There is a friendly and relaxed mood in the Village Prestige this afternoon. Riders take the time to stroll around, chat a little and unwind at the Bar Lounge. They play ball when it comes to selfies with an enthusiastic public delighted to get a chance to rub shoulders with the champions.
In the arena it is a very different story and the riders battled it out fiercely for a few seconds' advantage. And it's been full of surprises as the winner was not a top favorite - in fact Urzo d’Iso is only a seven-year-old.
"I hold him back but I know he's naturally very fast," his discreet rider, Guillaume Foutrier, confides. "And very competitive. The atmosphere does not bother him at all and the joker at 1.50 m posed no problem whatsoever. I tightened the corners to prepare him for what was coming up as best I could without upsetting him. I mounted him 'for him'. It's others that make the rankings."
This sweet victory in Paris has delighted Urzo d’Iso's owners, Jean-Baptiste and Eugénie Gallen, who have been dreaming of it for months. "We bought him at the beginning of the year and we have great faith in him. Guillaume rode his father, Number One d’Iso and the similarities are striking," they said.
And as an aside, the happy owners are also official suppliers of the Longines Masters!
All results of the class are available here