Watch one round from Steve Guerdat and you’ve just taken a riding lesson. Since the beginning of the weekend, the Swiss rider, a 2012 Olympic champion, has ranked well in all his rounds. In the City of Long Beach Trophy (1.45m), Guerdat won atop of his 12-year-old gelding, Concetto Son.
Some of the riders have entered the horses that they'll be riding in the Longines Grand Prix tomorrow in order to make any last-minute adjustments. Others have entered their younger horses to accustom them to top-level competition. Steve Guerdat chose Concetto Son, a horse he really depends on and which he’s counted on for many years now. “I’ve rode him for more than three years now. He started his career as an 8-year-old and I expected a lot of him, some of which he couldn’t live up to. But on the other hand, most of my horses should be thankful to him because he has always been protecting all the others. He was not going to be a big Grand Prix winner on the 5* level, but he was always saving Nino on the first two days. Thanks to him, Corbinian has become Corbinian, Bianca has become Bianca. And everything is thanks to that horse because he always has to do the “dirty work,” just so the other horses are well and rested. He is the ideal second horse.” Going first in the jump-off, he gave a quick, smooth and conclusive performance. His nine opponents chased his time of 33.83 seconds, risking making faults on the obstacles. Only Denis Lynch and Jane Richard Philips managed to make clear-rounds, but far from the Swiss rider’s impressive time.
The victory brought comfort to the champion who has been in good shape over the weekend so far, and who we hope to see on the podium of the Longines Grand Prix on Sunday afternoon. But before that, Masters riders will be expected tonight for the Emirates Gold Cup, and the festive class of this Longines Masters of Los Angeles, the Pro-Am for Charity.