|Roger Yves Bost (52) posted the second French win of the season at the sixth leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2017/2018 Western European League in Madrid, Spain tonight. Riding the brilliant chestnut mare Sydney Une Prince, who he partnered to clinch team gold at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the enigmatic horseman set a super-hot target time when eighth to go in an epic 18-horse jump-off and couldn’t be caught.
Breaking the beam in 42.23 seconds he was a half-second quicker than Belgian runner-up Niels Bruynseels (33) who was second-last into the arena with Cas de Liberte and who pinned new Irish star Mark McAuley (30) and the grey gelding Miebello into third place by a tiny margin of just 0.01 seconds. Tonight’s result has rocketed McAuley up to fourth on the league table, and with 37 points to his credit it seems a place at the Longines Final in Paris next April is now well within the Irishman’s grasp.
Bosty, as the Frenchman is better known, is always guaranteed to keep spectators on the edges of their seats with his unorthodox riding style, and tonight was no exception. He wasn’t quite convinced he was quick enough to take the win when he left the arena for the second time however.
“I thought maybe it was good enough for third or fourth place, but I tried my best and Sydney always gives me 100 percent! I lost one stride in the middle of the course, but she is so fast over the fences and I think that’s why we won – she is so brave and so consistent!”
He is determined to qualify for the Final on home turf, particularly because the venue holds some happy memories. “I won the Grand Prix in Paris Bercy in 1996 and that was special, so getting to the Final is my first goal right now,” he said. Lying eighth on the leaderboard and carrying 30 points he looks well on his way, and with seven more qualifying opportunities yet to go in the 13-leg series he still has plenty of time.
The top-18 will make the cut from the Western European League and Bruynseels holds that 18th spot going into the next round as the series moves to La Coruna in Spain’s north-west in two weeks’ time.