Gucci Masters

 

Speed, style

 

& a new

 

Master

 

The 2014 edition of the Gucci Masters was packed with emotion and sportive feats where the young, rising star, Martin Fuchs took home the Gucci Grand Prix to the delight of the audience.

 

The in-betweens of the four day meeting were just as entertaining –  including the  highly popular Battle of the Sexes which was won by the French favorite;  Pénélope LePrévost – the first woman to ever win the class. 

 

 

Speed…

 

Speed

The experts had a field day this evening in the fastest class on the circuit cheered on by the enthusiastic spectators. The stands were jam packed with 7,000 people on their feet, cheering on all the riders and experiencing their rounds enthusiastically.

 

Worth 100,000 euros of prize money the Longines Speed Challenge has become an event which is eagerly expected by the public on all three continents. Created by EEM World in 2010, its distinguishing feature is that it takes place on identical courses during the three legs of the Masters Grand Slam, in Hong-Kong, Los Angeles and Paris.

 

Despite the fact that in Los Angeles, no rider managed to go faster than 60 seconds, this evening two of them accomplished this without making any mistakes.

Alvaro “Doda” de Miranda, who is always very fast, took all the risks with AD Nouvelle Europe Z, and went into the lead. Despite the attempts of the other riders, none of them managed to beat him. However Christian Ahlmann tried very hard and came within a hair’s breadth of winning.

 

“I must have lost some time between the beginning and the end,” he said tongue-in-cheek.

He was nonetheless delighted with his second place and above all considered himself very lucky that after the pole on the last fence was lifted up, it fell back on the safety cups.

But there were still some very talented riders to come and in particular the public’s favourite, Bosty, two-time winner of the Longines Speed Challenge in Paris in 2010 and 2012.

Cheered on from the start to the end of his round, the current European champion made his intentions clear and his relatively young Sydney Une Prince, an eight year-old mare, performed a major feat by achieving the third fastest time.

 

“My mare is very quick over the jumps,” explained the winner, Dodo Miranda.

“Maybe that’s what made the difference tonight. When I first had her, she felt so at ease when she was going fast that I tended to overdo it.  As a result, I often finished two seconds faster but with one fence down. Now I realise that I must ease off the pace slightly.

 

For Longines the class was the best possible show case for their timekeeping system.

 

“The gaps between the riders are getting even narrower as the speed classes and the Longines Speed Challenge in particular are more keenly contested,” noted Bosty of a class where an ultra-reliable timekeeping system is paramount.

 

“As riders, we are very fortunate to have the support of Longines as one of the partners on the circuit. The best thing we can do to thank them is to provide them with a great show which will delight the public,” said Christian Ahlmann during the press conference.

 

Elegance

 

Style….

 

One of the favourites of the audience  – and a relaxed break from the seriousness –  the entertaining Style&Competition class was back for the benefit of AMADE Mondiale.

This year Pénélope Leprévost and Marie André-Ravaut were dressed up as wrestlers for the equestrian TV channel, Equidia while Philippe Rozier and Electra Niarchos teamed up as the outrageous characters from “Les Bronzés font du ski”  – a cult comedy film complete with skikjoring under the watchful eye of Thierry Lhermitte.

Jane Richard Philips and Jennifer Gates were Santas in the saddle, while Pius Schwizer and Tamara Zahid had become Daft Punkers for the evening. Kevin Staut embodied the Little Prince  –  Saint Exupery’s iconic hero from the world of fiction – while his partner,  Céline Nebout was a Rose for the cosmetics company, Esthederm.

A trio of arm chair judges  – Ariane Massenet, Guillaume Durand and Benjamin Castaldi – crowned three joint winners for their artistic talent: the Gucci Kids team represented by Jessica Springsteen and Guillaume Canet, who solicited Mario Luraschi and set a stuntman.

And also Gucci’s Edwina Tops-Alexander and Charlotte Casiraghi who set the audience ablaze as rappers with Gucci tagged on their horses’ coats while Nicolas Canteloup played the character of Charles Ingalls from the 70s cult series, “The Little House on the Prairie”, accompanied by Vincent Bartin disguised as his daughter, Caroline, who chopped up an obstacle for firewood for the winter!

The fastest duo in the ring were Cameron Hanley and Morgane Dassio who were Minions from “Despicable Me” for Euroasia.

 

The generosity of the riders and partners allowed 170,000 euros to be raised for AMADE Mondiale, which was handed over to its president, HRH Princess Caroline of Hanover, during the prize giving ceremony.   This very emotional evening brought the third day of the Gucci Paris Masters to a close, thrilling the public in the jam-packed stands, as well as the Masters Club’s spectators including Marion Cotillard, impressed by Guillaume Canet’s performance, actors Thierry Lhermitte, Gaspard Ulliel and Pascal Elbé, the champion jockey Dominique Boeuf, the singer Tété and the yachtsman Loïck Peyron, the recently crowned winner of the Route du Rhum in record time.

 

And a 22-year old

 

Master

 

Gucci Paris Masters 2014 - Day 4

 

With 350,000 euros to be divided up between the top places, this class has one of the highest winnings on the circuit. It was also, according to Ludger Beerbaum, one of the hardest of the season. And this rider who has won the most medals in the world knows what he’s talking about! The seventeen jumps which included one triple and one double came in quick succession and left no time for a breather: Kevin Staut’s title from last year’s edition was going to be hard to win.

There were 44 potential contenders, but the difficulties concocted up by the Belgian course builder Luc Musette would catch many a rider out. After the first round, there were only 12 left – the ideal number for a jump-off. Following the example of Jos Verlooy, the winner of the Longines Los Angeles Masters at the tender age of 18, came another skilful young man in Paris tonight: Martin Fuchs riding the aptly-named PSG Future.

He beat the highly experienced Ludger Beerbaum and the 20-year old Belgian Constant van Paesschen.

The City of Lights had obviously been good for the Swiss rider, since he’d already been placed twice during the weekend and had also won the Prix du Salon du Cheval CENECA on Saturday. (Source Gucci Masters)