Global Champions Tour - Michel Robert's Revenge

Yesterday, the podium of the GCT Grand Prix by EADS had an entirely feminine occupancy. Today, on the other hand, it was not only strictly masculine, but also strictly French. Michel Robert won the Grand Prix Equidia de Chantilly with Kellemoi de Pepita. It was a beautiful final scene on the last of three days packed with sportive emotions.

After the female riders had clearly taken over yesterday’s GCT Grand Prix, the French have pulled up their sleeves and worked hard in order to ensure a breath-taking spectacle during a wonderful jump-off of twelve (strictly male) riders: The French men made up half of the finalists! Michel Robert had to make up for his performance in the Grand Prix EADS: “Yesterday, I finished 19th and I was the first one to not be qualified for the second round of the Global Tour. I wanted to win that class, but it evidently didn’t work out – so I had to win the Grand Prix Equidia today.”

And the class was over rather quickly, too. The moment that Michel et Kellemoi entered the arena, two French riders – Roger-Yvest Bost (Nifrane de Kreisker) and Simon Delestre (Mélodie Ardente) were ahead, Bosty - who has a reputation for going fast - being only 4 tenths of a second ahead of Simon. “But I don’t mind going fast, either”, laughs Michel Robert. “My mare knows how to speed, as well! I was rather afraid of making a fault! Recently I had been walking on a small path of misfortune, making a range of 4 faults, or having material-based incidents like in Aachen… I had to be patient, now it paid off.”

Just like all the other riders who discovered this “new version” of the Chantilly show jumping, the French champion is marveled at the quality of the event: “I had been to Chantilly only once before, and I won the national Grand Prix with Olympia. When Edouard de Rothschild told me that he had the intention of constructing a new arena in Chantilly in order to make it an attractive destination for the Global Champions Tour, I immediately consented to the idea, convinced of the success of this project.”

Today, the 4.000 seats of the tribune were filled, while the chargeable space added 1.200 spectators, not to forget the small audience that was dispersed around the arena to watch the spectacle. In total, some 6.200 people were shouting encouragement for the French riders today: “I felt that the audience was expecting a French victory today and they really helped me achieve my goal.”

Results Grand Prix Equidia CSI*****
1- Michel ROBERT with Kellemoi de Pepita   00.00  35.33
2- Roger-Yves BOST with Nifrane de Kreisker  00.00   36.32
3- Simon DELESTRE with Melodie Ardente   00.00   36.73
4- Albert ZOER with Uraguay   00.00 37.34
5- Eric VAN DER VLEUTEN with VDL Groep Kaid  00.00  37.51
6- Bernardo ALVES with Vancouver d’Auvray  00.00  37.54
7- Julien EPAILLARD with Mister Davier   00.00   37.81
8- Leopold VAN ASTEN with VDL Groep Santana  00.00  38.18

Complete results: