“I had no choice ! »Mathieu Billot
A magnificent Longines Grand Prix of the Région Normandie ended Sunday with the victory of Mathieu Billot and Shiva d’Amaury. Out of the 60 combinations entered in the 1.50m class at the Longines Deauville Classic, nine managed to qualify for the jump-off, and the rider from Calvados and his twelve-year-old mount raced to the finish line to edge out Guy Williams on Rouge de Ravel and Kevin Staut on Vendôme d’Anchat by just a few hundredths of a second.
On course designer Gregory Bodo’s challenging track at the Deauville International Equestrian Complex, the horses and riders had 77 seconds to make it over the 13 fences and 16 efforts rising to 1.50 m. A time limit which would prove to be a little tight, as 27 combinations ended up being penalized for time exceeded. The opening rider in the jump-off, Edward Levy, had a fast but relatively safe round in 43”60. Following him, Tony Hanquinquant and the Brazilian Luiz Francisco de Azevedo left the arena with two faults each, while Jean-François Rondoux took down the last vertical.
Indeed, the Deauville public had to wait for Kevin Staut and his promising Vendôme d’Anchat*HDC to drop the score-to-beat by more than two seconds (41”10). Cheered on by the large crowd on hand, the pair thus took the lead in the provisional standings. However the star rider would hang on to it for only a few seconds – just the time necessary for Mathieu Billot to shave off a stride between the second and third jump-off fences and further lower the top time by one full second (40”10). “There was an important choice to make regarding distance. As Kevin had chosen six strides, I had no choice but to try to do five to be faster. But those five strides were really long!, commented the Frenchman, adding: “I am happy that my horse is coming back strong after the small problems we encountered in Aachen. This is a great competition and I want to thank the organisers for this nice weekend in Deauville.” After Billot’s torrid round in the tie-breaking round, Titouan Schumacher and Italian Piergiorgio Bucci both incurred two faults. Last to start and already a winner twice this weekend, Great Britain’s Guy Wiliams did his utmost to dethrone the Norman, but to no avail. In the end, Williams crossed the finish line with a clear round but in a time of “only” 41’’02, nevertheless leaving him with a superb second place.
CSI1* : The double for Kirstie Leightley in the Grand Prix CWD
The CSI1* of the Longines Deauville Classic ended this morning with the CWD Grand Prix at 1.30 m, which the ladies dominated, treading the first five places. If the French held the lead at the start of the barrage at seventeen, the British Kirstie Leightley, already victorious last year, finally signed the best time in 36”09.
Very touched to have achieved this beautiful double by winning the Grand Prix for the second year in a row, Kirstie Leightley did not hide his happiness on the track. “I am super happy. Last year, I won with another horse, but Igor van de Dorpshoeve belongs to the same owners, Lillebec stud farm, located nearby. I’m really happy to win here again this year for them! ” smiled the young rider, before adding, “For sure I will be back next year!”. Also very regular since the beginning of the weekend, the Brazilian Monika Guillon and her pretty Kwikly took the second place with a jump in 36”52, just in front of the Swiss Jennifer Meylan with Ravena LS la Silla (36”72 ). The best French performance is for Marie-Eugénie Angles, fourth on Ultramarine (37”44).
The Calvados Department Prize for young riders!
Also played this morning, the Prix du Departement Calvados, rated at 1.20 m, brought together seventy-three couples. The youngest riders entered the CSI 1* have finally won in this event judged in two phases. After winning the opening round on Friday, 14-year-old Éden Leprevost Blin-Lebreton made the fastest run (27”89), ahead of Belgian Luiz Felipe Neto of Azevedo (28”15), thirteen years old and very successful in Deauville since he participated in three award ceremonies this weekend! In third place, there is another champion girl, Marion Navet, twenty-one, who completed a perfect course in 28”34 with Tanel.
Bohemian Lerchenberg wins the Grand Prix for seven-year-olds
To close out four days of competition at the Longines Deauville Classic Sunday, the seven-year-old horses at the International Equestrian Complex faced off in the 1.30 m Planet Sushi Grand Prix. A final round won by Bohème Lerchenberg, ridden by Régis Bouguennec.
Thanks to a double-clear round completed in 40”09, Bohème Lerchenberg, a daughter of Con Air, finished the class more than a second ahead of Lord de Muze (41”61), a son of Nabab de Rêve ridden by Mathieu Billot – winner this afternoon of the Longines Grand Prix of the Région Normandie. Very consistent throughout the weekend, the powerful Le Coultre de Muze (42”04) was third with Olympic champion Philippe Rozier. In this 12-rider jump-off, Pénélope Leprevost was the top female finisher, thanks to her fourth place on Big Star des Forêts, a daughter of Untouchable M, and sixth place on Sandro Boy’s son, Beautyboy des Brumes.
See you in 2019!
Wrapping up this second edition of the Longines Deauville Classic, Vincent Goehrs, the event director, thanked all the partners and volunteers who had worked to make the event such a success. “This second edition is a real success. The riders, through their presence in such large numbers, have once again shown their confidence in our ability to organise high-quality competitions. Of course, it must be remembered that none of this would be possible without the support of our partners – Longines, the Normandy Region, the Calvados Department and the City of Deauville, in particular. And once again, the International Equestrian Complex hosted a very nice weekend of sport. Finally, I would like to thank all the volunteers who invested so much in this event and gave their maximum every day for the comfort of horses and riders, as well as welcoming the public and ensuring the smooth running of all the competitions.” “Nearly 15,000 visitors joined us this weekend to encourage the combinations in the arena,” he added, “and I hope that they will be even more numerous next year!” The rendezvous is set, then, for the third edition of the Longines Deauville
Classic in 2019!
About the Pôle international du Cheval/Deauville International Equestrian Complex
Created in 2010, the Pôle, which contributes to the economic development of the equine sector and the territory, is a unique place of sharing and meetings in Normandy. It has upscale and functional infrastructure and equipment, offering a wide range of activities and opportunities for both professionals and amateurs.
Based in Saint-Imier, Switzerland since 1832, Longines has developed a savoir-faire forged in tradition, elegance and performance. With its long experience as a timekeeper at world championships and partner of international federations, Longines has created strong and lasting links within the world of sport. Renowned for the elegance of its timepieces, Longines is a member of Swatch Group S.A., the world’s largest watchmaking group. With its winged hourglass emblem, the brand is today established in more than 150 countries.
GRANDPRIX is a leading international media, events and audiovisual company specialized in equestrian sports. The group publishes GRANDPRIX MAGAZINE, GRANDPRIX HEROES (bilingual French/English), and EQ magazines. In addition, GRANDPRIX-REPLAY.COM covers equestrian sports news each day in seven languages for a worldwide audience. In the audiovisual sphere, GRANDPRIX TV offers more than two million videos on demand, and broadcasts more than 200 national and international events annually, as well as exclusive programs and reports. Finally, GRANDPRIX EVENT organizes the GRANDPRIX CLASSIC Spring Break and GRANDPRIX CLASSIC Summer Tour competitions at the beautiful Grand Parquet de Fontainebleau site near Paris, as well as the LONGINES DEAUVILLE CLASSIC at the International Equestrian Complex in Deauville, on the coast of Normandy. In 2018, GRANDPRIX EVENT will organize the LONGINES FEI EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS for Young Riders, Juniors and Children in the three Olympic disciplines – Jumping, Eventing and Dressage – at Fontainebleau.