France’s Eddy Sans and Bricaut Anne-Marie’s Nankin De La Hurie came out on top in last night’s Indoor Cross Country presented by Rolex at the Concours Hippique International (CHI) in Geneva, Switzerland.
Indoor eventing has been criticized for encouraging riders to go too fast. Rounds that are judged based on speed have resulted in some accidents. At Geneva, however, the scoring system was based on getting closest to optimum time without going over. The suggested speed to achieve this time was 400-450 meters per minute.
Sans and the 13-year-old Selle Francais gelding were the third pair on course out of 18 on the entry list. Sans timed his round perfectly, finishing just .3 seconds slower then the optimum time of 118 seconds. Just a fraction of a second behind him was Tim Lips (NED) and 8-year-old Bayro, who crossed the finish at 117.6 seconds compared to Sans’ 117.7 seconds. Rounding out the top three at 116.06 seconds was Thomas Carlile (FRA) and Sirocco Du Gers.
This was CHI’s first organized indoor cross-country competition, and they rounded up an impressive group of eventers to participate, including individual and team World Champion Sandra Auffarth (GER). She finished fifth with the mare Thalia L’amaurial.
The three-star level course, designed by Peter Hasenböhler, contained a water jump, bank complex, brushes, tables, corners, etc. And that annoying little fish from the final water complex at WEG made an appearance, but it thankfully jumped much better this time.
Adding an additional twist of excitement, the competition took place in two arenas. Competitors jumped a series of fences in the main ring before exiting through a wide door to jump around a paddock that appears to be in the center of the trade fair. Then they galloped back into the main ring to finish up to the delighted screams of a very engaged audience.
Enjoy this video of the competition. I hope you’re up on your French.