One hundredth to the good: Kevin Staut a tick quicker than Marcus Ehning in the Grand Prix of Stuttgart

Stuttgart – Kevin Staut became the second Frenchman since Philipp Rozier (1985) to win the Grand Prix of Stuttgart – presented by Mercedes-Benz, BW-Bank and WALTER solar. The class, which was watched by 6,400 enthusiastic spectators in the Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle, marked the culmination of the 28th International STUTTGART GERMAN MASTERS. One hundredth of a second was all that separated the 2009 European Champion and German Marcus Ehning in the fifth stopover on the ROLEX FEI World CupTM Jumping 2012/2013 tour.

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It was a well-deserved reward for a scintillating ride on the 13-year-old mare Stute Silvana HDC when going clear in the jump-off in a time of 42.66 seconds. His performance earned him a Mercedes-Benz ML 250 Off-Rroader worth 60,000 euro plus 20 points for the Western European League World Cup ranking where he is now in second place but level on points with the leader, the Spaniard Sergio Alvarez Moya. ”I’m unbelievably happy to have won here,” said the delighted winner. “All the best horses and the best riders were in the line-up here in Stuttgart.”

In coming second, Marcus Ehning only just lost out by a whisker. Though he left all the fences standing in the jump-off on his 15-year-old mare Stute Noltes Küchengir,l he could “only” clock 42.67 seconds. His ride brought him 30,000 euro prize money and 17 points for the World Cup rankings. Having now won 28 points, the German is currently lying seventh. Though he also came second on Friday in the MERCEDES GERMAN MASSTER he appeared to be well-satisfied: “It was a very good weekend for me. Especially, as I had no faults.”

Brazilian-born Luciana Diniz, who has been riding for Portugal for a number of years, won 23,000 euro and 15 points for her efforts. In the saddle on the grey stallion Winningmood, she passed the finishing line clear in 43.90 seconds. “I was very surprised as nothing was working for me earlier in the week.” But after her day with her children back home she decided to “end the Stuttgart horse show on a high note.”

Course designer Christa Jung built a 440-metre course with 13 fences and 16 jumps for the 40 competitors. “We had a fantastic surface and I had to think of something to separate the horses,” said the German who continued modestly “I’m quite satisfied with myself.” World Cup director John Roche was full of praise for the STUTTGART GERMAN MASTERS: “The horse show is a crown jewel in the Western European League.“

Kevin Staut is the first foreigner to win the ROLEX FEI World CupTM Jumping class since it has been staged in Stuttgart. All the previous winners have been from Germany: 2006, 2007 and 2008 Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, 2009 and 2011 Ludger Beerbaum and 2010 Carsten-Otto Nagel.