Tension everywhere this afternoon at Domein Zangersheide in Lanaken during the Sires of the World! In a fairly spicy and difficult course, where the obstacles are at a height of 1m50, only 6 of the 56 combinations succeeded in keeping the 0 on the scoreboard and thus placing themselves for the jump-off. In that jump-off it was the Dutchman Rob Heiligers who managed to create a big surprise. In the saddle of Cassius Clay VDV Z, a son of Calvino Z from breeder George van der Velden, he appeared in the ring as penultimate starter and surprised friend and foe by being the only one to deliver another clear round in 50.82 seconds.
"This is the best show in the world, to jump a class like this with names such as Ahlmann and Zanotelli on it, it could not get better", Heiliger beamed after his win. "I've been riding Cassius Clay since last April, and from the first day I felt the scope and the power he has in him. He is not the fastest horse, he loses a bit of time in the air - on every fence. Today, when I saw everyone before me having fences down in the jump-off, I just tried to stay focused and give a 100% for a clear round", he explained. "I was maybe a bit lucky today, but this win gives me a lot of motivation. I work quite hard, I have a lot of young horses - for all the work I do, this gives me extra motivation, it makes you fly a little bit", Heiligers closed off.
Who also impressed, was Diesel GP du Bois Madame! Less than a year after the collaboration with rider Italian Piergiorgio Bucci came to an end, the stallion owned by Tal Milstein and Ilan Ferder is back. Under the saddle of the Brazilian Marlon Modolo Zanotelli, this son of Cassius set the fastest time in 41.85 seconds. Unfortunately, the last bar fell down in the hurry, so they took peace with a second place. Even more impressive is the fact that Marlon Modolo Zanotelli was last year on the podium as well, then finishing with bronze!
The third place was for the German Patrick Stühlmeyer with the 12-year-old Chacgrano (Chacco Blue - F: Gestüt Lewitz). He was the one opening the jump-off and also started very strong, until he gained 4 penalties in the double combination... They finally finished in 42.73 seconds. The same jump was also the culprit for Stühlmeyer's compatriot Justine Tebbel. As the last starter, René Tebbel's daughter with her 11-year-old Lycon (Light On - F: René Tebbel) was on her way to a neat clear round, until she got 4 penalty points on the double as well.
Fifth place in the end was for home rider Christian Ahlmann, who won the Sires of the Worlds with Take A Chance On Me Z last year. Ahlmann qualified for the jump-off this year with his world champion 7-year-old horses Solid Gold Z (Stakkato Gold - V: A. Sprehe), but unfortunately got a jumping error on the Stephex oxer and chose to continue his jump-off calmly.