Trophée de Genève © SorayaExquis

Impressive Marlon Modolo Zanotelli!

After a jump-off with no less than 18 riders, the Brazilian anthem sounded at the end of the first main competition of the 61st CHI Geneva. Marlon Modolo Zanotelli won on his trusty VDL Edgar M. The 13-year-old chestnut left all the competition behind: The pair was more than a second faster than Victor Bettendorf and Mr. Tac!

As the first qualifier for the Rolex Grand Prix on Sunday, the Trophée de Genève gathered the big names of the international equestrian scene this evening. And true champions also competed in the jump-off, including the reigning World Champion Henrik von Eckermann, the winner of the Rolex Grand Prix 2021 Martin Fuchs and the Olympic Champion Ben Maher... The Swede and the Briton were penalised four points, while the Swiss rider decided to rather ride a clear jump-off course with his young but promising Commissar Pezi.

The first to put in a perfect ride was Ireland's Shane Sweetnam on James Kann Cruz with a time of 35:26 minutes. After that, it was difficult for the following participants to keep up. They all got stuck in the technical finesse designed by Gérard Lachat. Victor Bettendorf on Mr. Tac, however, remained unimpressed. The Luxembourgian, who has been in very good form all year – he has already achieved 54 international victories! –, was also inspired in the jump-off this evening. Fluid, fast and confident, he managed to push the best time just under 35 seconds (34'98).

Local hero Steve Guerdat wanted to win his 13th competition in Geneva with Venard de Cerisy and was faster than Bettendorf (34:46), but had bad luck on the oxer La Tuilière, with the exit of the arena in his back... After the brilliant performance of the young Luxembourgian, the victory was only decided with the second last starter. With his VDL Edgar M, Marlon Modolo Zanotelli took his first big win in Geneva, and did so with flying colours. The Brazilian flew over the obstacles, rode a perfect line and was over a second faster than Victor Bettendorf (33'87) in the end. Shane Sweetnam completed the podium of the Trophée de Genève with his equally excellent ride.

Marlon Modolo Zanotelli: "It is always very special to be here in Geneva, so this victory is all the more beautiful. I am very proud of Edgar, who has once again shown all his talent. I can only be grateful to him, my owners, my family and my whole environment who make these successes possible. I was certainly lucky to start at the end of the jump-off, as this allowed me to observe the turn options and distances that were in question. So the first seven canter jumps after the first obstacle of the jump-off helped me to get going well, and Edgar also felt more and more comfortable with the left turns. It was maybe a bit of a coincidence that the ridden line was advantageous for me, but my risk also paid off. I am very happy!"

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