Simon Delestre, a Hermès partner rider and French Olympian, won Saturday’s Future Stars Grand Prix for 7-year-old horses presented by Zangersheide with CSIO Bel (Tinka’s Boy x Gonfaron). With a blazing fast jump-off in a time of 39.81 seconds, yesterday’s runner-up pair brightened their silver position into gold on the final day of the youngster competitions. Belgium’s own Gudrun Patteet on Sea Coast Monalisa Van’t Paradijs (Bamako de Muze x Emerald Van’T Ruytershof) finished in second place with a time of 40.62s while the third place went to Patteet’s compatriot Olivier Philippaerts with Carlotta 276 (Cornet Obelinsky x Arpeggio) in 42.75s.
“I saw CSIO Bel the first time last year, and he immediately made me think about Hermès Ryan,” Delestre said about his winning chestnut partner’s resemblance to his top horse. “He is the same type, maybe a little bit smaller. His jump is huge, and he is definitely my kind of horse. I have a really good feeling on him!”
“A fun-fact is that his mother is Granie, and his father is Tinka’s Boy – both former top horses of Markus Fuchs. It’s of course difficult to say now, but I think he’s a real crack,” Delestre continued. “We are not in a rush with him, we know the horse is special so we don’t push him now that he is seven – he has to be here in the Grand Prix when he is nine,” Delestre smiled. “He was good yesterday, I had a good speed round with him and he was easy fast to end second. Today I said, ‘ok, let’s try’ and he did two lovely rounds.”
In the Future Stars Grand Prix for 6-year-old horses presented by Catherine De Buyl it was Belgium’s Dominique Hendrickx that once again went off with the victory. Following two five-star wins, Hendrickx continued his great run of form to take the top honours aboard Houlahop de Septon (Jenson Van’T Meulenhof x Erco vh Roosakker). Ireland’s Darragh Kenny, another rider in super shape at Knokke Hippique, finished second with CSF Sir George (Sir Shutterfly x Cavalier Royale) 0.33 behind the winning time – tied with yesterday’s winners, Great Britain’s Emma Stoker and Q Seven (Quaid x Stakkato).
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