ph. LGCT/Stefano Grasso
2009 European Champion Kevin Staut (FRA) and Oh d’Eole won the CSI5* US$370,000 HuaTai-Pinebridge Shanghai Cup with a fantastic jump-off round to close the first incredible Longines Global Champions Tour of Shanghai with a real bang. Qatar’s star riders Bassem Hassan Mohammed with Primeval Dejavu and Sheikh Ali bin Khalid Al Thani with Vienna Olympic put in personal best performances to finish 2nd and 3rd respectively in a class full of the top names in show jumping.
The world-class riders gave another wonderful display of horsemanship to the enthusiastic Chinese crowd. Once again the spectators were gripped by the sporting action, cheering when a rider jumped clear and crying out in disappointment when an obstacle was knocked down.
Uliano Vezzani’s first round course presented some awkward distances and tough lines that resulted in many four fault rounds. Errors were concentrated through the tricky combination distances in the middle and the end of the course. Of the the 31 starters, twelve made it through to the tight and twisty jump-off round to be faced with a course that required utmost control and the nerve to turn back tight.
Six riders jumped double clears, with Bassem Hassan Mohammed setting the time to beat of 41.31s from early in the draw with a class round from this relatively new partnership. Emanuele Gaudiano (ITA), Billy Twomey (IRE) and Henrik von Eckermann (SWE) tried their best to catch him, but picked up four faults. A very happy Sheikh Ali bin Khalid Al Thani rode an elegant round with his beautiful bay to finish exactly a second behind his fellow countryman.
From a strong position late in the draw, Kevin Staut knew exactly what he had to do to claim victory and shaved half a second off the Qatari’s leading time. Staut was thrilled with his first big result of the show which came in this, the final class of Shanghai 2014 – “It is great to finish well. I am really pleased with my horse today and I have really enjoyed coming to Shanghai. I hope to return.”