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Olympic gold medallist Steve Guerdat wins Rio grand prix

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Olympic gold medallists Steve Guerdat and Nino Des Buissonnets triumphed in the €330,000 to the winner Rio grand prix.

The 30-year-old Swiss rider remained on a zero score over the three-round competition at the Athina Onassis Horse Show in Rio De Janeiro and showed tremendous speed for a great jump-off victory.

Australian rider Edwina Tops-Alexander (Cevo Itot Du Chateau) took the runner-up spot, with another Swiss rider, Clarissa Crotta, third on the 13-year-old Baloubet Du Rouet gelding West Side V Meerputhoeve.

The fourth jump-off rider France’s Olivier Guillon (Lord De Theize) retired when something looked amiss.

Michael Whitaker was best of the Brits in fifth – having jumped clear throughout but accumulating a time-fault in each of the first two rounds. Beatrice Mertens’ GIG Amai looked in tremendous form and Michael collected a cheque for €60,000.

British Olympic gold medal-winning team members Nick Skelton (Big Star) and Ben Maher (Tripple XIII) were also in action in this valuable competition. Nick jumped clear in round one but hit the middle oxer element of the treble combination in round two for 12th. He won €10,000. After a tortuous delay to their flight, Tripple X was found to be feeling a “bit tired” and the Hertfordshire rider withdrew in the opening round.

Ireland’s Denis Lynch, a winner earlier in the week on Night Train, picked up 12 penalties in round one riding All Star 5, while Jessica Kurten (Vincente) opened with four faults.

Don’t miss 18 October issue of Horse & Hound magazine for the full report from Rio