We’ve nearly lost count of the number of speed-class wins stolen by the black mare Carlotta and her Italian rider Emanuele Gaudiano. They have taken titles in every continent. It goes without saying that one day they would add the Longines Speed Challenge, the fastest class in the world, to their list of impressive accolades. After several attempts, it is Lausanne that gave them the honor.
Still, to win this fiercely competitive event, Gaudiano needed to tap into the well of Carlotta’s talent and speed, especially after dropping a rail towards the end of the course. It was a fault that added two seconds to their clock, but it’s safe to say that they made up the time on the rest of the track.
Said Gaudiano, “This is my first time winning the Longines Speed Challenge, my best score before this was four. This is the first time I've won this class, I try all the time but finally now I won! Winning this class with one class is not too easy, normally I always say that when Carlotta is clear she wins, but today she won also with one down. Carlotta did two classes here and she won two times. Carlotta is always fast in the speed classes and the jump-off classes because she's very fast and very hot and careful. She doesn't over jump, that really helps also to be fast. She calculates everything. She really enjoys Lausanne, she really likes the atmosphere. Next year we'll be back. Tomorrow, I will ride Chalou in the Longines Grand Prix.” The Lausanne public will have the chance to see Gaudiano and Chalou test the Grand Prix tomorrow at 3:45 p.m.
Gaudiano dethroned (quite literally, because in feature events of the Longines Masters the riders in the top three provisional positions watch the rest of the class on stage in three imposing armchairs), yesterday’s winner, Olympic Champion Philippe Rozier who incurred no faults with Cristallo A LM. The Frenchman would move down one more seat to make room for Steve Guerdat. Guerdat also had to chase the clock after Evita caught an unavoidable rail. But alas, the efforts of the mare and the world No.1 from Switzerland were not enough to put them in first. Though the speed wasn’t futile, either, for the time would be good enough to secure a second place. The result was to the joy of a packed crowd, which lined the stands and edges of the arena. It was an event that also delighted Matthieu Baumgartner, Vice President of Marketing for the title sponsor of the now legendary Longines Speed Challenge.
Matthieu Baumgartner said, “it was a great show featuring a beautiful sport in an exceptional setting. The event was beautiful with the view of the lake and the mountains in the distance. I took a lot of pleasure in it, as did obviously all of these spectators. The class was filled with thrills throughout this Speed Challenge, and we hope for many more Longines Masters in Lausanne.” Of course, the Longines Masters captivated Lausanne!