Dutch showjumper Marc Houtzager won nearly 100,000euros when taking top spot in the Gucci grand prix in Paris on Sunday.
Riding the 12-year-old Numero Uno gelding Sterrehof’s Tamino — with whom he clinched team silver at the 2012 London Olympics — the Dutchman was lightning quick to win with a 0.13sec margin.
“Along with the team silver medal at the London Games, this Gucci grand prix is one of my biggest wins,” he said.
Marc relegated Ireland’s Denis Lynch (pictured) and Abbervail Van Het Dingeshof into second place after a seven-rider jump-off, only four of whom returned double clears.
“Unlike Marc, I haven’t had an outstanding year,” said Denis. “It took a lot of concentration to finish in this position.”
In third was Alvaro De Miranda, whose wife Athina Onassis De Miranda recently injured her back in a schooling accident. The Brazilian, who also earned the title of the show’s leading rider, was riding AD Rahmannshof’s Bogeno.
“This weekend was important for me as, with [my wife] Athina’s accident a fortnight ago, it’s not been an easy time,” he said. “Luckily, she’s feeling a lot better and will soon be back in the saddle.”
There was a strong British contingent in France for the four-day Gucci Paris Masters, but all faulted in round one of the grand prix. Nick Skelton (Big Star) and Ben Maher (Tripple X III) finished on four faults, as did Laura Renwick (Oz De Breve) although this combination also added a time-fault. Michael Whitaker collected eight faults on GIG Amai.
The previous day, Ben Maher finished second in a hard-fought 1.50m jump-off class on his fast-improving eight-year-old Aristo Z.
Gucci grand prix results
1. Sterrehof’s Tamino (M Houtzager) NED
2. Abbervail Van Het Dingeshof (D Lynch) IRL
3. AD Rahmannshof’s Bogeno (A De Miranda) BRA
4. Palloubet D Halong (J Sprenger) SUI
5. Mylord Carthago*HN (P Leprevost) FRA
6. Eurocommerce London (G Schroder) NED