CSI 5* - PremiuMares Class – Peder Fredricson: the rider that nobody could catch up with

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The Longines Athina Onassis Horse Show’s first CSI 5* class with a jump-off lived up to the public’s expectations and was very thrilling! The PremiuMares Class was full of suspense and finished with the Swedish victory of Peder Fredricson and Catch me Not S, twenty-one hundredths of second ahead of the French rocket Julien Epaillard, who this afternoon, lost his title as the circuit’s fastest rider, to the 2017 European individual gold medallist, and current Olympic individual silver medallist.

In the first round, the time allowed on the course designed by Grégory Bodo played a very decisive role: of the thirty-seven riders competing (of which four retired), fifteen had time faults (including those that also had jumping faults). So was the French course designer’s track impossible to jump in the time allowed? Absolutely not! Eleven combinations managed to jump this first round clear in the time allowed! First to go in the jump-off, the Netherlands’ Maikel van der Vleuten, who in general is successful in the Ramatuelle/Saint-Tropez ring (he won the Saint-Tropez leg of the Global Champions League here in 2019) had the first double clear with his young mare Elwikke…in a time which seemed nevertheless achievable. Hot on his heels, Julien Epaillard, who was riding a young nine-year-old horse too, Calgary Tame, was also clear in the ring and managed to improve on the time to beat by more than 2.5 seconds! In typical Julien style! The winner of yesterday’s big class, Edward Levy, today with Uno de Cerisy, unfortunately left the ring with one rail down. However Fredricson and Catch me Not S jumped clear and no-one was able to beat them! Pieter Devos and Apart left the ring disappointingly with 17 faults; Carlos Lopez and Evita SG Z had one down on the final fence while their time put them ahead of Epaillard. Belgium’s Jos Verlooy was the fourth double clear with Varoune, but he couldn’t compete with the lightening-fast times of his rivals; Simon Delestre and Chesall Zimequest finished with eight faults after a few problems on the double; the third French jump-off rider, Nicolas Delmotte and Ilex VP, also wound up with four faults, just like Germany’s Zoe Osterhoff on her gelding Ferrari VDL. The jump-off finished with the double clear of the Kaiser, Ludger Beerbaum and Cool Feeling, who clearly opted for a clear round rather than trying to go fast.

Tomorrow, the seventh edition of the Longines Athina Onassis Horse Show will come to an end with two unmissable classes: the second half of the Global Champions League at 2pm and the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix at 5.25pm. Who will follow in the footsteps of Jessica Springsteen? All will be revealed tomorrow!