Gudrun Patteet wins the Longines Masters of Lausanne.
Philippe Rozier and Rahotep de Toscane (Quidam de Revel) gave it everything they had but they and American Kirsten Vanderveen on Bull Run's Risen (Utopia) were both caught short against the clock. So there were just seven in the jump-off, including three Swiss-German's!
Frenchman Pierre-Alain Mortier had a difficult weekend but he made it to the Grand Prix jump-off with his impressive mount, Just Do It (Action Breaker). Unfortunately, he was first to start and wasn't able to avoid knocking a pole during the jump-off, pushing them down to 7th place.
Last to start, Niklaus Rutschi was the only other rider to take a pole in this race against the clock, finishing in 6th position with Cardano (Charmer).
The intensity was strong between veteran rider Walter Gabathuler, 65 years old, and Silver Surfer (Casall), and they were the first to achieve a clear round. Gabathuler didn't fail to show how pleased he was with his performance.
The more reserved Nicola Philippaerts remained calm, yet his performance was no less sumptuous. The Belgian took the lead with the youngest horse in the jump-off, 9-year-old Katanga vh Dingeshof (Cardento), in her first ever five-star Grand Prix!
But Giulia Martinengo Marquet and the other competitors were right on her heels. The Italian is one of the biggest producers of horses to have reached the highest level in recent years and she returned to that level with a horse that she bought young and trained up to this level! Elzas (Diamant de Sémilly) impressesed and had a magnificent double clear, stopping the clock at 38.45, the seconds continued to fall off the clock, and now there was a new leader!
The pace was too quick for Paul Estermann, who was happy to have achieved the best Swiss performance, with his faithful mount Lord Pepsi (Lord Pezi), just ahead of his two compatriots.
Gudrun Patteet came to compete and Sea Coast Pebbles Z (Picasso Z) achieved a beautiful first round. The Belgian gave it her all and her mount responded perfectly. Double-clear in 37.78 seconds... A Belgian victory for the first edition of the Longines Masters of Lausanne.
"It’s fantastic. We're here in Lausanne, the FEI capital, I hope they saw that Pebbles still has stringhalt... and that it didn't stop her from winning!" an annoyed Gudrun Patteet unleashed after her disqualification during the vet inspection at the World Cup Final. "I'm very proud of my horse. She's an exceptional horse, not only because she has stringhalt but because she always tries her best. Obviously, I hope to go to the European Championships in Rotterdam, but not with Pebbles because I don't think she's a Championship horse, but she can win Grand Prix's."
The Italian rider was also happy: "I want to thank the organizers for giving me the opportunity to compete here, I'm very happy to have been able to grab it with both hands by taking second place. I'm used to training a lot of young horses and Elzas is one of them; today he enabled me to progress to this level. We’ll go to Falsterbo now but after such a great result, I'm obviously hoping to be part of the Italian team in Rotterdam."
It would have been wrong if Nicola Philippaerts didn't enjoy his podium finish also: "My mare was in great shape and I felt that it was time to give her a chance, she answered the challenge perfectly. It's hard to ask for more of her in her first five star! For now, I'm going to let her take a breath and take the time to think about the best program for her... but it's very likely that she will be competing in more five-star events soon."