Julien Epaillard Headlines a Fitting French Sweep on Opening Day of LGCT Paris
At a brand new location next to the River Seine, French riders headlined the first day of the Longines Global Champions Tour of Paris CSI5* on Friday, July 1st, 2016. As La Marseillaise rang out over the prizegiving ceremonies, it echoed the French determination to make this edition of Jumping Eiffel Paris a success.
This year only, Jumping Eiffel Paris’ LGCT Paris is being held in a new location due to the Euro 2016 soccer fan zone that is occupying the dramatic Champs De Mars venue at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. Five kilometers and what feels like a world away from the center of Paris, the show is occupying a larger footprint in the scenic, peaceful Jardin de Bagatelle.
With more space, the environment is easier on the horses, which helps to make up for the lack of ambiance in this quiet park that LGCT Paris has become known for. The weather didn’t help matters on Friday, with scattered showers and gusty winds keeping crowds at bay. That said, the LGCT’s absolute mastery of unrolling up a top-class arena with incredible footing at a brand new location was displayed again here in Paris, and while the French riders rose to the top of the day, it was clear that all riders and horses were relaxed in the Bagatelle.
Julien Epaillard headlined the €30,000 Prix Oddo CSI5* nearly from wire to wire. Third to go in the 48-entry class, he rode Cristallo A Lm, a 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Casall x Corofino) over the Uliano Vezzani-designed track in a cracking pace of 57.51 seconds. He was the only rider in the class that cracked the 60-second mark, and the margin by which he led held easily throughout the entire order.
Only Roger-Yves Bost of France could come closing, breaking the finish timers in 60.72 seconds with Pegase du Murier. Pilar Lucrecia Cordon of Spain filled out the top three aboard her 2014 World Equestrian Games mount Nuage Bleu, and Brazil’s Marlon Modolo Zanotelli was 4th with Madame Butterfly. Leopold van Asten was 5th for Holland with VDL Groep Miss Untouchable.
Earlier in the day, Harold Boisset of France picked up an impressive victory in the opening CSI5* competition. He rode T’Obetty du Domaine to 1st place in the two-phase class that saw 28 riders make a bid for the second phase.
Last but not least, as night fell in the Jardin de Bagatelle, French riders Mathieu Billot and Epaillard led a six-way tie in the Prix Eiffel Six Bar competition over three rounds.
The LGCT Paris is wasting no time in racheting up the excitement of the weekend, as the grand prix is scheduled for Saturday afternoon. Riders who qualified will fill out that prestigous order, to be jumped over two full rounds and possibly a jumpoff, beginning at 4:30pm local time, and broadcast for free around the world via GCT tv.
View full results of the Prix Oddo at this link.