The first class of the Longines Global Champions Tour of Ramatuelle, Saint Tropez kicked off in true red-carpet style with a home with from Julien Epaillard and Calgary Tame taking a high-octane win in the 1.45m L'essence du Sud Prix.
With guests and VIPs settles into the luxurious surroundings, there was an air of anticipation and excitement as the first 5* class of the weekend kicked off. 47 of the world's best international combinations took to the arena, but it was the flying frenchman who took the win, much to the delight of local spectators.
Second went to Sergio Alvarez Moya on Kardenta van 't Meerhof and third place was snapped up by Edward Levy and Uno de Cerisy.
Grégory Bodo first course of the weekend threw up a few challenges for the top athletes in show jumping, including a tricky double on the long side of the arena.
Simon Delestre took an early lead with the head turning chestnut Chesall Zimequest, the light and agile gelding perfectly suited to the long sana arena.
Hot on the Frenchmans heels was Japanese rider Mike Kawai, with his fiery bay Star putting in a speedy round to slot just behind in 4th overall in 27.62. Nayel Nassar with Oaks Redwood also gave it a valiant try, but couldn’t match their time to stop the clock over a second slower in 28.80s
The French speed merchant Julien (FRA) looked determined to better Delestre time, setting off at a blistering pace at their home event. The pair shaved fractions of a second off the original time to beat, taking the win in 26.66s.
The next class kicks off at 15:35 local time, the GCL of Saint Tropez first round which will see the teams battle for pole position ahead of Saturday’s showdown.