest jumping in the world,” shared Ward.
“I was just thrilled with her, she jumped a brilliant first round, I made a little mistake to the last line and she helped me out. Both combinations in the second round were very difficult for my horse, they were very short and I knew that was going to be an issue. In the first combination I was able to add the stride, but in the second combination I was able to actually give Philipp the good advice to add the stride!”
As Weishaupt stakes his contention within this new cycle of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, all eyes now turn towards the third leg which will take place at CHI Geneva on December 10th, 2017.
View full results of the $3 Million CP International Grand Prix presented by Rolex at this link.
Photography courtesy of Spruce Meadows Media
Source: Spruce Meadows