An extremely tough first round course set by Germany’s Frank Rothenberger saw just three combinations managing to jump clear. Allen and Molly Malone posted the first clear round when 11th to jump and it looked for a while that they might even take the winners prize without the need for a jump-off, as one-by-one, some of the world’s best combinations failed to keep the fences intact.
It wasn’t until Penelope Leprevost (FRA) jumped clear when seventh last to go with Vagabond de la Pomme that a jump-off was assured and Australia’s Edwina Tops-Alexander added her name to the list of contenders when she guided California to a clear when last to go in the first round.
Allen had the disadvantage of being drawn first to go in the decider and he posted an extremely fast time of 39.20 seconds with the 13-year-old daughter of Kannan but unfortunately the penultimate fence fell to the floor. Leprevost and Vagabond de la Pomme almost lifted the glass roof off the stunning Grand Palais when they took the lead with a clear in 41.44. However Tops-Alexander and California then shaved .08 of a second off the target while keeping the poles standing, to take victory and over €132,000. Leprevost took home €80,000 for second place while Bertram Allen collected €60,000 for finishing third on the podium.
Meanwhile at the Spanish Sunshine Tour in Vejer De La Frontera, Co Down’s Dermott Lennon and Judith Sossick’s Irish Sport Horse mare Loughview Lou-Lou also took third place on the podium in the four star Grand Prix. A double clear round in a time of 42.75 saw them collect €15,000, with victory going to Britain’s Guy Williams riding Depardieu Van’t Kiezelhof (41.28).
BREEDING: Loughview Lou Lou (ISH) – 2002 mare by Limmerick (HOLST) out of Loughview Diamond Lucy (ISH), by Jack Of Diamonds (ID C1). Owner/Bred by Judith Sossick, Co. Antrim. Rider: Dermott Lennon (IRL)