Germany’s Marco Kutscher created showjumping history today when winning the Longines Grand Prix in Hong Kong, and becoming the first rider ever to win the Grand Slam Indoor Super Bonus presented by EEM. Kutscher is now more than $HK3 million richer after taking another Longines Grand Prix victory aboard the 14-year-old stallion Van Gogh (Numero Uno x Bernstein). In addition to his share of the prize money, Kutscher takes home a bonus of 250 000 Euro for winning a second non-consecutive Longines Grand Prix. Marco and Van Gogh also triumphed in this prestigious class in the American leg of the series last October. Kutscher, currently ranked number 18 in the world, was overjoyed with the win; “I am now a Hong Kong millionaire,” he joked.
Kutscher has been battling illness all weekend, and amazingly managed to get himself together for today’s main event. Adding to that, there was serious pressure on him going into the final round. Kutscher was the last rider to enter the ring, and had a difficult task ahead of him with France’s Kevin Staut holding the lead on a time of 46.61 seconds after a fantastic round on the 11-year-old gelding For Joy van’t Zorgvliet HDC (For Pleasure x Heartbreaker).
“I felt very anxious going out as the last rider but I have been in this position before so that experience helped me a little bit,” said Kutscher after. Aboard the magnificent bay stallion Van Gogh, Kutscher rode the round of his life to complete the challenging course in 45.16 seconds taking his first ever bonus. “I have never won a bonus and it’s not like everyday I win a Grand Prix so this is a tremendous thrill,” concluded the German rider.
Winning today was an extraordinary achievement by Kutscher, who is the first rider to meet the challenge of winning two out of three Grand Prix events in this intercontinental series that takes place in Los Angeles, Paris and Hong Kong.
Founder of this innovative series, EEM CEO Christophe Ameeuw congratulated Kutscher for a historic performance. “We are ending the fourth edition of the Longines Masters of Hong Kong on a high and it is incredible to see Marco win this Grand Slam Indoor Super Bonus and great for the public here to be able to witness history and an incredible standard of sport,” Ameeuw said.
Longines Grand Prix Runner-up Kevin Staut was full of praise for Kutscher and not surprised he stole victory in the last round. “The way Marco performed in the opening round I knew it was going to be very hard to beat him,” Staut said.
Italy’s Emanuele Gaudiano finished third with a time of 46.74 seconds aboard Caspar 232 (Casper x Padarco), while current world no. two Simon Delestre was fourth placed with Chesall Zimequest (Casall x Concerto II). Irish young gun Bertram Allen fifth with the only 9-year-old Hector van d’Abdijhoeve (Cabrio van de Heffinck x Utriolle Van De Heffinck).
Source: Press release from R&B Press/EEM
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