With a four-star show in Rouen and a three-star show in Valence, it were again busy days on French soil last weekend. At Valence's Hubside Jumping, the young Swiss rider Bryan Balsiger delivered some strong blue/yellow performances. Balsiger appeared at the start with four Zangersheide horses and with two of them he also managed to ensure a victory!
Balsiger achieved his first victory on Friday afternoon with the 9-year-old grey gelding Urbanus Z, a son of Ugano Sitte and Voltaire who was bred by Jozef Eyskens. In the 1.45m high Longines Ranking class of the CSI3* competition, Balsiger and Urbanus Z finished clear in 56.78 seconds, giving them just under a full second ahead of the competition. A day later, Balsiger and Urbanus Z again managed to reach a top placing, this time in the 1.45m/1.50m class. Again they managed to ensure a clear round which this time was good for a third place in the ranking.
Earlier on Saturday, Balsiger had already secured a second Zangersheide victory in another 1.45m high Longines Ranking class. This time he achieved that victory with the 10-year-old grey gelding Don Juan 111 Z, a son of Der Senaat 111 and Carthago Z out of the breeding farm of Harrie Theeuwes and Marc Hoesels. In a jump-off for which 12 combinations were able to qualify, Balsiger and Don Juan 111 Z finished clear and ended more than half a second ahead of the competition. During the opening day on Thursday they had already managed to secure a fifth place in the 1.50m class.
Balsiger also competed in Valence with the 9-year-old chestnut gelding Everest V'T Hof V Eversem Z (Epleaser van 't Heike x Concreto – B: Ronny Maes), with whom he already managed a few top placings last summer, including twice a second place in the three-star show of Verbier. This time there was a fourth place in the 1.50m main class on Friday after they managed to ensure a clear round in both the basic round and the jump-off.
Finally, the Portuguese Rodrigo Giesteira Almeida also managed to jump into the spotlight with the 10-year-old chestnut gelding Echos Son Z, a son of Echo van 't Spieveld and Nabab de Rêve who was bred by Niels Bruynseels. Almeida only started Echos Son Z twice, but this resulted in twice a third place in the ranking on both Thursday and Saturday.
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