Young Frenchman Edward Levy has secured a hat-trick of wins in the Longines Global Champions Tour - Longines Paris Eiffel Jumping, adding today's thrilling Eiffel Challenge presented by Team Créatif to his list of successes in the French capital city.
As the French National Anthem rang out for a third time this weekend, Levy stood proudly with Uno de Cerisy, the thirteen-year-old bay gelding proving his talent, scope and consistency at the highest level of the sport.
The pair took the lion’s share of the €148,300 prize purse, finishing ahead of Denis Lynch with GC Chopin's Bushi and Mark McAuley taking the final place on the podium with Miebello.
A smiling Edward said: “My horse is fast over the ground and super-careful so I could take some risk and today was our day. The crowd and atmosphere here makes the sport back to how we like it. Jumping in front of the Eiffel Tower gives motivation with the home crowd.”
44 of the world’s top international horses and riders took centre stage in the 1.55m jump-off class. Gregory Bodo put together a challenging and technical course, featuring plenty of related distances but faults fell all around the arena in a test of the best at the foot of the Eiffel Tower.
There was heartbreak when young talent Lucas Porter was just 0.02 second over the time allowed picking up a gut-wrenching time fault and crushing his hopes of the win today.
Just four combinations managed to keep all the fences up in the time allowed to make it three Irishmen and one Frenchman in the jump-off.
First to return to the ring was Denis Lynch, the sparky GC Chopin's Bushi quick off the ground and tight in his turns. With his tail swishing, GC Chopin's Bushi flew to the finish, the pair throwing down the gauntlet of 37.71s.
Local spectators saw hopes of a home win rise after Edward Levy gave it everything on his super speedy Uno de Cerisy. Temperatures soared as the set off at a gallop, the popular pair managed to shave half a second off the time to beat to fly into the lead as the grandstand erupted with cheers.
Mark McAuley looked focused and determined aboard Miebello the horse bouncing and enthusiastic to the fences. They finished in double clear but couldn’t quite match the pace of the flying Frenchman and had to settle for third overall just 0.01 seconds slower than Lynch in 37.72s.
The final chance for Ireland was Micheal Pender with HHS Fast Forward. The pair powered around the galloping course taking a stride out in the first line they looked on track to rocket into the lead but after getting too deep the double of verticals across the centre of the arena shattered his chance today. As the last fence also fell it was a total of 8 faults in the jump-off in a respectable fourth place.
So it would be a hat-trick of wins on home turf for Edward Levy. All eyes are now on Monaco as the Tour heads south to the stunning destination of Monte-Carlo for round seven.