teve Guerdat & Hannah. Ph. Dirk Caremans via Flanders Spring Classic
Steve Guerdat felt a rare emotion—surprise—upon winning the €200,000 Longines Grand Prix of Lummen CSIO5* on Sunday, April 30, 2017.
The Swiss rider was at the reins of a new mount that he’s only been riding for three months, but despite the inexperience, the 10-year-old Belgian mare Hannah (Dulf van den Bisschop x Kashmir van Schuttershof) stepped up and marked her debut at the CSIO5* level in a big way, winning against a five-horse jumpoff of top riders and horses.
Guerdat qualified for the Sunday grand prix with two down in the qualifier, but with the scope that gave him confidence going into CSIO5* Lummen’s finale class, he gave Hannah a perfect ride to claim the win.
The mare was previously campaigned in North America—mostly in Mexico—by Sweden’s Mariano Maggi before coming to Guerdat’s stable.
He battled it out in the jumpoff with Peder Fredricson of Sweden, who was at the reins of another 10-year-old, the KWPN gelding H&M Christian K (Namelus R x Calvados) and jumped the only other double clear performance of the day. The times at the top were close; Guerdat clocked in at 48.77 seconds to Fredricson’s 49.67 seconds.
Placing 3rd with one down in the jumpoff was Emilio Biocchi of Italy, who rode the 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding Sassicia Ares. Just behind him in 4th was Spain’s Manuel Fernandez Saro and U Watch, a promising pair recently profiled by NoelleFloyd.com. Read more about “Fanfa” at this link.
France’s Bernard Briand Chevalier rounded out the jumpoff and the top five with his 8 fault round aboard Qadillac de Heup (Helios de la Cour II x Thurin).
But of course, the spotlight was on Guerdat and Hannah. They picked a March victory in the CSI3* Grand Prix at San Giovanni, but with just two, CSI2* and CSI3* winter circuit shows to their record, winning a major CSIO5* grand prix was a splashy debut. Guerdat has reason to be very excited about this new addition to his string.
See the complete results list at this link.