Daniel Deusser made a winning debut at Royal Windsor Horse Show, winning the CSI5* Bahrain Pearl Stakes in spectacular style.
A total of 16 riders made it through to the second first round, including some of the biggest names in showjumping.
The open course encouraged forward riding, which perfectly suited Canada’s Eric Lamaze and the brilliant Fine Lady 5. They are one of the fastest combinations on the international circuit, and set the standard with a fast and faultless round (37.78sec).
Robert Smith and Itlon came close to beating their time, but the pair broke the beam just 0.58 seconds behind Eric, for an eventual fourth place.
Fifth to enter the historic Castle Arena was Germany’s Daniel Deusser, riding the fourteen-year-old mare Equita Van T Zorgvliet. Daniel rode a beautifully smooth round that was deceptively fast, to shave 0.15 seconds off Eric’s time and take the lead (37.63secs).
However, with 11 riders still to jump, the win was by no means in the bag. The notoriously fast Emanuele Gaudiano posed the biggest challenge riding Chalou. The Italian rider was last to go and despite pulling off some seriously tight turns, his time of 38.22sec was only good enough to come third.
Further down the line in sixth place was up-and-coming British rider Emily Moffitt on Madame X. Just behind her was Team GB stalwart William Funnell with his home-bred Billy McCain.
It was Daniel’s first time at Windsor, who was “very impressed” with the show.
“It’s a beautiful showground, there’s a lot of space to ride and it’s great to see such a big crowd,” said the 2016 Olympic bronze medallist. “I am very happy with my horse Equita Van T Zorgvliet. I know she has a very big stride and is naturally very fast.
“I saw a bit of Eric’s round, so I knew I had to try hard to beat his time, but everything went well and I’m really happy about that.