FEI European individual champion Roger Yves Bost thrilled the home crowd at Lyon to win the latest Longines FEI World Cup Jumping leg at the weekend.
And Bost made another little piece of equestrian history when he was the first French rider to win the World Cup Jumping qualifier in Lyon – and on the show’s 20th anniversary.
In a competition that sizzled with excitement from beginning to end, it came down to a 14-horse jump-off against the clock in which the 49-year-old rider and his 10-year-old horse Qoud’Coeur de la Loge snatched victory from the grasp of Dutch veteran Wout-Jan van der Schans and Capetown.
The success was all the more special for Bost as his winning ride is by his great former campaigner, the stallion Ideal de la Loge. And in a field sparkling with quality combinations for the third leg of the Western European League, it was Germany’s Hans-Dieter Dreher and Embassy ll who slotted into third ahead of The Netherlands’ Gerco Schroder and Cognac Champblanc in fourth place.
A total of 18 countries were represented by the 40 starters, and course-designer Frank Rothenberger’s first-round track certainly presented a significant jumping test. Maximum-height verticals and oxers were spread all around the arena, but, arguably, the final decorative white planks produced some of the biggest surprises of the day when the top three riders in the current Longines world rankings all went out of contention.
The statistics spoke for themselves, with seven riders opting to retire in round one, including former Olympic and FEI World Cup champion Rodrigo Pessoa from Brazil (Status), Australian star Edwina Tops-Alexander (Old Chap Tame) and Spain’s Sergio Alvarez-Moya (Action-Breaker). But no-one would have expected that current World no. 1 Scott Brash from Great Britain with his London 2012 Olympic team gold-medal-winning ride Hello Sanctos, World no. 2 Ludger Beerbaum and his European team silver-medal-winning ride Chiara, and world no 3, fellow-German and three-time FEI World Cup Jumping champion Marcus Ehning partnering the spectacular Cornado NRW, would all sail around the track only to fall foul of the final obstacle.
Jump-off pathfinder Wout-Jan van der Schans set them a blistering target when clear in 37.24 seconds with Capetown.
And, fourth to go, Germany’s Hans-Dieter and Embassy ll had a great crack at it with the extravagant 13-year-old horse giving the fences plenty of air but still returning a good time of 38.41 seconds to slot temporarily into second. Bost’s round changed everything however.
The Frenchman started out to a roar of “allez Bosty” from the sidelines, and “allez” he most certainly did, with his French-bred horse answering his every question along the way. For anyone who watched this rider at his best with Ideal de la Loge there was a sense of deja vu, and he was very aware of that himself. “He’s very similar to Ideal, not just physically but in his attitude as well,” Bost said afterwards. “He loves to go fast, just like his father, but he is easier in the mouth,” he said after posting the new target of 36.82.
Bost talked about Qoud’Coeur de la Loge who, just last weekend, won the 3-Star Grand Prix at St Lo in France. “He is a horse with huge potential and we are carefully planning his career. I want to save him a bit as well, choosing the shows he goes to, but I’m super-confident about his future and very happy with him,” he said.
The next leg will take place in Verona, Italy on Sunday, November 9.
Result: 1, Qoud’Coeur de la Loge (Roger Yves Bost) FRA 0/0 36.82; 2, Capetown (Wout-Jan van der Schans) NED 0/0 37.24; 3, Embassy ll (Hans-Dieter Dreher) GER 0/0 38.41; 4, Cognac Champblanc (Gerco Schroder) NED 0/0 44.38; 5, Qlassic Bois Margot (Simon Delestre) 0/4 35.89; 6, Ohlala (Lauren Hough) USA 0/4 36.54; 7, Casall Ask (Rolf-Goran Bengtsson) SWE 0/4 37.67; 8, Admirable (Marie Etter-Pellegrin) SUI 0/4 38.12; 9, Dream of India Greenfield (Pieter Devos) BEL 0/4 39.34; 10, Dimaro vd Looise Heide (Dag Ove Kingsrod) NOR 0/4 42.97; 11, Diaghilev (Billy Twomey) IRL 0/8 38.42; 12, Pommeau du Heup (Niels Bruynseels)BEL 0/8 40.68; 13, Carinjo HDC (Patrice Delaveau) FRA 0/8 44.20; 14, Reveur de Hurtebise HDC (Kevin Staut) FRA 0/12.
Western European League Standings after Round 3:
- Steve Guerdat SUI – 35
- Jur Vrieling NED – 33
- Kevin Staut FRA – 24
- Marlon Zanotelli BRA – 21
- Harrie Smolders NED – 20
- Roger Yves Bost FRA – 20
- Pius Schwizer SUI – 18
- Marco Kutscher GER – 17
- Martin Fuchs SUI – 17
- Wout-Jan van der Schans NED- 17
- Hans-Dieter Dreher GER – 15
- Christian Ahlmann GER – 15
- Douglas Lindelow SWE – 14
- Gerco Schroder NED – 13
- Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum GER – 13
- Reed Kessler USA – 13