Sport: LONGINES CSI BASEL News
Start of the indoor season
With the traditional tournaments in Scandinavia, the CSI5*-W in Oslo (NOR) and the CSI5*-W Helsinki (FIN), the show jumpers have arrived in the indoor season. Still there are a bit more than two months till the LONGINES CSI5* BASEL starts - the riders are already preparing specially for the first big indoor highlight of the new year. Our riders already started with great successes in the first events in indoor arenas. For example, Steve Guerdat and Romain Duguet had a double victory in the Grand Prix in Helsinki. Winner Guerdat relied on Alamo, Duguet on Vancouver de Lanlore. There seven further tournaments to follow till end of the year for the current year before the stars aboard their horses will enter in the St. Jakobshalle.
Niels Bruynseels wins the Grand Prix
Also in the eighth Longines Grand Prix at the CSI Basel no Swiss was able to win. Even though they finished with satisfying results, like Martin Fuchs as 5th, Steve Guerdat as 9th and Paul Estermann as 11th, the winner of the cheque over 100 000 Swiss Francs was once again a rider from a foreign nation – this time the 33-year-old Belgian Niels Bruynseels aboard his mare Gancia de Muze. Bruynseels was rewarded for his brisk ride in the winning round. The father of two sons from Bonheiden was nearly a second faster than the British experienced John Whitaker with Ornellaia and the Australian Edwina Tops-Alexander aboard Lintea Tequila that finished as 2nd and 3rd on the podium. The only Swiss without a fault in the fast final round was Martin Fuchs with Clooney. The Swiss Champion 2016 had a tactical good course, but was too slow the reach the podium. But the 5th place is a good success for the 9th at the Olympic Games. Steve Guerdat and his inexperienced 12-year-old Westphalian Big Red had one mistake at the wall. As last in the arena Paul Estermann failed with Lord Pepsi over the last jump. Without this fault he would have finished as best Swiss rider.
Double success for Swiss riders
Great joy and a big applause for the Swiss riders on the third tournament day at the Longines CSI Basel. With a crowd of 5 200 spectators Pius Schwizer aboard Balou Rubin won the main competition of Saturday with a total price winning money of 50 000 Swiss Francs. Schwizer got 12 500 Swiss Francs for his victory. For his also fast and clear round in the jump-off Werner Muff with Fleur received e cheque worth 7500 Swiss Francs. 22 of the 54 participating riders reached the jump-off after a too easy first course with a quadruple combination (!). Pius Schwizer showed his top form and realised aboard the Oldenburg gelding Balou Rubin already the fourth victory for Switzerland in the St. Jakobshalle, which Werner Muff with Fleur brought to a further success. Schwizer is still the best rider of the tournament before the main competition starts on Sunday: the Longines Grand Prix with a total price winning money of 330 000 Swiss Francs. A course that up to now no Swiss rider has won.