Daniel Bluman & Beat Mandli Ph. Meghan Bacso for NF.com
Major grand prix victories can be few and far between, so when a rider does secure that sought after first placing, it naturally inspires a great deal of excitement and emotion.
For $384,000 Fidelity Investments CSI5* Grand Prix winner, Daniel Bluman, his elation was due to several reasons—some professional and others more personal.
Saturday’s achievement defined a winter circuit high as Bluman captured his second grand prix event in a row at the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival, the first being the $205,000 NetJets CSI4* Grand Prix during WEF 4.
The unique unfolding of a two-man jump-off in the Fidelity Investments Grand Prix was, on its own, uniquely memorable. But for Bluman, the significance of besting two of the sport’s most veteran riders and his own personal heroes, Ireland’s Cian O’Connor and Switzerland’s Beat Mandli, was icing on top of the cake.
“These two riders have been my idols since I was growing up. Every chance that I have to beat them is something that I treasure, because you never know when the next time is going to be.”
Photographer Meghan Bacso caught Bluman and grand prix runner-up Mandli’s exchange as Saturday’s results were confirmed. Their delight and support for each other, whether 1st, 2nd, or 3rd, was another reminder of the genuine camaraderie and sportsmanship that’s woven into the fabric of top level showjumping.
Full recap of Saturday’s $384,000 Fidelity Investments CSI5* Grand Prix At WEF 5 here.