livier Robert & Eros.
France’s Olivier Robert took the first feature win of Jumping International de Versailles CSI5* on Friday, May 5, 2017. Robert won the nighttime €25,000 Prix Del Monte CSI5* aboard Eros, a 13-year-old BWP gelding (Querlybet Hero x Forever)
The day had already well started on the victory of Brazil’s Rodrigo Pessoa, Rolex and show ambassador, in the first CSI5* competition of the show, the €5,000 Prix French Tour – Generali. Paired with Status, his 13 y-old Hanoverian gelding, Pessoa secured the lead by a second over Great Britain’s John Whitaker, who at 61-years-old is still competitive, and France’s Olivier Guillon who made his return at this level of competition.
For Robert, his victory under the lights was a nice follow up to a CSI3* win last week at Maubeuge. With competition from Italy’s Lorenzo De Luca, Belgium’s Gudrun Patteet, and nine others who were also clear in the single round speed class, the French rider did not expect to win.
“The arena is small and clearly not a piece of cake for him. Yet, he seemed at ease at the end,” Robert commented. “He is experienced, it’s his twelfth participation in a 5* and beside a foot in the water in Royan, he has gone clear every time. He surprises me every time, and I’m very happy!”
Overall it was an excellent start for the brand new Jumping International du Château de Versailles with a large crowd, “a crazy atmosphere” as Robert described, and a marvelous setting. This first day set the tone for the rest of the competition.
Jumping Versailles continues with Saturday’s feature class at 8:15pm local time, the €100,000 Grand Prix de la Ville de Versailles. Sunday will present the €300,000 Grand Prix Rolex, Sunday at 4pm (local time).