Never before has a woman won a Grand Prix in Chantilly. In the first edition of the “five star” jumping, women have taken the podium by assault. Today the American Laura Kraut celebrates her first victory in the Global Champions Tour, having outrun Pénélope Leprévost and Australian Edwina Alexander.
Marwan Lahoud, the vice president of this Grand Prix’s partner EADS, is also an expert on equestrian matters. Being a rider himself, he has his own opinion on the “feminization” of showjumping: “In this sport there is no battle of the sexes. Everyone has the same chances and those three women are excellent riders. Men and women are equally armed with their own trump cards in this sport.”
It has evidently been “women’s day” in Chantilly. Laura Kraut in particular was beaming: “I was chasing after this GCT victory for so long, and now I finally made it. And what a horse Cedric is! He was so relaxed in the big arena, after having already spent a week in the great arena of Aachen. And thumbs up for Uliano Vezzani, the course designer. He did an amazing job today, letting but ten riders without faults through the filter of the first round, where as there were 22 in Aachen last week – and that’s supposed to be the toughest competition of the world!”
Pénélope Leprévost (Mylord Carthago*HN) has achieved her best individual outdoor result, but she stays true to herself, and modest as always: “I was very lucky in the second round and I still have to learn to be faster in a jump-off. When I look at Marcus Ehning’s courses (who yet finished 7th today) I still have a lot of work to do.”
Edwina was also happy, especially after Itot’s refusing in the Grand Prix of Aachen: “That incident is obviously in the past, Itot has moved on.”
Those three princesses have enchanted all of the 6.500 spectators of this Grand Prix as well as Jan Tops, the director of the Global Champions Tour, who is still delighted to have chosen Chantilly for his circuit: “One just has to listen to the riders, they are dithyrambic. And Gérard Manzinali, the director of this show, is an excellent partner. It’s a great competition!”
This great competition will go on tomorrow with the Grand Prix Equidia, a sort of revenge where the riders take out their “reserve” horses. A revenge of the men?
Complete results: http://www.globalchampionstour.com/events/2010/chantilly/results
Program Sunday 25th July:
8.30 am: Prix Savelys CSI***** 1,45m Table A against the with one jump off - 20 000 €
3.15 pm: Grand Prix Equidia CSI*****, 1,50m – Table A against the with one jump off - 50 000 €