Saturday, December 12, 2009

Marcus Ehning, master of the Rolex Top Ten

Once again the Rolex IJRC Top 10 was a thrilling show with the best riders in the world. The Exposition Parc Paris Nord Villepinte was completely sold out and the crowd enjoyed the show from the beginning when the 10 riders were driven in the arena in carriages of  the famous stuntman Mario Luraschi. After two super rounds the  winner was the actual number one of the Rolex ranking, Marcus Ehning on Plot Blue. The 35 years old German rider rides very smoothly, everything looks easy and his double clear round in the 1 m 60 class was a real demonstration. The winner of last year, Michel Robert and Kellemoi de Pepita finished on 10 th place.

The American course designer Conrad Homfeld, who will also be the course designer at the World Equestrian Games in Lexington Kentucky next year, build a very difficult and delicate course. In the first round only the Swedish Rolf-Göran Bengtsson and Marcus Ehning were clear. Olympic champion Eric Lamaze was very close with one time penalty. Edwina Alexander and Rodrigo Pessoa both had four penalties on the last fence, the Rolex vertical. European champion Kevin Stau and Marco Kutscher also finished the course with four penalties. Harry Smolders followed with 5 penalties and Michel Robert with 8. For them the battle was over. In the second round Albert Zoer and Okidoki were clear, just like Kevin Staut with Silvana, a mare that he is riding only for 4 months. Eric Lamaze and Hickstead jumped clear and in time. Than Marcus Ehning started his demonstration with a second clear round in 44’89 on Plot Blue. Without ever giving the impression of forcing his horse he took some time at every stride. Rolf-Göran Bengtsson and his Holstein stallion Casall La Silla wasalso double clear but the Swedish rider finished O.18 seconds slower. Marcus Ehning participated to eight of the nine Finals of the Rolex IJRC top ten and finally he won. A big honour but also a Rolex and 43 750 Euro prize money.

Result : 1. Ehning (GER), Plot Blue, 0 pt (0+0 ; 44’’89) ; 2. Bengtsson (SWE), Casall La Silla, 0 (0+0 ; 45’’07) ; 3. Lamaze (CAN), Hickstead, 1 (1+0 ; 53’’67) ; 4. Staut (FRA), Silvana, 4 (4+0 ; 45’’25) ; 5. Zoer (HOL), Oki Doki, 4 (4+0 ; 45’’36) ; 6. Kutscher (GER), Cornet Obolensky, 4 (4+0 ; 45’’90) ; 7. Pessoa (BRA), Let’s Fly, 4 (4+0 ; 47’’18) ; 8. Alexander (AUS), Cevo Itôt du Château, 8 (4+4 ; 45’’56) ; 9. Smolders (HOL), Exquis Walnut de Muze, 9 (5+4 ; 53’’79) ; 10. Robert (FRA), Kellemoi de Pépita, 12 (8+4 ; 48’’23).

Quotes

Marcus Ehning : “It’s a great victory because the Rolex Top Ten is an important event for the riders. Conrad Homfeld, the course designer did a great job. The course was difficult and technical but fair. Two double clears in the first round of a top ten is normal. I’m very happy with the way Plot Blue jumped. We perform better and better and I’m very proud of my victory. For the future I hope to stay on first place for a long time and to win more Grand Prix’s. I also want to congratulate the organisation, it’s incredible to see such a big crowd on a new show.”

Rolf-Göran Bengtsson: “ I couldn’t go faster today. In the first round I felt that Casall was almost spooky and he really jumped very high, I really had to push him a little bit. I didn’t start the second round very well, I lost some time at the second fence. But nevertheless I’m very happy with the show.”

Eric Lamaze : “This was one of the most beautiful indoor shows of my career. Evertyhing is great, the horses are happy, the riders are happy, it’s really the highest level. There is no better indoor show. I regret the one time penalty in the first round, I rode too much in the corners of the arena. I wanted to keep my horse quiet for the last line to the exit. Today my third place is not the fault of my horse but mine. But anyway, the number one has one and that is logical.”

Kevin Staut : “I’m only riding the mare for four months, so we need some more time to know each other perfectly. She’s almost to careful and then she doesn’t cover the big oxers. But it’s while making the errors that we both learn. Nevertheless I’m very happy with my fourth place. The Rolex IJRC Top ten was not one of my goals this year, it came faster than I hoped, but I’m happy anyway.

Rodrigo Pessoa : “My performance in the arena tonight was not important. I want to thank Rolex, because without their help this competition would never be possible. Everything Rolex does in sport is very precious. There was a lot of pressure on the organisation team in having the final during our first show in Paris. Our team did a great job. I want to wish Geneva good luck in organising the World Cup Final and the RolexTop 10 in 2010.”

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About Gucci
The Gucci Masters ticket or the Paris Horse Show ticket gives you access (without reserved seats) to trials beginning from 9am on the Thursday and from 8 am. on the Friday and Saturday.

About Gucci …
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About the European Equestrian Masters
Founded by Christophe Ameeuw and Nelson Pessoa, the living legend of show jumping, European Equestrian Masters is organising two major CSI5* indoor events, Brussels and Paris. The International Jumping of Brussels relaunched in 2004 has now become one of the best indoor event of the world and hosted the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final in 2008. European Equestrian Masters will be organizing the CSI5* in Paris and as from 2010 will be managing both Brussels, last week of November, and Paris, first week of December.

About the Paris Horse Show
Founded in 1972, it is propriety of the Ceneca along with the Paris International Agricultural Show and its president, Jean - Luc Poulain is also president of the two shows. The Jumping event, along with the World Arabian Horse Championship (4 - 6/12) and the International Volting Competitions (5 -6/12) are among the most prestigious events of the annual show. The ever increasing 170.000 visitors and over 400 exhibitors have demonstrated their genuine passion to be present at this wonderful and successful gathering, each December.