Carlotta stars at the Longines Masters
The American Kristen Vanderveen has got to know the Speed Challenge very well over the past two years—she has taken two podiums at the Longines Masters in New York and this time she decided to cross the Atlantic to participate in the first edition of the Longines Masters of Lausanne, again with Faustino de Tili (Berlin). Their 63''39, was a first benchmark that none of the next 20 riders could match!
We had to wait for Amanda Derbyshire of Great Britain with her 9-year-old Oasis Spirit (Cobra) to see the stopwatch... equaled! Now there were two leaders!
"I am really very happy because my mare is really inexperienced. Originally, I didn’t plan to ride her in this event, but finally I changed all my plans and it went really well," said the young Brit.
But not for very long because Philippe Rozier hadn't had enough yesterday; he came back, but this time with his mount from the Laiterie de Montaigu, Cristallo A (Casall). The winner of the Lausanne Prize took his route with care and economy, and brought the time down to 62''42''! They took the lead!
But it would be short-lived because the winners of the opening event were there and they attacked relentlessly! Even when the wavy plank fell, the Italian didn’t chicken out and continued at the same pace. The result was foolproof: 61''04... even with the two seconds of penalty included!
There were only 3 riders left to dislodge the Italian... but only one would approach him, to the delight of the Swiss public who were thrilled by their star, Steve Guerdat, back from Calgary just to share the excitement with them. Mounted on Evita (Canturano), the World N°. 1 almost succeeded in proving once again that riding can be elegant, subtle and efficient... but it doesn’t work every time! Unfortunately, the Swiss rider also made a mistake and finished with a time of 62''16, despite his two-second penalty.
"The time was good but I didn't do my turn well. I had to put a little too much leg on going into the oxer near the entrance, she got a little hot, and as a result, I pulled on the inner rein... a bad turn, quite simply. Nevertheless, I am very happy with my mare's behavior. It's a shame, but I'm satisfied," summed up Steve Guerdat.
Philippe Rozier therefore had to settle for third place on the podium: "It's perfect! My goal was to get into the top five, so a podium is perfect! I know Cristallo can be competitive but he is a real Grand Prix horse so I absolutely didn't want to exhaust him either. The course designer, Gregory Bodo, made a wonderful track. It was a real scale A and not a scale C. We have already seen events like this which were not horse-oriented, but here it was the case in every sense of the word. We must highlight his work because it’s the course designer who makes the sport—dwe are just actors. Here, you really had to plot a course, to draw it out. It was in the same state of mind as yesterday's jump-off, and that's good. The goal here was not to attempt the impossible to win the event. I really played against the strides line I had imposed on myself during the reconnaissance. I didn't want to change my plan, so the result is perfect!"
"I'm really happy tonight. I usually say that when Carlotta makes clear rounds, she wins, and here even with a fault, she won! It wasn't easy though, because I've been chasing a win in this event for a long time and my best result so far was fourth place. I finally have this victory! My mare is really incredible, she’s winning a lot. Here, she competed in two events and won both. We would obviously like her to always be like this, but that’s never the case in our sport, so we have to enjoy these moments," explained the Italian.