Lorenzo de Luca & Halifax van het Kluizebos. Ph. LGCT/Stefano Grasso
The second evening of competition, on Friday, June 9, 2017, on the Longines Global Champions Tour of Cannes CSI5* in Cannes, France showcased another night of top sport and world-class entertainment as the stars came out on the French Riviera. On-form LGCT Ranking leader Lorenzo de Luca of Italy wowed the crowds by winning a 12-rider jump-off by over a second from the rest of the field with Halifax van het Kluizebos, winning the lion’s share of the €62,000 and an all inclusive holiday to Mauritius.
Speaking about his round, de Luca praised his phenomenal stallion: “My horse jumped fantastic. He loves to do the jump-off, he’s always competitive. He loves to go fast! It’s a fantastic atmosphere here.”
Uliano Vezzani’s course was all about keeping focus, with the spotlights shining on the 54 strong field. Related distances, imposing oxers and full height verticals were all in the mix with the Italian course designer featuring big parallels, wide and square.
First to set the pace again with a clear was Simon Delestre of France with chestnut gelding Chesall Zimequest dancing around the arena as the sky changed from blue, to pink to deep purple while the sun began its slow descent. The hometown hero drew cheers from the crowd, with the top French rider not disappointing after a masterful display of show jumping prowess. Local fans had plenty to celebrate, after France’s Mathieu Billot with his stunning dapple grey Vent du Sud Kerglenn and Kevin Staut of France jumped beautiful clears to earn themselves a place in the jump-off.
19 year old German talent Philip Houston of Germany has been impressing around the world with his skills, however he took an unusual tumble at the gappy vertical after a miscommunication with Ulane Belmaniere while pushing for a longer stride saw them stop at the very last minute. Jane Richard Philips of Switzerland was another rider to taste drama, after Calinesse de Guldenboom checked before the treble combination, adding a stride before crashing through the black and orange oxer, and Scott Brash of Great Britain was eliminated after Hello Annie stopped at the BMW oxer, somersaulting Scott over her head with the British Olympian landing on his feet.
Clears came throughout the field, and first to go in the jumpoff was Simon Delestre and Chesall Zimequest who set off at a pace with all the intent of a home win. But a shock stop from the chestnut gelding at the Longines plank saw the pair collect four faults, before Delestre retired his feisty horse from the competition. Darragh Kenny of Ireland had the pressure of setting the bench mark, but mastered the course with Chanel setting the time at 38.55s.
The final rider to enter was local star Staut and Silver Deux de Virton HDC, with the crowd erupting for their home hero. The crowd drew their breath as the pair set off around the course, but it wasn’t to be after they clipped a pole and picked up four faults.
So it was De Luca who shone brightest tonight in Cannes, with all eyes on the LGCT Ranking leader to see if he can keep hold of his lead in Saturday’s Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Cannes. The Global Champions League of Cannes final will kick off at 18:30 on Saturday, June 10, 2017, with the top 25 individuals qualifying for the Grand Prix which will take place at 22:00 local time.
For the full results to the class, please click here.