With a near two second lead, Jeroen Dubbeldam of The Netherlands and the 13-year-old KWPN gelding SFN Zenith NOP (Rash x Fuego Du Prelet) outpaced the competition to win the X-Bionic Sphere Grand Prix CSI3* in Samorin, Slovakia.

“It’s great to be here, its an unbelievable facility,” said Dubbeldam. “I’ve already been here on the Summer Tour and I liked it very much, so yeah, I really looking forward to coming back. It’s a very good day for our stables; I won 1st place, my girlfriend Annelies Vorsselmans was 2nd, and my student [Wilton Porter] was 5th, so today is a real success.”

On Sunday, September 3, 2017, 44 entries were in line to compete for the lump sum of the €30,000 purse. Four riders made it to the shortened jump off track, where Dubbeldam and Zenith produced the fastest of the clear rounds to win with a time of 37.59s.

“My horse gave a super performance today,” said Dubbeldam. “He was out of form so I gave him a little break because I did not want to force it. This is actually his first show [back] and he did very well. ”

Following their individual performance at the Rio Olympic Games, Zenith was positioned to be sold by his management at the SFN Auction in 2016. After a surprising outcome that resulted in him not being sold, Dubbeldam was given permission to continue competing aboard the olympic mount, and the duo made their first appearance back in the ring at the CSI3* Odense Horse Show in Denmark in late 2016.

In 2nd place, Belgium’s Annelies Vorsselmans and the 11-year-old KWPN gelding Wilandro (Unistar x Ramazotti) finished with a time of 39.29s. In a time of 39.49s, Brazil’s Luis Felipe de Azevedo Filho and the 11-year-old DSP stallion Chacito (Chacco-Blue x Daimler) finished in 3rd.

Photo: Dirk Caremans

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