Michel Hendrix Hits the Right Note at Bolesworth International
Dutch showjumper Michel Hendrix hailed the “biggest win” of his career ater landing the Bolesworth CSI **** International four-star grand prix on Sunday.
And his audience raised a glass to the appropriately-named Baileys after Hendrix guided the 10-year-old gelding to victory by more than three seconds in the jump-off of Bolesworth’s headline class, sponsored by Equerry Horse Feeds.
Thirteen combinations went through from round one, including the solitary British clear – defending champiom Yazmin Pinchen – and four managed double clears, but no-one threatened Hendrix’s time of 43.88 seconds as he won a top prize of £19,500.
Colombia’s Roberto Teran came closest, clocking 47.11 seconds aboard Brilliant du Rouet, while Cheshire-based Paul Kennedy was third on Cartown Danger Mouse, with Pinchen claiming fourth on Ashkari.
“It was an absolutely great win,” 29-year-old Hendrix said.
“My horse is jumping really good lately. We were very close a few times in past grands prix, and finally today it happened. That would be our biggest win.
“It was a tough course. When I walked it, I thought it was big enough.
“The triple combination was quite fair, but the last line was very difficult. In the end, I took seven strides to the last double, and he cleared it very well. There were no issues with the rain – the footing is so great here.
“I have had the horse about 18 months and built him up from 1.30-metre classes. He is an unbelievable fighter in the ring, very careful and scopey.
“Baileys has been very consistent here this week. I knew that Laura (Kraut) was to go after me, and she is very fast, so I thought I had better give it a go, and it worked out well.”
And Kennedy added: “I am absolutely delighted. The horse is a 10-year-old home-bred. My parents were here today, so it was a special day.
“It is almost a local show for us, with being based only 15 minutes down the road, and once again Nina Barbour and the team here have done an amazing job.”
Pinchen apart, the most encouraging British performance was by Nick Skelton and his London 2012 Olympic team gold medal-winning ride Big Star.
Although Big Star knocked down the penultimate fence in round one, there was more than enough to suggest they are returning to prime form as the countdown to this summer’s Rio Olympics gathers pace.
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