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Wathelet Speeds To First Class Win In Monaco
Release date: 23/06/2017
Photo: LGCT / Stefano Grasso
Gregory Wathelet (BEL) walked away with a stylish win in today’s CIS5* class at the Longines Global Champions Tour in Monaco. [You can read more about the first round here] Following an initial solid clear, he notched up an impressively rapid round in the jump off, showcasing real skill and talent with his 9 year old bay stallion Eldorado van het Vijverhof, stopping the clock at 30.72s.
Taking his trophy, Wathelet said, "It’s always a good feeling winning a class, especially when it is the biggest class of the day. I did three strides less than Simon, and my horse jumped really, really well. I’m very happy.”
A large jump-off field with sixteen of the best horses in the world meant that it was very tight between those at the top. Just a tenth of a second behind Wathelet, France’s Simon Delestre used his quick and strategic thinking to earn the number two spot with Chesall Zimequest.
The smallest arena on the Tour demanded that riders laid down some quick and strategic thinking from the off, and there was plenty of movement through the jump off as riders pushed for podium finishes. Daniel Deusser had enough to make it with SX Hidalgo v to come third with 31.21s, and whilst Kevin Staut (FRA) looked fast to the crowd, a couple of extra strides from Ayade de Septon et HDC meant he was left with fourth.
Whilst Scott Brash (GBR) led the field into the jump off with the enthusiastic Hello Annie, it was not meant to be, as he took a pole earning him four faults and no place in the final six.
Fifth meanwhile went to Marlon Módolo Zanotelli from Brazil, with Pieter Devos with Apart coming sixth.
But it was Gregory who stole the show, after shaving valuable seconds off the corners, galloping throughout the course to stop the clock in 30.72s, just tenths away from the rest of the world class field.
The final class in the opening day of the LGCT of Monaco, is the Longines Pro-Am Cup, which takes place at 20:45 local time.