In the lead at the end of the dressage, the French driver Marion Vignaud, n°1 in the world since the CAI4* in Chablis, realized a marathon of anthology and maintained her position of leader, just like the French team, which is in first place in front of the Netherlands and Germany.
Following the first two days dedicated to dressage, the first start of the A phase of the marathon was given at 9am. On the menu, a course of 6,225m to be completed at an average of 13k/h, in a time of 28’44. After a ten minute break and a warm-up on a training obstacle, the leaders set off to complete phase B, 7,910m long, with eight obstacles including two fords, all to be completed at a speed of 14k/h, in a time of 33’54”. The objective, besides crossing the finish line without any trouble and within the time limit, was to cross the obstacles as quickly as possible and avoid at all costs pushing one of the 129 “tombants” (balls) positioned at the top of the obstacles, otherwise a penalty of 2 points would be incurred.
Among the 75 teams at the start of this marathon, 71 will have succeeded in completing the course without any problems, but the French leader, in great shape as well as her partner First Quality, won this second phase, notably by signing the best time in five of the eight obstacles, that is to say 88.14 points, a performance which allows her to confirm her pole position. In second position of the marathon, the Dutch Eline Houterman, with Fino Uno Toltien, who realized the best time in two of the obstacles, and completed her course with 88.79 points. In third place, the Swiss Mario Gandolfo, with his 8 year old mare Favela, who will win the national title in 2020 and 2021, scored 90.42 points.
With the total of the dressage scores and the penalties incurred in the marathon, Marion Vignaud is still in the lead, with a total of 127.46 points, ahead of the reigning world champion, Saskia Siebers (135.13pts) and the Canadian Kelly Houtappels- Bruder (136.74pts).
On the team side, France, composed of Marion Vignaud, Claire Lefort and Fabrice Martin, in the leading position after the dressage, keeps a comfortable advantage, with a total score of 264.25 points, while the Netherlands (Eline Houterman, Saskia Siebers and Frank Van der Doelen) are currently in second place with a total of 281.02 points Germany, represented by Dieter Lauterbach, Marie Tischer and Anne Unzeitig, is in bronze with 289.37 points.
The cones competition, the last phase of this championship, scheduled tomorrow from 9am to 5pm on the castle’s arena, promises to be fiercely disputed. The slightest ball on the ground, penalized by 3 points, could well upset the provisional ranking!