Simply the Best!

Simply the Best! There are legends, and then there is John Whitaker! The amazing partnership of John and the game Arko stallion Argento outpaced some of the best horse and rider combinations in the world to take the Longines Grand Prix at the Longines Athina Onassis Horse Show in St Tropez.

Ten of the 43 starters produced initial clears, and they were joined by three riders on one time fault and five of the fastest four faulters for 18 to come forward to the second round. Only five reached the third and final round, with Christian Ahlmann on Taloubet Z taking the lead from Kevin Staut’s For Joy Van’t Zorgvliet HDC. Simon Delestre chased hard to sandwich Qlassic Bois Margot in between them. Jeroen Dubbledam posted eight faults on Carusso LS La Silla to put them out of contention.

Then it was down to last to go John and Argento. The great man was quoted in Rome as feeling no pressure and these days is out to enjoy it. It made him no less competitive, and he guided the 14-year-old Argento around the big, imposing track, shaving 0.09 sec off the time to take a magnificent and truly popular victory. The win netted them a handsome 132,000 euro.Claire Beecroft eased Vanda Cartier into second in the 2* 1.25m speed, the Lord Z/Rubert R 10-year-old some 2.33 sec behind the winner. Tess Carmichael and Atlantis PP Z finished fifth with Claire also sixth on Burgana.Imogen Beecroft and the 15-year-old Untouchable took 11th in the 1.15m. Jane Davies and Eclips Van Erpekom incurred four faults in round one of the 2* 1.45m to drop down the line.

Photo © LAOHS