Fassaert and Hoketsu Prevail in GP Special Tour at 2012 CDI Vidauban

Wed, 03/07/2012 - 17:04
2012 CDI Vidauban

Belgian Claudia Fassaert and Japanese Hiroshi Hoketsu prevailed and emerged at the top of the ranking in the Grand Prix Special tour during the second week of competition at the 2012 CDI Vidauban at Domaine Equestre des Grands Prins in Vidauban, France, on 29 February - 1 March 2012.

Aboard her 12-year old Belgian warmblood mare Donnerfee (by De Niro x Rosenkavalier), Belgian Claudia Fassaert dominated the field in the Grand Prix for Special, winning the class with 69.532%. While a victory in the Grand Prix was grand, her third place in the Grand Prix Special with a 70.844% was as important to her as Fassaert achieved the Belgian Olympic qualification norm for the 2012 Olympics. One individual Belgian rider (Jeroen Devroe) has qualified for the Games, but Fassaert is in the first reserve spot at the moment with Belgium holding a second reserve individual slot as seventh country on the reserve list.

For Japanese Hiroshi Hoketsu his third Olympic qualification became reality in Vidauban. Turning 72 at the end of March, Hoketsu will be the oldest athlete competing at the 2012 London Games, Hoketsu's third Olympics in his career after the 1964 and 2008 Games. In Vidauban, he finished second in the Grand Prix with 69.064% and won the Olympic Grand Prix Special with 72.533%.

Shooting star at the event and definitely a pair to watch this year are British Michael Eilberg and Jon and Julie Deverill's British bred Hanoverian Half Moon Delphi (by Dimaggio x Laptop x Raphael x Maat). After winning the World Young Horse Championships on Woodlander Farouche, the 25-year old Michael Eilberg has become one of Great Britain's most prolific young Grand Prix riders. His grey mare Delphi has a fantastic passage, great potential in piaffe and brilliant tempi changes, but is slightly wonky in the hind legs collapsing her hip in the trot extensions. The mare is brimming with talent, though, and will be a strong contender for Britain's fourth individual Olympic spot, breathing down Emile Faurie's and Richard Davison's neck. 

Text and Photos © Astrid Appels

Eurodressage Coverage of the 2012 CDI Vidauban