Janne Friederike Meyer-Zimmermann and Messi van't Ruytershof top the LGCT Grand Prix of Cannes

Janne Friederike Meyer-Zimmermann and Messi van't Ruytershof top the LGCT Grand Prix of Cannes

With thirteen combinations at the start of the jump-off in the 1.60m LGCT Grand Prix of Cannes, it was ultimately Janne Friederike Meyer-Zimmerman who kept Belgian champion and LGCT Shanghai winner Gilles Thomas from the victory. The German rider was in the saddle of the 12-year-old BWP gelding, Messi van 't Ruytershof!


  1. Janne Friederike Meyer-Zimmermann (GER) - Messi van't Ruytershof (Plot Blue)
  2. Gilles Thomas (BEL) - Luna van het Dennehof (Prince van de Wolfsakker)
  3. Mathieu Billot (FRA) - Lord de Muze (Nabab de Rêve)
  4. Thibeau Spis (BEL) - Impress-K van't Kattenheye (Indoktro K van 't Kattenheye)
  5. Christian Kukuk (GER) - Just Be Gentle (Tyson)

"I don't naturally have the fastest horse, but we will give it our all. If you can start in the jump-off of the LGCT Grand Prix, it would be a shame not to give everything!" said Thibeau Spits (BEL) before the start of his jump-off with Impress-K van't Kattenheye Z (Indoktro K van't Kattenheye). With the 9-year-old stallion, he set a good example by kicking off with a clear round in a time of 43.23s.

Second in the ring was Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS), a formidable opponent. On Fellow Castlefield (Je T'Aime Flamenco), the Australian rider came close to Spits' time but incurred a jumping fault. Third to start in this thirteen-horse jump-off was Sophie Hinners (GER). The German rider, also on a 9-year-old, guided Iron Dames Singclair (Singular Ls La Silla) slightly slower over the finish, adding eight penalty points.

Next up was Gilles Thomas (BEL), winner of the LGCT Grand Prix in Shanghai, once again riding the 11-year-old Luna van het Dennehof (Prince van de Wolfsakker) from breeders Marc Van Dijck and Patrick De Muynck. An astonishing round placed them at the top with a new time to beat: 40.21s!

Gregory Cottard (FRA) finished with Mylord Carthago's daughter Cocaine du Val just slightly faster than Spits, but the French duo couldn't complete the course designed by Uliano Vezzani (ITA) flawlessly for their home crowd. With Maikel van der Vleuten (NED) and O'bailey vh Brouwershof N.O.P. (Darco) as the sixth to start, we were nearly halfway through.

After the Dutch rider, it was Duarte Seabra's (POR) turn. He finished his jump-off on Dourados 2 (Diarado) with a total of five penalty points. "My horse certainly has the right capabilities, but we often made small mistakes. Today, we brought everything together; this round means a lot to us. We are quite new at this level and in this tour, a clear round is all we wanted. I have nothing to lose, I did my part. I'll take as many risks as I can," he said earlier with praise.

The German combinations were in the majority in this thrilling conclusion. After Hinners, it was Janne Friederike Meyer-Zimmerman (GER) who stepped into the spotlight. Anyone who thought it couldn't get faster after Thomas was mistaken. Riding the Plot Blue son Messi van't Ruytershof, bred by Bert Van Den Branden, the German rider improved the time to 39.55s. Fellow countryman Christian Kukuk (GER) delivered a fast round on Just Be Gentle (Tyson) but knocked a rail off the cups.

Marc McAuley (IRL) and GRS Lady Amaro (Amaretto D Arco) also finished within forty seconds but received eight penalty points. Similarly, Malin Baryard-Johnsson (SWE), who won the GCL yesterday with the Stockholm Hearts, incurred two jumping faults on H&M Indiana (Kashmir van Schuttershof).

Reigning Olympic Champion Ben Maher (GBR) placed his bet on the 10-year-old Point Break, bringing the Action-Breaker son to the finish with a total of twelve penalty points. Only Mathieu Billot, perhaps the underdog in this lineup, could still shake things up. Riding the BWP gelding Lord de Muze by Nabab de Reve, he was the last to complete a faultless round, narrowly pushing Spits to fourth place, just four hundredths behind Thomas's second place!


F. ©: Tomas Holcbecher