Julien Epaillard’s winning juggernaut continued at the Commercial Bank CHI Al Shaqab Presented by Longines Friday, with the Frenchman clinching the feature class on the second day of the championship.
Epaillard, who had won both the showjumping events on the opening day, did not put a foot wrong Friday at the Longines Arena at Al Shaqab as he combined with 11-year-old stallion Virtuose Champeix to claim the CSI5* 1.55m class.
The 41-year-old had also won the Global Champions Tour Grand Prix Doha title last year, and there seems to be no stopping him at Al Shaqab. Going by his current form, Epaillard will now be a heavy favourite for Saturday’s Grand Prix 1.60m — the big money event of the championship.
“Yes, it was an amazing show. My horse is in top form,” gushed Epaillard after another terrific win, “I did not have the best control in the jump-off. But I am very happy. I wish I could get the Grand Prix trophy tomorrow. I would like that. My horse is only 10 years old. Not so much experience for the moment. But we will try and do the best tomorrow,” he added.
Twelve riders made it to the jump-off in the speed class and it looked like Scott Brash would walk away with the victory, after the British rider completed the round in 34.11 seconds with Hello Shelby.
But Epaillard, who was second but last rider at the start, beat Brash’s time hands down, coming home in 33.41 seconds aboard Virtuose Champeix. Austria’s Max Kuhner gave some anxious moments to Epaillard, when he scorched the course with Elektric Blue P but had to settle for second spot after timing 33.81 secs. Brash took the last podium spot with Hello Shelby – the pair having finished second on Thursday.
Spain’s Eduardo Alvarez Aznar and Sweden’s Henrik von Eckermann, shared the fourth place aboard Seringat and Best Boy Z respectively, after timing an identical 34.84.
Earlier, in the 1.50m CSI5* class, Switzerland’s Jane Richard Philips eased to victory aboard her 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood-mare, Kenia Van ‘T Laerhof. The pair stopped the clock in 59.72 seconds. France’s Roger Yves Bost with Castleforbes Talitha came second, while Filippo Marco Bologni of Italy finished third with Diplomat.
Meanwhile, Sweden’s Patrik Kittel rode Delaunay Old to victory in the Dressage CDI5* Grand Prix. Kittel and the 14-year-old Oldenburg gelding scored 74.413 percent. The pair was on Sweden’s team at the 2017 European Championships and competed in last year’s World Cup Final.
Morgan Barbancon and Sir Donnerhall II OLD, France’s leading combination, were second on 72.326 percent. The duo that competed at the Europeans last September may also have earned a start at the Las Vegas World Cup Final that would be their third straight annual championship.
Germany’s Matthias Alexander Rath and 12-year-old stallion Foundation posted a personal best 72.034 percent for third place.
CSI5* Table A (238.2.2) 1.55m
1. Julien Epaillard (FRA); Horse: Virtuose Champeix; First round time: 75.55 secs; Jump-off time: 33.41 secs; Prize money: €48939
2. Max Kuhner (AUT); Elektric Blue P. 78.44 and 33.81 secs; €29660
3. Scott Brash (GBR); Hello Shelby; 78.56 and 34.11 secs; €22,245
CSI5* Table A (238.2.1) 1.50m
1. Jane Richard Philips (SUI); Horse: Kenia Van ‘T Laerhof; Time: 59.72 seconds; Prize money: €12,775
2. Roger Yves Bost (FRA); Castleforbes Talitha; 61.21 seconds; €10,220
3. Filippo Marco Bologni (ITA); Diplomat; 61.23 seconds; €7,665
Dressage -- CDI5* GP - Grand Prix (GP)
1. Patrik Kittel (SWE) Horse: Delaunay Old; Points: 74.413%; Prize money: €7500
2. Morgan Barbançon (FRA) Sir Donnerhall II Old; 72.326%; €6000
3. Matthias Alexander Rath (GER) Foundation 2; 72.304%, €4500
CPEDI3* Individual III (III Ch Ind)
1. Rixt van der Horst (NED); Horse: Findsley N.O.P; Total points. 70.980; Prize money: €660
2. Barbara Minneci (BEL); Stuart; 69.069; €500
CPEDI3* Individual II (II Ch Ind)
1. Pepo Puch (AUT); Horse: Fuerst Chili; Points: 75.539%; Prize money: €660
2. Martina Benzinger (GER) Fritzzantino; 70.147%; €500
3. Annemarieke Nobel (NED) Highlight; 66.667%; €400
CPEDI3* Individual I (I Ch Ind)
1. Jens Lasse Dokkan (NOR) Horse: Aladdin; Points: 75.238%; Prize money: €660
2. Magdalena Cycak (POL); Sybilla; 63.036%; €500
CPEDI3* Individual V (V Ch Ind)
1. Ciska Vermeulen (BEL); Horse: Rohmeo; Points: 71.667%; Prize money: €600
2. Valentina Strobl (AUT); Bequia Simba; 69.286%; €500
3. Ulricke Dekeyzer (BEL); Cleverboy Van d’Abelendreef; 69.048%; €400
CPEDI3* Individual IV (IV Ch Ind)
1. Rodolpho Riskalla (BRA); Horse: Don Frederic; Points: 74.959%; Prize money: €600
2. Philippa Mary Johnson (RSA); Lord Louis; 71.179%; €500
3. Lotte Krijnsen (NED); Rosenstolz; 71.098%; €400
8.30am-9.15am: Dressage Grand Prix Special Test (CDI5*): Indoor Arena
10.25am-12.15am: Longines Hathab Open Class 1.15/1.25m: Outdoor Arena
10am-1.30pm: Para Dressage Freestyle Test (CPED13*): Indoor Arena
1.30pm-2.45pm: Longines Hathab Big Tour 1.30/1.45m: Outdoor Arena
2.15pm-4.45pm: Dressage Commercial Bank CHI Al Shaqab Freestyle Presented by Longines: Indoor Arena
3.30pm-4.30pm: Showjumping Table C 1.45m (CSI5*): Outdoor Arena
5.10pm-5.25pm: Arabian Horse Show: Outdoor Arena
5.30-8pm: Commercial Bank CHI Al Shaqab Grand Prix presented by Longines 1.60m: Outdoor Arena
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