Euro Update: Local Hero Marc Boblet Rules at CDI Saumur

French Olympic team rider and local hero Marc Boblet aced the big tour at the CDI Saumur hosted at the French National Equestrian Academy in Saumur, France. Aboard Whitni Star, a Belgian warmblood by Pik Solo x Latano, Boblet won the Grand Prix with 71.45% and Kur to Music with 74%. Boblet discovered Whitni Star in Belgium in the stables of Stefan van Ingelgem.

Photo copyrighted: Dirk Caremans

The win in the Grand Prix Special was for Carl Hester on his new ride Liebling II on their first outing. Hester took over the ride on Donald McTaggart’s 11-year-old gelding by Lorentin a mere 20 days ago. Anna Ross-Davies trained the horse up to grand prix level and Ross-Davies and “Lenny” achieved Britain’s best placing at the 2007 European Championships.

Hester said: “Anna and I have been texting each other throughout the competition and I have really appreciated her input to get the best out of him. You have got to say that he is a well-trained horse, bearing in mind that it takes normally a year to develop a partnership. We cruised through the grand prix on normal power and I tapped him for a bit more in the special. He didn’t put a foot wrong. He has a lot of natural talent and it is a privilege to ride such a willing horse.”

Hester enjoyed further success with his treble winner at the recent national championships, TMovistar. He won the intermediaire I freestyle on 72.8% and took the runner-up slots in the inter I and prix st georges with the eight-year-old stallion by Jazz.

“He was a little tired after the nationals and not at his best in the first two tests, so my physio came out to France on the Friday and on Saturday he was back to normal, wowing the judges. He must be the most aptly-named horse in British dressage and to think he only has only competed in three or four PSGs,” said Carl (View Scores)

Stefan van Ingelgem, 2008 Belgian Dressage Champion

Stefan van Ingelgem won the Grand Prix title at the 2008 Belgian Dressage Championships held in Herentals, Belgium, September 26-28, 2008. Aboard the Belgian warmblood stallion Whitney van 't Waaihof (by Ferro), Van Ingelgem won all three rounds and led with a 10% point difference to silver medallist Francoise Hologne Joux on her 18-year old Czech warmblood Born. Jeroen Devroe finished in bronze medal position with his young Grand Prix horse Apollo van het Vijverhof.

"This is the apex of a successful season," Van Ingelgem said. "Whitney gave me a super feeling. He was hot but under control. It was our freshest freestyle of the season. In Aachen, I had scored 73% and now I was hoping for a little bit more. We got 74,75% for the kur and won the Belgian Championships."

Van Ingelgem's black stallion Whitney van 't Waaihof recently sold to a Belgian sponsor who initially wanted to stay anonimous. His identity has now been revealed and it concerns Bart van Malderen, son of the founder and ceo of one of Belgium's biggest companies, Ontex, which produces hygiene products. Van Malderen's new partner Tereza is a horse fanatic and inspired Van Malderen to invest in an international Grand Prix horse.

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