Martin Fuchs & Steve Guerdat Ph. ©GHPC
After four days of top international show jumping at the GLOCK Horse Performance Center in Treffen, Austria, the week’s highlight event concluded with a grand prix finale that featured not one, but two victors.
Two of Switzerland’s leading male riders, Steve Guerdat and Martin Fuchs shared the 1st place position atop the podium after delivering identical jump-off times in the GLOCK’s CSI5* Grand Prix on Sunday, June 18th.
An impressive class with the caliber of the field alone, the riders had a chance to compete for 345,000 euros in prize money as well as important World Ranking points and qualification for the 2017 European Championships in Gothenburg and the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon.
Of the 37 original starters who took on the 1.60m track, only eight pairs delivered penalty-free rounds to qualify for the jump-off. It was in the second round that Steve Guerdat, riding the 11-year-old Westphalian gelding Corbinian (Cornet Obolensky x Pilot), delivered the class’ first double clear jumping effort. Stopping the timers at 49.43 seconds, Guerdat set a standard that no one could match until Martin Fuchs entered the ring aboard the 11-year-old grey gelding Clooney 51 (Ferragmo x Cornet Obolensky).
These fellow countrymen don’t just have Sunday’s victory in common. Besides being close friends, training partners, and actual neighbors, the men’s horses Corbinian and Clooney 51 are not only both sons of Cornet Obolensky and both eleven years old, but they also share the same owner. It’s a story that even the two winners themselves can scarcely believe.
“It’s wonderful to be heading home as the winner of a five-star Grand Prix. But this victory is indeed very special. Martin and I have been friends for such a long time, we train together and live just a few minutes apart. The value of this can’t be weighed against prize money,” shared Guerdat.
Martin Fuchs would go on to agree: “The podium was my goal, but the fact that it was enough for victory is fantastic of course. I just can’t believe that Steve and I were able to win ex aequo. As I rode across the finishing line, I saw the “1” light up against both of us on the display. That was incredible. What’s more, for me this was the first five-star Grand Prix win with Clooney, and he couldn’t have been better.”
Cian O’Connor, who already collected two five-star victories with two different horses this weekend in Treffen, concluded his impressive first campaign at GHPC lining up just behind the Swiss duo in the GLOCK’s CSI5* Grand Prix. Riding the 10-year-old Skyhorse (Calvaro x Quidam de Revel), he also delivered a penalty-free ride in the jump-off to finish in 3rd place with a time of 50.36 seconds.
06 CSI5* GLOCK’s 5* GRAND PRIX
Int. jumping competition with jump-off, 1.60 m
Competition counts for the LONGINES Ranking list
1. Corbinian – Guerdat, Steve (SUI) 0/49.43 in j-o
1. Clooney 51 – Fuchs, Martin (SUI) 0/49.43 in j-o
3. Skyhorse – O’Connor, Cian (IRL) 0/50.36 in j-o
4. Espoir – Devos, Pieter (BEL) 4/48.94 in j-o
5. Coree – Wathelet, Gregory (BEL) 4/49.71 in j-o
6. All Star 5 – Lynch, Denis (IRL) 4/50.12 in j-o
7. Silver Deux de Virton HDC – Staut, Kevin (FRA) 4/51.70 in j-o
8. Cornet Kalua – Kühner, Max (AUT/T) eliminated in j-o
9. Goja Meyer-Zimmermann, Janne F. (GER) 1/85.78
10.Daisy – Michaels-Beerbaum, Meredith (GER) 1/85.88
11. Chesall Zimequest – Delestre, Simon (FRA) 4/79.19
12. Charmeur – Alvarez Moya, Sergio (ESP) 4/80.92