On Thursday, November 10th, 2016, Germany’s David Will and Centro du Rouet rode to victory in the $35,000 International Accumulator Challenge at The Royal CSI4*-W.
The 1.45m accumulator class featured fences of increasing difficulty, with riders given the choice of going straight down the final line to a 1.45m oxer, or taking a bending line to a 1.62m Joker vertical to earn ten bonus points.
While the top six riders all finished with perfect scores of 65 points, Will and the 9-year-old Oldenburg gelding were in a league of their own, producing a winning time three seconds faster than the rest.
Will and Centro du Rouet (Chintan x Balou du Rouet) crossed the timers in 45.46 seconds, while 2nd place finisher, Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam and Cobolt (Cyklon x Camaro M) completed the track in 48.17 seconds. 3rd place was awarded to Belgium’s Jos Verlooy aboard Caruso (Cornet Obolensky x Primero), who rode to a time of 48.67 seconds.
Will was jubilant after the day’s win, a smile never leaving his face from the moment he cleared the final fences to the awards presentation.
“Of course winning is always great,” said Will. “My horse gave a really good performance today and I am really happy with him. We have actually had a tough tour in the USA first and now here, so he’s actually a little bit tired, but he fought one more time for me today so I am very pleased.”
With three mounts to choose from at The Royal, Centro du Rouet was the obvious pick for the German rider for Thursday evening’s Accumulator Challenge.
“I though this was going to be a fast class, and he’s just a naturally very very fast horse,” said Will. “He’s a small horse so for the indoors, he is very quick. I thought he would be best for the class, and he proved me right. The whole course he was jumping really well, and so I was actually very confident [he would clear the final joker fence].”
The Royal is the last stop on Will’s North American tour. After the week’s competition, he and his horses will head back to Europe to get some well deserved R&R before returning to the competition ring in December.