Riding 14-year-old Holsteiner stallion Carinjo HDC (Cascavelle x Landgraf), Delaveau was the first clear round to make it into the second round. Six out of the first ten in the first round’s order of go knocked down the rail at the eleventh jump in the twelve-obstacle course designed by Luc Musette (BEL), warning the later riders to protect the approach to the penultimate fence.
At the first round’s end, seventeen clear rounds were invited to return for the second round. A new 1.60-meter course was set, and the riders walked the course before riding in a new order. Kirsten Coe (USA) riding 11-year-old mare California was the first to attempt the condensed design and recorded an early clear, but her time of 39.69 seconds couldn’t hold the lead.
Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS), Christian Ahlmann (GER), Francesco Franco (ITA), Jack Towell (USA), and Quentin Judge (USA) also recorded double clears, but the battle for first and second boiled down to the Frenchman and America’s McLain Ward.
“I would’ve liked to have had one less stride to the third jump,” Ward said about his round on 13-year-old gelding HH Carlos Z (Chellano Z x Voltaire). His time was only .02 seconds slower than Delaveau’s 35.83 seconds.
“This is a great day,” said Delaveau, following his second win of the day. “It would be great if it continues until tomorrow’s Longines Grand Prix class.”
“The second round, with 17 riders to go, we don’t have the choice but to go fast,” he continued. “The design was made in the way that you have to go if you want to win. This was great for my horse because there were some places you needed to gallop to cover the distance but also there were tiny turns, and my horse is very agile. He doesn’t have a big stride, but he’s really fast on the ground.”
“The setting here at the show has evolved, changed,” Delaveau added. “Christophe Ameeuw has again tried to innovate a little bit, and it is always a pleasure to go to an event which is moving forward like this!”
Follow along as Delaveau attempts to upset John Whitaker’s (GBR) quest to win the €500,000 with a win the Longines Grand Prix. The headlining class begins at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.