Penelope Leprevost & Vagabond de la Pomme. Ph. © Scoopdyga
France’s leading lady rider Pénélope Leprevost delivered the only double clear in Saturday evening’s CSI5* Championship of Knokke – powered by Invest Mobile – to take the top honours at Knokke Hippique in Knokke Heist, Belgium riding Vagabond de la Pomme.
The €68,000 1.50m competition, that included a Garia Golf Cart for the winner, saw clears come sparingly in the first round. In the end, only two out of the 35 riders managed to finish without faults over Uliano Vezzani’s first round track that counted a total of thirteen fences that included two combinations. The two that jumped clear – Pénélope Leprevost of France and Romain Duguet of Switzerland – were joined by another six for round two, to total it to eight – with Daniel Deusser of Germany on one single time penalty, France’s Aldrick Cheronnet on two penalties and then Olivier Philippaerts of Belgium, the USA’s Laura Kraut, Jaroslaw Skrzyczynski of Poland and Zoe Conter of Belgium on four faults.
With generous prize money and World Ranking points at stake, there was no problem motivating the riders returning for the second round under the floodlights. With the riders carrying their faults from the first round forwards, tactics also came into play – and as it would play out it was all about being strategic.
The first clear came from Kraut, who finished on her four faults from the first round and with a time of 46.52 seconds. However, as next to go Philippaerts caught Kraut’s time when he crossed the finish line in 45.96 seconds aboard Ikker (Ogano Sitte x Up To Date).
With only two time penalties on his record, Cheronnet had the chance to take over the lead. Cheronnet grabbed the opportunity, and went for a steady clear on the well-jumping Atlantys By Wisbecq (Argentinus x Darco) only to record one more time penalty – taking over the pole position on a total of three time penalties.
Deusser was next up, and just like Cheronnet he played his cards wisely. A steady clear round on the 10-year-old gelding SX Hildago VG (Quadrillo x Andiamo) over the shortened eight-fence track proved to be good enough for the lead with a single time penalty on the score board carried through from the first round.
The first rider on a clean sheet to enter the ring was Duguet on Sherazade du Gevaudan (Tinka’s Boy x Iago C), and now it was all about repeating the clear from the first round. But, the vertical into the double fell to the ground and Duguet went down the result list to eventually finish 6th.
Now it was all down to Leprevost, and there was no room for error. The 2016 Olympic team gold medallist delivered, and remained ice cold to jump another clear round on the stunning 12-year-old stallion Vagabond de la Pomme (Vigo D Arsouilles Stx x For Pleasure) – taking home the top honours ahead of Deusser and Cheronnet.
The five-star classes kicked off in the morning with yet another win for Belgium, this time around it was Pieter Devos that made it to the top of the podium in the 1.45m Tops Jumps Prize – riding Haloubet Hitchcock (Baloubet du Rouet x Heartbreaker).
It was two American ladies that topped the class early on; first Catherine Tyree who later was passed by Lucy Davis who took over the lead aboard Boucheroum (Guidam Sohn x Quick Star) after a lightening fast round over the five fences in the second phase against the clock. However, the American domination was not to last as Pieter Devos quickly thereafter entered the ring and pushed all competition aside to shave off 1.37 seconds on Davis’ time. Living legend John Whitaker came close to catch home hero Devos, but was still 0.62 seconds behind the winning time, and had to settle for second place on Argento (Arko III x Gasper) – pushing Davis down to third.
Click in here for a report from the Super Cup CSI2*.
Click in here for a report from the Prestige League CSI1*.
Click in here for a report from the Future Stars CSIYH.
Results from all classes can be found via this link.