Beat Mändli (SUI) may have been fastest aboard Vic de Cerisiers in the nine-horse jump-off that decided the $72,900 CSIO5* Suncast Grand Prix Qualifier, but he attributed his victory to patience.
“We let him grow up really slow. Now, he’s showing [us] it was the right thing to do,” Mändli said.
Mändli achieved his objective of securing a spot in the $213,300 CSIO5* Longines Grand Prix, set for Friday, Feb. 14, at 2:00pm ET. With a comfortable winning margin of nearly two seconds, his final time was 38.56 seconds. Brian Moggre (USA) aboard MTM Vivre le Reve and Mario Deslauriers (CAN) and Uris de la Roque tied for second, both crossing the timers of Alan Wade’s 1.55m track in identical marks of 40.43 seconds.
“It was a really nice track, but it was tricky enough to ride,” Mändli explained. “The triple combination was a bit tricky at the end, but [Vic de Cerisiers] made it quite easy for me today. He felt so good.”
“He’s a pretty fast horse anyway,” Mändli said. “He’s fast over the jumps, so I just kept the pace. He was neat in the turns, and I didn’t add any strides, so that was okay.”
Mändli, a two-time Olympian, has worked with the 11-year-old gelding alongside owners Grant Road Partners for nearly four years, and the horse’s development has been gradual. After stepping him up to the five-star level over the summer in second-tier classes, Mändli believes he is now seeing the fruits of his labor in the form of a horse that’s brimming with confidence and quality.
“As tall as he is, he’s a very bloody horse, so that makes it easy in the ring,” he detailed. “You don’t need to encourage him; you basically just need to slow him down. He really has a super attitude, ability to do it, and just everything basically you’d want in a jumper.
“I’m obviously really happy to have him,” he added. “He’s a super nice horse with super quality, and I have really high hopes for him.”