Delestre Dominates in Lyon with Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Win

Simon Delestre and Hermes Ryan. Photo: © Equita 2017 - PSV J.Morel
Simon Delestre and Hermes Ryan. Photo: © Equita 2017 – PSV J.Morel

Lyon, FRA – Nov. 5, 2017 – Sunday at Equita Lyon highlighted the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Lyon CSI5*-W. Forty combinations vied for victory on the Lyon stage of the World Cup circuit. All were ready to give their utmost to qualify for the jump-off and earn as many points as possible with qualification in sight for the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping final to be held in Paris from April 11-15, 2018.

A total of eleven riders qualified for the jump-off, including some of the sports most well-known stars. When the English rider Michael Whitaker rode the first double clear round on Calisto Blue, the audience knew they were in for a great show.

Hot off Friday’s win in the Longines Grand Prix qualifying class, Irish rider Mark McAuley and Miebello followed, shaving a hundredth of a second off this benchmark time to finish in 40 seconds flat. Belgian rider Pieter Devos was the first to try a different option on the course, finishing in 39.28 seconds, thereby putting a gap between himself and his competitors. After, the jump-off became even more spectacular, with each rider managing to better the previous rider’s time.

The battle for first place became like a game of musical chairs. Two-time winner of the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping final (2015, 2016) and 2012 Olympic Champion of Switzerland, Steve Guerdat immediately piled the pressure on the remaining couples with his quick time of 39.05 seconds. The French rider Julien Epaillard and the Spanish rider Sergio Alvarez Moya rode even faster rounds, but incurred penalties. However, this demonstrated it was possible to to capture Guerdat .

Finally the superb Hermès Ryan had the last word in this test of agility and speed. Indeed, Simon Delestre and his 12-year-old chestnut gelding crossed the finish line in 37.72 seconds. The Swedish rider Henrik von Eckermann was last to go aboard Mary Lou, but he could not improve on the time, finishing in 38.35 seconds and taking second place in the final rankings.

“It was a really high-level jump-off. I was lucky to be jumping towards the end. The others confirmed that the option before the double was doable, because at the beginning I was not sure whether I would try it. I am also lucky to have Hermès Ryan, who is an exceptional horse. He is very quick over the ground. I am very pleased with this win, particularly considering the problems Ryan has had this year. I cannot thank him enough for everything he does,” said the winner.

Simon Delestre also gave a mention to the French course designer Grégory Bodo, who was in charge of his first 5* competition and first Longines FEI World Cup™ at Equita Lyon. “He designed some fantastic courses this weekend,” said the French rider.

Henrik von Eckermann, the Swedish rider who is currently leading the rankings of the Western European League of the Longines FEI World CupTM Jumping circuit, aims to do his utmost to reach the finals in Paris. “Mary Lou was fantastic. I’m really pleased. Now, I intend to go to Stuttgart, Madrid and Mechelen in order to qualify for Paris, which is obviously my main goal, because this circuit really is amazing”, he said.

The Swiss rider Steve Guerdat was also pleased with his third place and the performance of his horse Bianca, saying, “She jumped really well today. Recently, we have been doing rounds where we kept incurring four points, so I am delighted with this weekend. I hope this continues and that we will be able to earn as many points as possible in order to qualify for the final in Paris.” The Swiss rider made a point of thanking Sylvie Robert, the organizer of the competition and Director of Equestrian Events at the GL events Group, for her great organization and her passion for this great sport.

Course designer Grégory Bodo explained that he was particularly pleased with the way the event had gone. “I just wanted to approach things in my own way, even though it was my first course at this level and a huge challenge. I can tell you that the emotions have been running high since the beginning of the week. Above all, I want to create courses that reflect my values and philosophy, focused on respect for the horses. Creating technical difficulties for the riders should never involve the horses over-exerting themselves,” he explained.

Sylvie Robert also congratulated the course designer for his work. “I am delighted to have helped Gregory take charge of his first 5-star competition. Along with the French Equestrian Federation, we have been working to nurture and promote a top-level French course designer. Well done for your work in these classes and for getting just the right number of riders in the each jump-off. We have had a great weekend of sport. So, a big thank you to Greg.”

The Director of Equestrian Events at the GL events Group was also very pleased with the French victory this evening: “Seeing Simon win in Lyon is like a dream come true, especially after the difficult year he has had. It was a really great win!”

Now, all eyes are turned towards the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping final that will take place next spring in the AccordHotels Arena in Paris, France, from April 11-15, 2018.

RESULTS

LONGINES FEI World Cup™ Jumping Lyon CSI5*-W presented by GL EVENTS
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / R1 Faults | Time / R2 Faults | Time
1. Hermes Ryan / Simon Delestre / FRA / 0 | 67.40 / 0 | 37.72
2. Mary Lou / Henrik von Eckermann / SWE / 0 | 68.37 / 0 | 38.35
3. Bianca / Steve Guerdat / SUI / 0 | 68.23 / 0 | 39.05
4. Claire Z / Pieter Devos / BEL / 0 | 68.86 / 0 | 39.28
5. Miebello / Mark McAuley / IRL / 0 | 68.92 / 0 | 40.00
6. Calisto Blue / Michael Whitaker / GBR / 0 | 67.93 / 0 | 40.01
7. Driandria / Piergiorgio Bucci / ITA / 0 | 68.90 / 0 | 45.20
8. G & C Arrayan / Sergio Alvarez Moya / ESP / 0 | 68.51 / 4 | 38.12
9. Instit de Jucaso / Julien Epaillard / FRA / 0 | 67.17 / 4 | 38.78
10. BSC Skipper / Holger Wulschner / GER / 0 | 66.77 / 4 | 42.33
11. Sydney Une Prince / Roger Yves Bost / FRA / 0 | 67.25 / 8 | 40.25
12. Ohlala / Lauren Hough / USA / 4 | 65.38

For full results, click here.

RANKINGS

Longines FEI World Cup™ 2017/2018 – Western European League
Current standings following the 4th leg in Lyon, FRA
Rank / Rider / Country / Total Points
1. Henrik von Eckermann / SWE / 34
2. Simon Delestre / FRA / 31
3. Kevin Staut / FRA / 28
4. Pieter Devos / BEL / 28
5. Alberto Zorzi / ITA / 25
6. Maikel Van der Vleuten / NED / 23
7. Steve Guerdat / SUI / 23
8. Mark McAuley / IRL / 22
9. Daniel Deusser / GER / 20
9. Denis Lynch / IRL / 20
9. Jur Vrieling / NED / 20

For full rankings, click here.

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