Monaco, FRA – June 29, 2018 – It was a battle of the Whitaker brothers this afternoon in Monaco, with Michael reigning supreme in today’s CSI5* Trophée Casino de Monte-Carlo class, finishing just tenths of a second ahead of brother John.
In an edge of the seat jump-off, Michael Whitaker (GBR) piloted his grey horse Valmy de la Lande to the top of the leaderboard, snatching the win from the hands of John Whitaker (GBR) who looked on phenomenal form with top stallion Argento – the horse making his return to CSI5* level this weekend.
Speaking about his brother John, Michael said: “He’s been beating me all his life, but it’s nice to get one back! My horse is unbelievable careful, he’s a fighter – he’s got a little bit more experience to come but I’m excited about him.”
Frank Rothenberger put together a technical, tough track for the world’s top international riders, utilising the full width and breadth of the arena. A light Sapinda vertical and a wide Massimo Dutti oxer required plenty of focus, responsiveness and bravery, with plenty of the best athletes in the sport falling short of a clear today.
Bertram Allen (IRL) put in a brilliant round with the popular grey Hector van d’Abdijhoeve, a hot pick for the win. However John Whitaker (GBR) and top stallion Argento, who returns to CSI5* competition for the first time this year, look to be on phenomenal form, jumping clear and adding their name to the formidable jump-off list.
World Number 1 Harrie Smolders (NED) put in an impressive round with relatively new mount Corrada, adding his name to the jump-off but the pair perhaps untested in a flat out race against the clock. Joining him would be Gerco Schröder (NED) with Glock’s Zaranza, Michael Whitaker (GBR) with Valmy de la Lande, Leopold van Asten (NED) with VDL Groep Urane de Talma, Michael Duffy (IRL) with Egalini, Marlon Zanotelli (BRA) with Sirene de la Motte, and Julien Epaillard (FRA) who was fastest of all with Safari D Auge.
First to go Marlon Zanotelli (BRA) carved the path for the rest to come, proving how tough today’s jump-off course was. A total of seven faults with Sirene de la Motte, and there would be plenty for the others to play for, despite the extremely tight time allowed.
The time allowed was incredibly tight, as shown by John Whitaker (GBR) with Argento who picked up 1 penalty but jumped cleanly to propel themselves in the lead in 36.41s. His brother Michael Whitaker (GBR) put in a smooth round with Valmy de la Lande, making up time at the penultimate fence by finding a long stride to finish just a touch faster in 36.04s but also picking up a time fault.
World Number 1 Harrie Smolders (NED) pulled out a smooth round with Corrada, up on the time and looking strong to take the win. But their was heartbreak as the final fence fell, with Smolders stopping the clock in 35.93s, just inside the time allowed.
So the win would go to Michael Whitaker (GBR) with Valmy de la Lande, finishing ahead of John Whitaker (GBR) with Argento, with Michael Duffy (IRL) with Egalini rounding out third.
TROPHEE CASINO DE MONTE-CARLO
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / R1 Faults | Time / R2 Faults | Time
1. Valmy de la Lande / Michael Whitaker / GBR / 0 | 62.17 / 1 | 36.04
2. Argento / John Whitaker / GBR / 0 | 63.34 / 1 | 36.41
3. Egalini / Michael Duffy / IRL / 0 | 63.95 / 1 | 36.60
4. Safari D Auge / Julien Epaillard / FRA / 0 | 59.20 / 4 | 32.15
5. Chalou / Emanuele Gaudiano / ITA / 0 | 61.62 / 4 | 34.13
6. Glock’s Zaranza / Gerco Schröder / NED 0 | 61.96 / 4 | 35.55
7. Corrada / Harrie Smolders / NED / 0 | 62.04 / 4 | 35.93
8. Sirene de la Motte / Marlon Módolo Zanotelli / BRA / 0 | 61.79 / 7 | 38.66
9. VDL Groep Urane de Talma / Leopold Van Asten / NED / 0 | 62.36 / 15 | 42.53
10. Hector van d’Abdijhoeve / Bertram Allen / IRL / 0 | 63.13 / 16 | 39.74
11. Jazoe van ‘t Steenpaal / Werner Muff / SUI / 1 | 64.49
12. Apollonia / Mathilda Karlsson / SRI / 1 | 64.56
For full results, click here.
Dream Weekend for Pius Schwizer with Second Speed Class Win
Pius Schwizer (SUI) took a second win of the weekend at the Longines Global Champions Tour, aboard Premiumares’ About A Dream. There was double cause for celebration, as owner Milena Pappas also celebrated her Birthday today, as the second day of competition kicked off.
Speaking after his round, Schwizer said: “About A Dream is a great horse, not spooky, but is very good here. It’s a tough arena, with many horses spooking, but we were good today!”
The fences came thick and fast, leaving zero room for error in the Frank Rothernberger designed course. Clears were far and few between, with only six in the 32 strong field, with many hard luck stories as horses looked around the compact, eye-catching arena.
First to go Wout-Jan van der Schans (NED) set the competition alight with a speedy clear aboard D’ Angelo, setting the time to beat at 53.03s. Dutch rider Eric van der Vleuten (NED) put in a brave try with Zigali P S to smash his compatriot’s time by over three seconds, with a new lead in 49.56s.
Pius Schwizer (SUI) with About A Dream put in a speedy clear, driving forward throughout the course with the Swiss rider looking on strong form this weekend after a win in yesterday’s speed class. Flying through the finish gates, they shaved almost another second off the time to beat, stopping the clock in 48.93s and raising the bar for the field to follow.
Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS) with Cinsey went for a steady clear, a relatively new partnership, picking up a time fault, as did Mark McAuley (IRL) with Vivaldi du Theil. There were a few disappointments, after Nayel Nassar (EGY) took a tumble from Emilie de Diamant A S, and Pieter Devos (BEL) with Apart opted to retire.
Olivier Robert (FRA) with Vangog du Mas Garnier, Christian Kukuk (GER) with Botaro and Michael Whitaker (GBR) with Valmy de la Lande all pulled out clear rounds, but none could match Schwizer’s time, leaving the Swiss star triumphant in the second day’s opening CSI5* class.
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / Faults | Time
1. About A Dream / Pius Schwizer / SUI / 0 | 48.93
2. Zigali P S / Eric Van der Vleuten / NED / 0 | 49.56
3. Vangog du Mas Garnier / Olivier Robert / FRA / 0 | 51.94
4. D’ Angelo / Wout-Jan van der Schans / NED / 0 | 53.03
5. Botaro / Christian Kukuk / GER / 0 | 57.41
6. Valmy de la Lande / Michael Whitaker / GBR / 0 | 60.12
7. Cinsey / Edwina Tops-Alexander / AUS / 1 | 62.52
8. Vivaldi du Theil / Mark McAuley / IRL / 2 | 69.86
9. Carlotta / Emanuele Gaudiano / ITA / 4 | 47.87
10. Luftikus S / Jennifer Gates / USA / 4 | 53.27
11. Corrada / Harrie Smolders / NED / 4 | 55.29
11. Daisy du Grand Moustier / Pedro Veniss / BRA / 4 | 55.29
For full results, click here.
Stars Shine in Longines Pro Am Cup
The Longines Global Champions Tour of Monaco once again played host to the Longines Pro Am Cup on Friday evening, which sees an amateur and professional rider pair up to compete for the coveted title with a focus on speed and agility.
The competition, which is in its eighth year, was launched by Patron Charlotte Casiraghi in 2010, emphasises the family spirit of the sport and its pace and relay format make it a real crowd pleaser. Set over two rounds, 13 teams took part – including reigning champions Team Sapinda, as well as Team House of Sillage, Team Monte-Carlo Polo Team and Team Virtus – all battling to jump clear and with the fastest combined time.
Fastest in the first round was Team Audi, featuring Dietlinde Thomel and Constant Van Paesschen – the duo flying around on their horses Roberto de Siju and Easy Day d’Hof Ten Bos much to the delight of the cheering spectators.
And as the evening lights of Monte Carlo began to twinkle, the eight qualifying teams continued to battle it out for a podium finish as the crowd clapped and cheered the athletes on.
Mona Ferry and Christian Rhomberg of Team Federation Equestre de la Principaute de Monaco threw down the gauntlet after Rhomberg set off at a cracking pace to set a combined time of 61.50s. A smiling Christian spoke after his blistering round: “It’s fun! I’m lucky I have a fast mare which makes even a slow rider like me fast! My teammate did a really good job. I just tried to make her go faster in the second round, but we have a few problems with our language – I don’t speak French!”
Florence Schwizer-Seydoux and Roger-Yves Bost of Team Equitheme put in a valiant try but stopped the clock just behind, finishing in 61.90s. Team Longines’ husband and wife combination of Ignace Philips and Jane Richard Philips also gave it their all, but couldn’t better Team Equestre de la Principaute de Monaco’s time, slipping in behind in 68.20s.
All eyes turned to Team Audi, the team who had been so impressive in the first round. But an early pole for amateur rider Dietlinde Thomel ruled them out of contention, leaving pro rider Constant Van Paesschen unable to do any more. So the win would go to Mona Ferry and Christian Rhomberg of Team Federation Equestre de la Principaute de Monaco, second to Florence Schwizer-Seydoux and Roger-Yves Bost of Team Equitheme, and third to Team Monaco Aces featuring Jeanne Sadran and Julian Epaillard.
Longines Pro-Am Cup Monaco
Place / Competitors / Team / Faults | Time / Faults | Time
1. M.Ferry / C.Rhomberg / FEPM / 0 | 67.54 / 0 | 61.50
2. F.Schwizer-Seydoux / R.Y.Bost / EQUITHEME / 0 | 64.72 / 0 | 61.90
3. J.Sadran / J.Epaillard / MONACO ACES / 0 | 69.32 / 0 | 62.06
4. J.Sloan-Allen / P.Veniss / CTM / 0 | 70.16 / 0 | 62.85
5. I.Philips / J.Richard Philips / LONGINES / 0 | 68.20 / 0 | 63.61
6. M.Platini / M.McAuley / MONTE-CARLO POLO TEAM / 0 | 67.62 / 0 | 63.90
7. T.Harnett / M.Karlsson / AMADE MONDIALE / 0 | 69.72 / 0 | 66.27
8. D.Thomel / C.v.Paesschen / AUDI / 0 | 64.21 / 8 | 68.97
9. J.Tops / M.v.d.Vleuten / SAPINDA / 0 | 71.46
10. T.Carmichael / Ch.Kukuk / HOUSE OF SILLAGE / 0 | 73.60
For full results, click here.