Gucci Grand Prix: Triumph for Marc Houtzager and Sterrehof’s Tamino

Dutch rider Marc Houtzager wrote his name into Gucci Grand Prix history by winning the fourth edition with Sterrehof’s Tamino.

After France’s Michel Robert was forced to withdraw with Oh d’Eole, a total of 43 pairs lined up to contest the Gucci Grand Prix this afternoon. For this fourth edition, American course designer Conrad Homfeld devised a difficult course with plenty of potential for penalties. Many a star pairing was tripped up by the pitfalls, especially in the triple Masters Grand Slam, close to the grandstands. Those caught out included France’s Simon Delestre and Valentino Velvet, British Olympic champions Nick Skelton with Big Star and Ben Maher with Tripple X, and Germany’s Philipp Weishaupt with Catoki. Kevin Staut and Rêveur de Hurtebise HDC also picked up 4 penalty points after a fault on the Longines double oxer. The winner of last night’s Guerre des Sexes EADS, Christian Ahlmann, faulted on the Gucci oxer with Codex One. Most disappointed of all was surely Edwina Tops-Alexander. The Australian world number eight was all set to book a place in the jump-off with Guccio, when she agonisingly dislodged a bar on the very last fence.

Swiss rider Janika Sprunger was the first to jump clear, riding Palloubet D Halong. They were followed by Brazil’s Alvaro Affonso de Miranda Neto and AD Rahmannshof’s Bogeno, as well as Ireland’s Denis Lynch with Abbervail van het Dingeshof, Dutchman Marc Houtzager with Sterrehof’s Tamino, France’s Pénélope Leprevost and Mylord Carthago HN, Gerco Schröder of the Netherlands with Eurocommerce London and finally French rider Roger-Yves Bost with Nippon d’Elle.

Of the seven pairs who made it through to the jump-off, just four produced a second clear round, with Marc Houtzager and Sterrehof’s Tamino posting the quickest time of 39.56 seconds. Second place went to Denis Lynch and Abbervail van het Dingeshof (39.69 secs). Alvaro Affonso de Miranda Neto, who was named the best rider of the competition, completed the podium with AD Rahmannhof’s Bogeno (41.37 secs). Janika Sprunger and Palloubet D Halong finished fourth (42.24 seconds). Last year’s winners, Pénélope Leprevost and Mylord Carthago HN, faulted at the very last fence and had to settle for fifth place, ahead of Gerco Schröder and Eurocommerce London in sixth, and Roger Yves Bost with Nippon d’Elle in seventh. ‘Bosty’ was well satisfied with the result, as Nippon was running in his first indoor 5 star Grand Prix.

La Cavalière masquée / @MaskedHorse
partenaire du Gucci Paris Masters
et du Salon du Cheval de Paris

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