Jérôme Voutaz inaugurates the Lyon World Cup with victory

10 November 2018

He was not the favorite, but he knows how to respond to a great occasion. Jérôme Voutaz of Switzerland has once again blown away all comers with his Franches Montagnes.

The day before, the Dutch had blasted apart the competition. Their three representatives were up against each other for the drive-off... but there would be no repeat this time because Jerome Voutaz was increasing in power and improving his time by more than 10 seconds to qualify among the top three to compete on the timed race on a course that remained unchanged.

The Swiss was the first to start. He had just seen his compatriot Martin Fuchs win the show jumping world cup stage, and he wanted his share of success. He took the course without penalty and managed to improve his time by another 10 seconds, 20 seconds better than on the first day, putting enormous pressure on his Dutch pursuers: 163''52.

Bram Chardon, son of the Dutch star Ijsban Chardon (fifth here), had dominated everything to that point. His two times the day before had put him in a position to win... but he was slower in the first run. The Dutchman was on the attack, but he pushed so hard that he made a mistake, his reins slipped, and he got stuck for a few moments: 177''38, his worst time of the weekend in a spectacular sport that forgives nothing.

Koos de Ronde was unable to surpass himself and made an almost identical run to his first one: 168''64 ... the data are clear, second place.

A mechanic in everyday life, the only non-professional leader at this level, Jérôme Voutaz can enjoy a magnificent victory: "This victory is a great surprise. Yesterday, I made some mistakes that I didn't repeat today. For the ride-off, being the first to start, I wanted to put pressure on my opponents. I think this position is an advantage because when you succeed it puts a lot of pressure on the next ones. During my days, I think about mechanics and at night, I think about horses. I have assembled spotlights on my cart. it may be an archaic system, but I have to find solutions to train. I think that by dint of hard work, it has paid off. I have 10 Franches Montagnes in training. Five for the indoor season and the same number for the outdoor season mainly. Of the five horses present here, three were born at home and two were bought as foals. At first, we started breeding without imagining such a continuation. I really think that Franches Montagnes have fantastic qualities because they are peaceful horses but when you ask them, they move on and give everything. We are very happy that Lyon has become a world cup stage for carriage driving and I hope it will continue. The boxes, the reception, the track, everything was already perfect for a first time. The organizers have considered in their program the specifics of our discipline with the time of assembly for the track and that kind of thing. We really hope to come back.”