By winning the Grand Prix Longines of the city of La Baule, on Friday afternoon, for the third time, the French Patrice Delaveau, world reserve champion 2014, made one more time history in La Baule competition, since only two riders have done better than him in this class since 1962: the French Janou Lefèbvre (1962, 1971, 1974 et 1975) and the French Michel Robert (1981, 1983, 1989 et 1996).
Before he could enjoy this victory, he had to qualify for the jump off. The course, designed by Frédéric Cottier caused problems to more than one contestant. There was no real decisive difficulty, besides the water jump (n°11), three fences proved to be more tricky than others: the n°3 (a blue and green vertical placed outside a turn), the n°5 (a vertical placed before the triple combination), and the n°9 (a flat board located just after the triple bar) and caused problems to many riders, among which the German Marcus Ehning, world n°8, who came out of the arena with 16 penalty points.
Only seven pairs managed to qualify: the Belgian Gudrun Patteet (Sea Coast Just The Music), the French Patrice Delaveau (Aquila HDC) and Thierry Rozier (Venezia d’Ecaussinnes), the American Kent Farrington (Gazelle), the Irish Shane Sweetnam (IChaqui Z), the Spanish champion Paola Amilibia (Gaudi) and the Brazilian Pedro Veniss (Quabri de l’Isle).
Known for his pugnacity in the jump off, Patrice Delaveau has been up to his reputation. Second to go, he proved to be precise and fast with Aquila HDC, with whom he has placed 2nd in the Grand Prix Longines of the city of La Baule 2017 ; he placed the bar too high for his opponents, and clinched victory in front of a very supportive public. The spectators erupted with joy and offered him a memorable Marseillaise at the prize giving ceremony. Kent Farrington, world n°2, took the 2nd place with Gazelle. Gudrun Patteet comes 3rd with Sea Coast Just The Music.
Rémi Cléro, president of the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup of France:
“Thanks to the riders for this wonderful Grand Prix. I want to thank Mr. Yves Métaireau, mayor of La Baule, whose support allows this competition to be held as well as Longines for trusting us on the organization of this Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup of France. And I wanted to thank Frédéric Cottier for the show he offered us with this beautiful course on this new track.”
Yves Métaireau, mayor of La Baule-Escoublac, président of Cap Atlantique :
“Congratulations to all the actors of this Grand Prix, that was a great moment. We completed this winter very important renovation works in order to offer I hope a high quality ground perfectly operationnal for this occasion.”
Frédéric Cottier, course designer:
“I am pleased about the Grand Prix, even if I think that the quality of the ground will be even better tomorrow and Sunday. I really liked this Grand Prix, because all the fences played their part. One makes history, not the result, the riders are happy about their horses in the jump off, and I am really pleased about it.”
Patrice Delaveau, winner of the Grand Prix Longines of the city of La Baule:
“It is a real pleasure to win here, especially with the public behind us, it is something very important for us, the French riders. When I walked the course, I thought the Grand Prix was very well balanced. In the end, there were seven clear rounds, with the faults equally distributed, I think the course was well designed, with little heavy scores. In the future, we have big events, the target is to bring Aquila HDC at his best. The program of the horse is ready until Tryon, we have to keep him in good shape till then.”
Kent Farrington (USA), 2nd in the Grand Prix Longines of the city of La Baule:
“It is a beautiful day for me, a great come back to competition. I still do not know what happened for Patrice’s round, but I am very happy about Gazelle. The public is fantastic here.”
Gudrun Patteet (BEL), 3rd in the Grand Prix Longines of the city of La Baule:
“This horse is real good at this level, he was not supposed to compete in La Baule, but since my top horse was not in great shape, I chose to come with him. To be here with riders who have such a great record of titles and medals is fantastic.”
Photo: PSV – Jean Morel