Julien Epaillard & Cristallo A LM. Ph. ©Digishots
Friday evening in Maastricht, Holland, concluded with the VDL Group Prijs CSI3*, a Table A, 1.50m, that served as an important qualifier for the Longines Trophy Grand Prix of Maastricht. Of the 43 combinations entered, 13 clears came back in the jumpoff, which was spectacularly won by Epaillard.
Epaillard kept up a stellar season of wins around the world—for this class he chose Cristallo A LM as his partner, and absolutely smashed the next fastest time aboard the 13-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Casall x Corofino).
First out in the jumpoff, American rider Wilton Porter also impressed with a very controlled and fast run in 36.50 seconds with the 10-year Holsteiner stallion Caletto Cabana (Cassini I x Capecanaveral).
After that, Dutch riders Wout-Jan van der Schans, Lisa Nooren and Albert Zoer followed but they failed to improve in this time until Frank Schuttert managed to stop the clock at 36.37 with Chianti’s Champion (Westf., Champion du Lys).
But Schuttert’s lead was short-lived, as Epaillard was the next in the ring. Epaillard gave full gas and sent Cristallo A LM at a very high pace through the course to stop the clocks in a blazing 32.61 seconds. Spanish rider Manuel Fernandez Saro with Cannavaro 9 was the only one who came close to that, in a distant 35.39 seconds. Saro would finish 2nd, Schuttert 3rd, and Porter 4th.