There was a guarantee of much excitement today because, in the CSI5* Gaston Glock’s Championat of this GLOCK’s 5-star Season Opening at the GHPC Austria, it wasn’t only about important points for the World Ranking list of show jumpers: a prize purse totalling 94,000 euros made victory in this jumping test over 1.55 m the most desirable of objectives for the 45 nominated contestants. Not only the dynamics of the line to be followed and the dimensions of this selective competition over two rounds but also the names of the riders and horses on the list of starters underlined the value of what was at stake.
“The level in this category is naturally very high, and the course is correspondingly challenging”, commented Olympic silver medallist, World and European Champion GLOCK Rider Gerco Schröder after viewing the course. “The obstacles follow in rapid sequence and leave scarcely any room for error or irregularity.”
The trick of gaining a much coveted “double-zero” was achieved by 14 duos, and eleven could then progress to contest the top prize of 23,500 euros in the winning round. The excited spectators did not have to wait long for the first clear round of this shortened course, because Austria’s number one, Max Kühner (T), riding Alfa Jordan, completed a dream round in 40.61 seconds. It was a performance that ultimately achieved fourth place.
However in this CSI5* Gaston Glock’s Championat the last starter, Malin Baryard-Johnsson from Sweden, found the most successful mix of rhythm, speed and tight turns. The silver-medallist in the 2004 Olympic Games and team silver-medallist in the World Equestrian Games 2018 crossed the finishing line on H&M Indiana in 39.21 seconds, thus making herself the well deserved Gaston Glock’s Championesse 2019. “I got the turns in the second round just right and I guess this was what was decisive in the end. I am really very proud of my horse”, said the beaming female rider, revealing that she will also saddle H&M Indiana tomorrow in the GLOCK’s 5* Grand Prix with prize money totalling 344,000 euros.
Thirty-six-year-old British rider Robert Whitaker and his ten-year-old stallion El Wee Widge proved themselves by coming second (0/39.60) and third place went to the number 36 in the world, Olivier Philippaerts (BEL) who, with H&M Cue Channa 42, also remained penalty-free (0/40.07).