Spectacular GC CSI5* Jump Off Sees David Will Reign Supreme
Photo: LGCT / Stefano Grasso
Redemption was the word of the afternoon as David Will (GER) and Forest Gump swiftly conquered the CSI5* 1.50 class at the GC Prague Playoffs, 32.58s being the winning time. A mere 0.12s behind was Maikel van der Vleuten (NED) and Arera C who took second in 32.70s and early leaders Pius Schwizer (SWE) and Living The Dream followed in third place on 32.82s.
Passionate crowds at the O2 Arena added to the exceptional atmosphere for this afternoon’s CSI 5* 1.50m class, many supporting local rider Anna Kellnerova (CZE) who delivered a spell-binding performance to finish in 5th. Spectators were kept on the edge of their seats with the tricky Czech flag plank wall caused many horses to double take on approach and all kinds of upsets.
From the outset Uliano Vezzani’s masterful 12 obstacle course racked up four superb clear rounds; Marlon Zanotelli (BRA) and Sirene de la Motte, Julien Epaillard (FRA) and Usual Suspect d’Auge, Pieter Devos (BEL) and Claire Z, Puis Schwizer and Living The Dream secured their place in the hotly contested jump-off.
Home crowd hero Ales Opatrny (CZE) and VDL Fakir threaded their way precisely through the course. The entire O2 Arena was behind them to the last but the delicate beige plank caught VDL Fakir off-guard, meaning the pair would have to settle for four faults. Thankfully, talented Anna Kellnerova (CZE) with Silverstone G redeemed the home crowd's spirit, stylishly completing her clear round in 67.93s.
13 talented combinations made it through to the nail-biting jump-off. Fence 1, the skinny Rolls Royce vertical received much attention causing consternation for a number of riders.
Living The Dream and Pius Schwizer (SWE) blitzed the shortened course to take an early lead on 32.82s. On a high from their 3rd placing in yesterday’s speed class David Will (GER) and Forest Gump overtook Pius by 0.24s to finish on 32.58s.
Anna Kellnerova (CZE) and Silverstone G gave the home crowd something to cheer for, going clear but not quite fast enough to feature on the podium in 34.53s.
1st: David Will (GER) and Forest Gump, 32.58s
2nd: Maikel van der Vleuten (NED) and Arera C, 32.70s
3rd: Pius Schwizer (SWE) and Living The Dream, 32.82s
Anticipation now builds for tonight’s Longines Global Champions Tour Super Grand Prix which you can watch live on GC TV at 20.30 hours CET, 19.30 hours GMT (Greenwich Mean Time), 14.30 hours EST (Eastern Standard Time) and 03.30 CST (China Standard Time).