The class was a not-quite, but felt like a grand prix ahead of Sunday’s Grand Prix, handing the riders perhaps more of a challenge than they expected for a Saturday class, but Delestre was thrilled with how his mount stepped up to win the day.
Just seven of the original 44 starters qualified for the second round jumpoff, a result that was in stark contrast to Friday evening’s large jumpoff field in the €35,000 Audi CSI5* 1.50m. Course Designer Luc Musette built up the track significantly, but the strongest pairs certainly rose to the top; every one of the seven jumpoff riders were clear in the jumpoff, as well.
For Deleste, who bought Chesall over the winter and brought the 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Casall x Conserto II) along slowly, this win was another high point. Delestre is still riding the wave of earning Individual Bronze at the European Championships with Ryan des Hayettes just two weeks ago.
“Since Aachen, when it’s working like this, it’s fantastic and I have to enjoy it. Ryan was amazing and jumped so well for me there,” Delestre said. “It’s really a good year for him. This year he’s just ten, still young but he’s an amazing horse already. To be so good in Aachen, it was something fantastic. We could not have expected such a result.”
Regarding his latest win with Chesall, Delestre admitted that it was unusual to have such a big class ahead of the Sunday grand prix, especially since he plans to ride Chesall on Sunday, as well.
“To jump a course like that you would need your grand prix horse, and we are not all coming with two grand prix horses,” he said. “Ok the show is a super show, the course today when you went it was a good course, a little bit difficult like a grand prix, and since I have the same horse for the grand prix tomorrow, maybe it would be a little bit better if this class was yesterday, but my horse was amazing. And, if we say something to Stefan (Conter), he will change it for next year.”
Christian Ahlmann and Codex One finished 2nd behind Delsestre for Germany, and Philippe Rozier was 3rd with Rahotep de Toscane for France. Nicola Philippaerts with Zilverstar T and Harrie Smolders with Emerald rounded out the top five.
I bought Chesall this winter, and the first show was in Bordeaux this year. We started in small classes because he’s very sensitive, for me you can not be more careful than with a horse like him. Sometimes he’s a little bit afraid, and sometimes he’s tops, but he never touches a fence. But now for the last two months his confidence has been coming on.”
See full results of the €62,000 Bank Degroof CSI5* 1.60m here.