The riders from Great Britain had a banner day in the €270,000 Longines Grand Prix of Lausanne on Sunday, September 11th in Lausanne, Switzerland, with Robert Whitaker leading an all-British podium at this scenic new show.
“The course was difficult but perfectly rideable,” Whitaker said. “Time was short, but I really wanted to win and had everything in my favor. The course was perfect for my horse. He is 13 and I’ve ridden him for give years. He wins a lot and is very powerful. This event was fantastic and if I’m invited back, I will return for sure.”
Whitaker won the class aboard Catwalk IV, the 13-year-old Holsteiner stallion (Colman x Corleone) that is his frequent partner at the top of the sport. However, in this difficult class designed by Michel Vaillancourt, there would be no double clear rounds. Just three riders from the initial starting order of 42 jumped clear in Round 1. With the top 13 all returning for Round 2, all eyes were on those clear round riders, but none of them managed to repeat the feat.
Instead, Whitaker took the top prize on the power of two rounds without jumping fault and just one time fault apiece. Emma O’Dwyer and HH Figero placed 2nd for Great Britain on a total of three time faults. And the third-best British rider, William Funnell aboard Billy Congo, dropped a rail in each round but completed the British podium in third place by claiming the fastest time in round two.
“It’s always easier to build a course when you perfectly know the horses and riders involved,” Course designer Vaillancourt said. “But I think I have created a worthy CSI5* course today. Although the time allowed was very short, this created a scenario that is often not met and it added suspense to the second round. And finally, the best won today.”
Sweden’s Douglas Lindelow placed 4th with Zacramento, and the best Swiss rider was Romain Duget, who finished 5th with Quorida de Treho. France’s Timothee Anciaume was one of the clears from Round 1, but five faults in Round 2 saw him placing 6th with Kiamon.
To see the complete results list of the Longines Grand Prix of Lausanne, click here.