Steve Guerdat & Alamo. ph: Satu Pirinen.
On Saturday, October 21, 2017, a field of the world’s best riders gathered to compete in the Land Rover Helsinki Grand Prix CSI5* at the Helsinki International Horse Show in Finland. Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat and the nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Alamo (Ukato x Equador) produced two faultless rounds during the competition, securing the victory with a speedy jump-off time of 36.63s.
“I’m really happy but also a bit surprised with the result today,” said Guerdat. “I have ridden Alamo for only three weeks so I didn’t really know what to expect. He is a naturally fast horse, but before Oslo he hadn’t jumped on this level. I haven´t really tried to ride fast with him so like I said, I’m surprised that it went this good today. I am happy to have this kind of horse in my stable now.”
Forty four horse and rider combinations qualified for the grand prix event, with Brazil’s Guilherme Jorge designing the 12-obstacle-course that featured an allowed time of 69s. Thirteen took to the shortened jump-off track, with Guerdat setting the winning time on the leaderboard.
“I tried to do my round without thinking [about] what the others did and today it worked out well,” commented Guerdat. “I once read from an interview that you can go as fast as you want as long as your horse doesn´t know you are going fast.”
After a really tight battle for the remaining podium placings, only one-hundredths of a second separated the 2nd and 3rd place finishers.
Switzerland ended up taking a double victory with Romain Duguet and the eight-year-old Selle Francais stallion Vancouver de Lanlore (Toulon x Le Tot de Semilly) finishing in the runner up position on a time of 38.12s.
Germany’s Daniel Deusser and the nine-year-old Zangersheide stallion Tobago Z (Tangelo vd Zuuthoeve x Mr Blue) finished in 38.13s for 3rd place.
The final day of competition will take place on Sunday, with the feature international event being the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping qualifier.
“Tomorrow I´m riding Hannah. She has had an amazing season so I hope that it continues here,” commented Guerdat.
The full results can be viewed here.