Belgian riders were again denied a victory on their home turf on Wednesday evening at Jumping Mechelen CSH5*-W in Belgium, when Frenchman Simon Delestre stormed the party to win the €25,000 KBC Bank & Verzekering 1.50m competition.
It’s no secret that Delestre is one of the best riders in the world, as the current Longines FEI ranked World No. 2 showed in this jumpoff class aboard a relatively new mount. Delestre was only paired with Sultan du Chateau, a 10 year old Selle Francis gelding (Kannan x Galoubet), back in October, but in classic style he’s moved right up the levels with the talented mount. Formerly ridden and developed by Laurent Guillet, Sultan du Chateau stepped right up to the CSI5* level with Delestre, and the €25,000 KBC Bank & Verzekering 1.50m marked their first win together.
They accomplished the milestone by succeeding in a close jumpoff of 12 riders over the original start list of 42. Belgian riders filled half the slots in that jumpoff, and Belgium’s Jerome Guery chased Delestre’s jumpoff time to a close mention. But he had to settle for 2nd place aboard Alicante in a time of 31.99 seconds, behind Delestre’s winning time of 31.71 seconds.
The Netherlands’ Harrie Smolders slotted into 3rd place aboard Don VHP Z with a quick jumpoff of his time, although it was several seconds off the leaders in 34.59. That was it for the double clear rounds, as Belgium’s Pieter Devos pulled a rail with Apart in a fast time of 31.81 seconds for 4th place, and Spain’s Pilar Lucrecia Cordon did the same with Galine la Cour Zichelhof in 31.94 seconds for 5th.