Julien Despotin leads the field of the CCI****

Julien Despotin (BEL) is in the lead in the CCI**** after the first day. The Belgian rode a beautiful test on his Hanoverian gelding Waldano, which was rewarded with 31.90 penalties. In second and third place came Michael Jung (GER) on La Biosthetique Sam (34.20) and Jesse Campbell (NZL) on Kaapachino (36.80).

Despotin, the 25 year old professional rider from Belgium was extremely happy with his horse’s performance: “He was brilliant. It is only our second four-star-event and Waldano did the difficult test virtually without any mistakes. He moves beautifully and his strength is definitely his walk and trot.” Michael Jung was full of praise for his truly exceptional horse Sam: “He is super fit. He gave me a brilliant ride and although I didn’t push him to his limits, he performed really well for me.”

Julien Despotin – Waldano

Reactions to the CCI**** Cross-Country Course

Julien Despotin: “The course looks great with big fences, but not too complicated. But it is a definite four-star-course and concentration is needed throughout.”

Michael Jung: “I’m not totally convinced by the new route of the course. There are a lot of twists and turns which could potentially cause problems in the horse’s concentration.”

Ingrid Klimke: “I‘m looking forward to riding the cross country on Saturday. I’ve only walked the course for the CCI**** for now and it looks super, it’s a very friendly and inviting course for horse and rider. However, there are some technical questions, especially the Ariat combination towards the end of the course is asking for precision and concentration.”

Hans Melzer: “It’s a brand new course running in the opposite direction to previous years. You need to re-orientate yourself. The jumps look very inviting and friendly, however it is important not to underestimate the questions asked, there are a lot of skinnies and corners which can easily cause run outs.”

Tim Price: “I like the course, but I think the time could be a challenge as there are many twists and turns throughout.”

Andrew Hoy: “I generally love the courses designed by Mark Phillips, and I like the new look and the changes he has made.”

Chris Bartle: “I’ve only seen the CCI**** course so far and it looks brilliant. The questions are clear to see but need to be carefully considered and full concentration from start to finish is the key. There are a lot of skinny jumps, which can easily cause run outs. The course should not be underestimated.”

Mark Todd: “The course has been beautifully designed and it’s not too difficult, however there are plenty of technical questions being asked of riders and horses to make this a deserving four-star-course.”

Blyth Tait: “Mark Phillips has done a great job designing this lovely new four-star- course. There is plenty of variety throughout and many technical challenges, which requires full concentration all the way round. I’m looking forward to Saturday.” Andreas Dibowski: “I’m looking forward to this wonderful new course built by Mark Phillips. There are plenty of technical questions which should make this course a fabulous challenge for horse and rider.”

Kai-Steffen Meier: “It’s a beautifully designed course, very inviting jumps, with everything a four-star-course needs.”

Yogi Breisner: “Mark has done a great job building this new course. The work that’s been done on the ground is excellent. Especially the first half of the four-star-test requires a lot of power jumping and a great deal of accuracy. There are plenty of twists and turns throughout, so the time will be a challenge.”

Coral Keen: “The course is solid and very well build. There are many twists and turns which make it technically a very challenging course.”

Ludwig Svennerstål: “It’s a fab course! A lot of big fences and challenging questions asked of horse and rider.”

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