The 2017 edition of the CSIO5* Longines Jumping International of La Baule ended in a blaze of glory on Sunday afternoon with the Grand Prix Longines of the City of La Baule. The 2017 was comparable to the previous ones: packed grandstands, top level sport, and suspense until the very end of the class.
Fifty pairs were on the start list and all of them had the same target: clear the course to qualify for the jump off. But only eight of them managed to do so: Patrice Delaveau (FRA)/Aquila HDC, Cédric Angot (FRA)/Saxo de la Cour, Henrik Von Eckermann (SXE)/Cantinero, Jérôme Guéry (BEL)/Grand Cru van de Rozenberg, Wout-Jan Van der Schans (HOL)/Capetown, Maikel Van der Vleuten (HOL)/VDL Groep Arera C, Pedro Junqueira Muylaert/Prince Royal Z MFS et Simon Delestre (FRA)/Qlassic Bois Margot.
First to go in the jump off, Patrice Delaveau (winner of the 1990 and 2013 editions) with Aquila HDC signed a new clear round in 45.94 seconds. Many thought that the French, World reserve champion would write his name on the record, since neither Maikel Van der Vleuten, nor Henrik Von Eckermann managed to be faster.
In the end, the Brazilian Pedro Junqueira Muylaert clinched victory with Prince Royal Z MFS! The pair defeated the French pair in a time of 45.39 seconds. A fantastic achievement for this 31 year old rider and his 10 year old stallion, whose best performance until today was a 13th position in the Wellington Grand Prix 5*. A nice wink to the Pessoa family, since Pedro Junqueira Muylaert is Rodrigo’s student and succeeds, 39 years later, to the record of the « sorcerer » Nelson, winner of the Grand Prix of La Baule with Moët & Chandon Bunny.
Patrice Delaveau and Aquila HDC had to do with 2nd position, but grabbed the Trophée RMC of the best pair in the CSIO5* of France. Maikel Van der Vleuten and VDL Groep Arera C place 3rd.
Photo: PSV – Jean Morel