Niels Bruynseels wins the Grimaud 3* Grand Prix…
After first winning the HUBSIDE JUMPING CSI4* Grand Prix last July, Belgian rider Niels Bruynseels won again on the French Riviera, in the Grimaud CSI3* Grand Prix. Riding the mare Frenchy VDS (Cornet Obolensky), he came in ahead of Brazilian rider Marlon Modolo Zanotelli, who is also a winner of a HUBSIDE Grand Prix (the CSI5* in August), on Kalinka van de Nachtegaele (Epleaser Van T Heike), and German rider Christian Ahlmann, who is currently ranked thirteenth in the world, and tonight rode Solid Gold Z (Stakkato Gold).
"Winning a Grand Prix is always nice, especially with a young mare! Frenchy is only ten years old and has very little experience at this level. She has only been with me for four months. So I'm really satisfied with her behavior tonight, in her first 3* Grand Prix! Winning here, among the best in the world, is not very easy, but she did it very well! She is naturally fast, but I have to manage her well in the arena because she has a lot of blood. This victory gives us confidence. I think Frenchy will be a very high-level mare. Tomorrow, I will ride Gancia de Muze for the 5* Grand Prix. I think the course will be tricky, technical and have a rather tight time, but Gancia is incredible and she has already won a lot. Tomorrow, I will have to apply myself to ride well (laughs)!"
Earlier in the day, it was another Belgian, Jérôme Guery, who won the big CSI5* event of the day with his young 8-year-old, Great Britain V (Nabab de Rêve). "I'm very happy today! This was a bit of a surprise victory! Great Britain V is only eight years old and has never jumped this level of competition. So, I hadn't considered being in the jump-off at all! Considering the trickiness of the event, I even think that if I hadn't started at the very beginning of the first round, I wouldn't have even started in the event. The course was difficult, the time was very tight but in the end my horse didn't seem to ever get in trouble! So for once, starting at the beginning of the event was to my advantage!
I was calm when I left for the jump-off because we were assured a podium finish. So the contract was already more than fulfilled. But by starting as the first rider, and as I hadn't walked the jump-off route at all during the course walk, I missed my first line a bit. I slowed my mount down to put in nine strides, while my two competitors were able to make the eight strides very easily. After the second jump, I realized that I had to make up some time, so I took some risks at the end of the jump-off, especially in front of the combination because I knew that my horse jumps that type of obstacle very well. Great Britain jumped exceptionally well. My jump-off certainly put a bit of pressure on the next two competitors. After Alberto Zorzi's mistake, I was already assured second place. Then I saw that Marlon Modolo Zanotelli was in a bit of trouble at the double and I think that's where he lost a little bit of time.
I bought Great Britain V about a year ago, at the beginning of his 7-year-old year, and I still have a lot of hope for him. Here, he did six or seven weeks of competition and he barely made a mistake at all! He really is that exceptional horse that you rarely find. There aren't many horses of his age that are capable of jumping events like today's, let alone winning them," said the winner to Blizko communication.