In an eight-horse jump-off, Germany’s Daniel Deusser knew he’d have to do something a little crazy to win, and the idea didn’t come to him until he was entering the arena aboard Equita van T Zorgvliet.
“I decided that if I had a good jump at the vertical (second fence) then I’d cut inside (the double), and that would give me time to get control going down to the last!”
He must have gotten the jump he wanted, because he made the heart-stopping short cut and left the jumps in the cups.
Course designer Frank Rothenberger put his competitors through their paces, opening the course with a max-height vertical that claimed many victims and stopped plenty of world class riders from heading into the final round.
In the jump-off, Frenchman Olivier Robert started things off with a clear and a time of 44.57, which would ultimately leave him fifth. Denis Lynch of Ireland popped him out of the lead, as did Swiss Romain Duguet.
World #2 Simon Delestre strode into the arena aboard Chesall looking to bring home a win on home turf for the French spectators, but the stallion slammed on the brakes going into the double when the rollback turn to the element seemed too short for Chesall to absorb.
Daniel would not be deterred by this shocking turn of events as he waited at the in-gate, sticking to his daring plan of attack and taking the lead which no one else would catch. Kevin Staut of France followed his lead and had a better time, but couldn’t leave the jumps to ultimately finish 11th. Lorenzo De Luca was last, finishing clear and ending in fifth place.
It was a huge and impressive win for Daniel, who you may remember won on this same horse just two weeks ago at the Longines Masters in Los Angeles, CA.
“I didn’t feel I was the man to win today because, to be honest, this whole weekend didn’t go according to plan! I had two down in the qualifier and I was lucky in first round, but my mare likes to go fast and today she just wanted to win!”