Twin Win! Amazing Shared Swiss Victory in €345,000 5* Grand Prix in Austria
Steve Guerdat and Corbinian: 0 penalties, 49.43 seconds. Martin Fuchs and Clooney 51: 0 penalties, 49.43 seconds.
It is rare enough that two horse-and-rider pairs finish in an exact tie for first place in a CSI 5* jump-off. When you add in the fact that the two riders are from the same country, are close friends, training partners and neighbours, and that their horses are both 11 years old and have the same father and owner, the result is all the more impressive.
That was the situation in the 1.60m Glock 5* Grand Prix this weekend in Treffen, Austria, where World No.14 Steve Guerdat and No.18 Martin Fuchs of Switzerland triumphed in a totally synchronized manner in the eight-duo jump-off tiebreaker at the elite competition.
Indeed, among the starting riders in Austria for this marquee event were eight Olympic Champions, eight World Champions, 18 European Champions, four World Cup winners and 37 riders from among the current top 100 in the world. And the show jumping competition at the Glock Horse Performance Center offered not only a lucrative prize purse but also World Ranking list points and qualification opportunities for the 2017 European Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden and the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina, USA.
Ireland’s Cian O’Connor capped off a great weekend of two 5* star victories of his own with two different horses, coming in third in the Grand Prix with Skyhorse, son of Quidam de Revel (0 penalties and a time of 50.36 seconds.) And in Treffen, even the two winning Grand Prix riders were a bit dumbfounded by what had happened.
“It’s wonderful to be heading home as the winner of a five-star Grand Prix,” said Guerdat. “But this victory is indeed very special. Martin and I have been friends for such a long time, we train together and live just a few minutes apart. The value of this can’t be weighed against prize money.” Fuchs added: “The podium was my goal, but the fact that it was enough for victory is fantastic of course. I just can’t believe that Steve and I were able to win ex aequo. As I rode across the finishing line, I saw the “1” light up against both of us on the display. That was incredible. What’s more, for me this was the first 5* Grand Prix win with Clooney, and he couldn’t have been better.”