Logo Zangersheide blue

03 août '23

Bryan Balsiger and Chelsea Z confirm their good form


© Sportfot

At the Longines Tops International Arena in Valkenswaard, the Netherlands, they were ready for Summer Festival 3 last weekend. One of the combinations that competed during the CSI4* competition was the Swiss rider Bryan Balsiger with the 10-year-old chestnut gelding Chelsea Z, a son of Chellano Alpha Z and Cicero Z who was bred in the Netherlands by Willie Sijbers. Balsiger and Chelsea Z jumped into the spotlight in June with 2 clear rounds during the CSIO5* Nations Cup in Sopot and confirmed their good form last weekend in Valkenswaard.

They immediately started their show on Friday with a nice 2nd place during the 1.50m high GP Qualifier. In a class against the clock they finished in 66.71 seconds and with that performance they only had to tolerate the American lady rider Jessica Springsteen (Hungry Heaert) ahead of them. But the highlight of the weekend came for Balsiger and Chelsea Z on Saturday when they won the second GP Qualifier over 1.50m. Here too, they jumped against the clock and with a clear round in 65.84 seconds they had more than half a second ahead of the competition.

Who also secured a blue/yellow victory was the Irish rider Cian O'Connor with the 10-year-old mare Innisfree, a daughter of Iron Man van de Padenborre and Catango Z, who was born at the home of breeder Henk Dierendonck as Irona van de Viking Z and who was ridden by the Belgian rider Pieter Devos until a few months ago. O'Connor and Innisfree immediately took a good start on Friday and became the winners of the 1.45m high opening class. They kept it clear in both the 1st and the 2nd phase and with a finish time of 31.37 seconds they managed to beat the competition. During the final day on Sunday, O'Connor and Innisfree also managed to secure a 7th place during the 1.45m high speed class.

During the 1.45m class on Saturday, Harrie Smolders managed to jump to a podium place with the 11-year-old chestnut stallion Escape Z, a son of Emerald van 't Ruytershof and Hearbreaker who was bred by Willem van Hoof and Yvonne Copal and who is also approved for Studbook Zangersheide. In a jump-off for which 11 combinations were able to qualify, they again managed to keep all the poles in the cups and this performance earned them a 2nd place in the ranking. In this class there was also a 4th place for the Turkish rider Omer Karaevli with the 13-year-old grey gelding Cheston de la Pomme d'Or Z (Chippendale Z x Contendro II – B: Patrick Huyse) and a 6th place for the Dutch rider Lars Kersten with the 9-year-old stallion Funky Fred vh Marienshof Z (Fantomas de Muze x Libero H – B: Stal Marienshof).

Next to the CSI4* competition, also a CSI2* competition took place in Valkenswaard last weekend, in which the American lady rider Blythe Karolyi was a striking combination with her 12-year-old gelding Theo Duc T&L Z, a son of Toulon and Nabab de Rêve who was bred by Luc Tilleman. After a 6th place in the 1.45m class on Friday, they secured a nice 7th place in the CSI2* GP on Sunday. Both during the basic round and during the jump-off the ensured a clear round.