Brits are out of luck in Leipzig as Gregory Wathelet takes centre stage

The Brits were out of luck on the final day at Leipzig and both Scott Brash (pictured) and Michael Whitaker failed to reach the jump-off of the FEI world cup 1.55m grand prix. Scott and Ursula XII posted four faults to drop to 26th and Michael on Cassionato returned on nine.

British-based Irishman Shane Breen came home on four with Golden Hawk for 24th. Sixteen contended the jump-off, won by the late round of Belgium’s Gregory Wathelet on Coree with a slender 0.17 sec over France’s Kevin Staut in second on Reveur de Hurtebise HDC.

“Coree is amazing but she is only at the beginning of her career. Sometimes I lose her a little bit when I go fast, but today I had a good feeling as there were plenty of turns and everything came up just right for us,” said Gregory, who got this Cornet Obolensky 11-year-old three years ago.

“I’m lucky to have her, she was initially for sale but my owner Judith Goelkel, who has eight horses with me, bought and we’ve taken time to bring her along. I was planning to give her a rest, but now we’ll see of we can go to the Final – it’s my first goal for 2017.”

Gregory now takes 10th place on leaderbpard but Kevin is the undisputed leader of the western European league after 10 of the 13 legs on 78 points, 18 ahead of second-placed Lorenzo de Luca of Italy. Denis Lynch is in third and best Brit is Scott in 11th on 35 points.

In Drachten 5*, Holland, James Billington eased the Berlin/Nimmerdor eight-year-old Comfortuna VDL into 12th with a double clear in the young horse 1.35/1.40m final.

Four faults put James and Celena VDL out of the running in the 1.40m and a rail on the floor dropped the Cartani/Lord stallion VDL Cartello down to 15th in the world ranking grand prix. Only eight of 52 reached the jump-off, won by a late round from the Netherlands’ Marc Houtzager on Sterrehof’s Calimero by 0.92 sec over Germany’s Felix Hassmann and Cayenne WZ.

Photo © Eventsthroughalens