Three-time series champion, Steve Guerdat, galloped to victory with Victorio des Frotards in the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ 2019/2020 Western European League qualifier on home ground at Basel in Switzerland today. (FEI/Richard Juillart)
By Louise Parkes
In the 90th World Cup competition of his spectacular career, three-time series champion Steve Guerdat galloped to victory with Victorio des Frotards in the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ 2019/2020 Western European League qualifier on home ground at Basel in Switzerland today.
Despite a tough first-round test from ace German course designer Frank Rothenberger, this tenth leg of the league saw 15 of the 40 starters make the cut into the jump-off so it was never going to be an easy one to win. But the man who claimed individual Olympic gold in 2012 and his third World Cup title in Gothenburg (SWE) last season left the rest in his wake, with Frenchman Julien Epaillard coming closest for runner-up spot with Queeletta ahead of Belgium’s Pieter Devos and Apart in third.
Today’s success meant a lot to Guerdat who, as 2020 began, slipped just one place from the No 1 spot he held in the world rankings throughout 2019. He was clearly delighted as he kissed his French fiancee Fanny Skalli and their French bulldog, Crapule, with equal enthusiasm when he saw the result go up on the scoreboard.
“It’s special for a whole combination of reasons – a win close to home at a show that has never been good for me before. I never won or placed in the main classes here so I wasn’t expecting much, but on Friday we had an amazing win in the Grand Prix. I wasn’t sure about running Victorio again today but he was really fresh, so to end up winning makes it super and he was brilliant in the jump-off!”, said Steve Guerdat.