The 62-year old legendary British rider, John
Whitaker, and his 13 year old horse, Argento, won the Gucci Gold
Cup in Hong Kong on Saturday, with a winning time of 40.70
Jessica Mendoza, an 18-year old rising star, drew admiring gasps
from the crowd as she galloped into second place on Spirit T with
a time of 41.32, closely followed by another win for the UK as
current world number 1, Scott Brash, finished third with Hello
Annie, achieving a time of 41.46.
The class took place over two rounds. Firstly,
riders were challenged with jumping the course, designed with
fences up to 1.50m. The slowest were eliminated to allow the the
top ten fastest riders to battle it out in the second round.
Whitaker commented on beating Mendoza, “She is
very good and fast, and hard to beat. She was on my tail and had
me a bit worried there for a while.”
Earlier in the day at the Longines Hong Kong
Masters 2015, the Laiterie De Montaigu
Trophy took place; a mesmerising competition allowing for
absolutely no faults. As riders felt the pressure in the first
round, only 7 out of 20 made it through. It was Belgium’s Pieter
Devos who skillfully triumphed to loud applause from the supportive
crowd, with a remarkable time of 32.33 seconds and no penalties.
Devos held off six other riders in the jump-off to win the CSI5*
Table A 1.45m event, on 12-year-old gelding Equipharma Dax van ‘Dabdijhoev.
Germany’s Marco Kutscher finished second place
on van Gogh, with zero penalties and a time of 32.60 seconds,
and in third place, Dutch rider Maikel van der Vleuten, aboard VDL
Groep Eureka, also with zero penalties and a time of 33.15.
The UK’s Michael Whitaker, the Ukraine’s
Katharina Offel and European Champion Roger Yves Bost were also
placed in the highly competitive class.
Today (Sunday), the Massimo Dutti Trophy, a race against the clock
will take place, as will the the grand finale, The Longines
Grand Prix, the competition worth the highest prize value -an
Pictures from Longines Hong Kong Masters 2013.
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