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Gal claims Grand Prix on Olympia opening night

last updated on December 13, 2017 09:36

Gal claims Grand Prix on Olympia opening night

One of Olympia’s biggest fans scored his first victory at the London venue since he took the win with the great Totilas back in 2009. Drawn second to go, Edward Gal laid down a strong challenge with his newest star, nine year old Glock’s Zonik in scoring 76.68%.

In only their third CDI together, the duo produced some amazing work after a slightly nervy start where Edward rode the Blue Hors Zack sired stallion more forward than we’re perhaps used to seeing. “He was coming back toward me so I rode him more forward but he began to relax at the end. He’s a really exciting horse and I’m really happy with him as it’s his first really big show,” said Edward.

The Dutch rider had a tortuous journey to get to London and after a number of cancelled flights, he resorted to taking a car and the Eurotunnel, arriving some 36 hours after he started.

Second spot went to Swedish pairing Patrik Kittel and Delaunay OLD, owned by Carol & Andrew Oatley and himself after they brought proceedings to a close with 75.1%. “It’s a better trip than my last time here at Olympia when I finished last in the Grand Prix and went home!” exclaimed Patrik.

Madeleine Witte-Vrees gave the Netherlands a further place on the podium with 73.72% with NF Witte and JEJ Cuppen’s Vivaldi-sired Cennin. “I’m happy with third. We had a few issues today but I’m looking forward to the Kur where I can just go for it!” Madeleine said.

First to go was Emile Faurie for the home nation with Elena Knyagicheva’s Delatio whom he’s competed just a few times after taking the ride on from Bianca Kasselmann. The 13 year old De Niro stallion was more than up to the task, showing some assured work to score 72.86% which gave them fourth spot.

Anders Dahl was just 0.02% behind with his own and Penny Bigwood’s Selten HW for Denmark while Lara Butler then headed a run of Brits with sixth aboard Dr and Mrs Bechtolsheimer’s Rubin Al Asad on 72.66%. A smidge behind was Gareth Hughes and Don Carissimo, owned by Steve and Anne Keen on 72.64% with Richard Davision and Gwendolyn Sontheim’s Bubblingh completing the top eight on 71.72%.

A few uncharacteristic mistakes proved costly for Hayley Watson-Greaves and Rubins Nite for 68.98% which left them 13th overall. Not what they were hoping for but enough to qualify for tomorrow’s Freestyle.

Photo c Jon Stroud Media

Audio interview with winning rider Edward Gal - click here

For full results and start times for tommorrow's Freestyle - click here