Double victory for Switzerland in the Grand Prix Basel
The Swiss show jumpers excelled themselves in the Longines Grand Prix in Basel. Martin Fuchs aboard Clooney and Werner Muff with Daimler made the double victory true in the main class with a price winning money of 330’000 Swiss Francs. The ban laying on them in the Grand Prix is gone – and this against strong competitors. In the ninth event it came true for the Swiss riders. Never bevor they managed to win the Grand Prix in Basel und this year they finished as first and second. 15 were in the winning round, but Fuchs and Muff put the French Simon Delestre with Chesall on place three. Martin Fuchs earned 100’000 Swiss France and Werner Muff, who had already won the Championat from Basel on Friday, got 75’000 Swiss Francs. Both riders will be representing Switzerland next weekend at the World Cup tournament Leipzig. Also in the rankings where three other Swiss riders: Alain Jufer with Casall (8th), Niklaus Rutschi with Cardano (9th) and Pius Schwizer with About A Dream (13th). The Swiss where – compared to the CSI Geneva – the outstanding nation.
Two Swiss on the podium
The Dutch Harrie Smolders prevented a double victory for Switzerland in the Prize of the Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois. Runner-ups behind the great riding second of the European Championship with Capital Colnardo were Janika Sprunger aboard Ninyon and Werner Muff with Pollendr. Six riders and horses managed the first tricky course with clear rounds in the main class of Saturday with a price winning money of 50’000 Swiss francs. And they managed the jump-off with sanity. “My second place with Ninyon came unexpected” commented Janika Sprunger. “The stallion has not been on this high level a lot up to now. He is a great enhancement.” Werner Muff, winner with Daimler on Friday in the Championat of Basel, was satisfied with his 3rd place. “I had a good feeling with Pollendr. He’s not a horse for the jump-offs. That’s why I rode clean and steady. It was not possible to beat Smolders”. The Dutch is very successful in the past few months. He won the final of the Global Champions Tour in Doha and over one million price wining money, is second in the world ranking and won the Grand Prix in December in Geneva and the world cup class in Mechelen.
Martin Fuchs was the fastest
Riders with the name Fuchs have always been fast, in the past and today. Martin Fuchs goes on with this tradition. The 25-year-old from Wängi in the canton Zürich couldn’t be beaten in the speed class aboard Dubai du Bois Pinchet. It was the fourth victory for the Swiss riders in Basel. Fuchs, who won one million Swiss Francs last year, was more than a second faster with his clear, speedy round as the German Felix Hassmann with Brazonado, who finished as 2nd. And once again the 20-year-old Bryan Balsiger showed a great round. Aboard Poppée de Damwil he was fast with short turns end finished as 4th, this was already his fourth ranking in Basel. Last year’s winner Philipp Züger from Galgenen went clear with his grey stallion Castus, but was not fast enough in the course with 12 obstacles and finished 6th. Martin Fuchs is riding the nine-year-old Dubai du Bois Pinchet since May last year. “The mare is a fighter, special and not easy to ride” was Fuchs’ remark, “and the more hectic she gets, the faster she goes.” It was his third victory in a world ranking class with the Belgian mare. End November he won the Grand Prix at the two-star-tournament in Samorin (Slovakia) and at the CSI Geneva the speed class.
Cardano is Swiss horse of the year
The ten-year-old gelding Cardano, ridden by Niklaus Rutschi from Alberswil and owned by Trudy Graf from Hergiswil, is the Swiss horse of the year. The readers of the equestrian newspaper “PferdeWoche” made this decision with their votes. Cardano, the number one in the stable of the rider from the canton Lucerne, got 52 percent of all votes. Pius Schwizer’s Leonard de la Ferme was 2nd with 31 percent. Cardano was bred by Margrit and Johann Müller from Menznau and convinced quite a few times in 2017. He had his debut in the team in the Nations Cup in Falsterbo with 4 and 0 points and was also an important support in the Nations Cup Final in Barcelona (8+8). The horse was trained by Niklaus Rutschi from the beginning and showed his quality with a 2nd place in the Grand Prix in Lüttich, 3rd in Vermezzo and 4th in the Championat of St. Moritz. Niklaus Rutschi comments his capability: “Cardano has the possibility for the big shows like World- and European Championships and Olympic Games”.
Amateur crown goes to Saskia Kobe
It was an exciting final for the amateurs at the CSI Basel with a price winning money of 25’000 Swiss Francs. Two hundredths of a second meant the victory for the German Saskia Kobe with her Holstein mare Mas que Nada. The Belgian Ignace Philips who lives in Vinovio by Turin (Italy) finished as second abord is white horse Carla Colesta. The husband of the Swiss elite rider Jane Richard Philips was 12 hundredths faster than the best Swiss, Stefan Meierhans from Uster with Alinca dr Etang. Also close to victory was Felix Graf from Solothurn with Alesia de la Cense. But his distance and the chance to win the 6’250 Swiss Francs for the first place was not ideal at the last obstacle.
Werner Muff breaks the spell
Werner Muff, the rider from Seuzach broke the spell. As first Swiss he won a mail class at the CSI Basel. In the jump-off of the “Championat of Basel” he went for the full risk and was rewarded. 44-year-old Muff gave everything in the jump-off over seven obstacles aboard his ten-year-old Dutch Daimler and finished 0,63 seconds faster as the Belgian Olivier Philippaerts and Legend of Love, who also forced the pace. The winner of the golden drum of Basel and the amount of 18’750 Swiss Francs earned this with his great performance. Also, Pius Schwizer convinced with his only nine-year-old mare About A Dream. Not forcing too much from his unexperienced horse, he finished with two clear rounds as 5th. As fastest rider with four points in the jump-off Romain Duguet was 7th with Twentytwo des Biches. He had a fault in the double combination.
Only Ehning faster than Balsiger
WThe experienced German Marcus Ehning (44) knows how to do it. For the first time the three-time World Cup winner won a big glass at the CSI Basel. His French gelding Prêt à Tout was ready to all of it and too fast for all other competitors. With the horse owned by Ruth Krech from Frauenfeld (Switzerland) Ehning was like always very quick and over two seconds faster then all the others. The great surprise came from the 20-year-old Bryan Balsiger from Neuenburg. With Clousot de Lassus the European Champion of the young riders showed a speedy round, went clear and finished as great second. Also, further Swiss were in the rankings. Even though the second of the Word Cup, Romain Duguet fell from his mare Sherazade, but didn’t injure himself. Martin Fuchs finished as 4th with the careful Cool and Easy, which he is riding since a few weeks and is owned by Paul Bücheler. Janika Sprunger convinced with a quick course aboard Aris as 5th. And also, Edwin Smits with Dandiego, Paul Estermann with Lord Pepsi and Jane Richard Philips aboard Dieudonne de Guldenboom stayed clear.
The third victory for Emanuela Gaudino
For the third time in a row the Italian Carabiniere Emanuele Gaudiano won the first world ranking class at the CSI Basel aboard the mare Carlotta, with which he was first last year, he left the rest of the field behind him. Best Swiss was Bryan Balsiger. He was second last in the field of 60 competitors with his already 15-year-old chestnut mare Poppée de Damvil. With a clear and fast round, he finished as 4th, what brought him a price winning money of 3000 Swiss Francs. Also, Pius Schwizer, Martin Fuchs, Niklaus Schurtenberger, Werner Muff, Annina Züger, Edwin Smits and Niklaus Rutschi finished in the rankings with clear rounds. The start of the 9th CSI in the St. Jakobshalle was great for the Swiss riders. The first international class was won by Alain Jufer with his mare Samira. The trainer of the horse trader Gian-Battista Lutta in Lossy was faster than the Dutch Harrie Smolders and Corrada, who finished second.
Accident in the amateur tour
An unfortunate incident happened on the first day of the CSI in the second class of the amateur tour. After jumping the sixth obstacle the Hanoverian mare Gleen Love ridden by André Jufer and owned by Claudia Landwerth, injured herself. According to the veterinarian Daria Stöcker the mare showed an acute highly lameness with the suspicion of a fracture. For detailed diagnostic evaluation the horse was taken to the vet clinic in Zürich.