Making it more impressive was the fact the Tipperary rider was on a relatively new horse, Songe de Toscane. Regardless, he said with a car on offer, he is always prepared to have a go.
“I have been coming to Mechelen for a very long time, but this is the first occasion on which I’ve won a car,” said Lynch. “Despite the fact that Songe de Toscane is only nine years old, we did our best, which proved good enough. If you can win a car, I go for it. I am very pleased with the performance of the horse. I’ve not been riding this stallion for very long and this is just about the toughest test he has experienced.”
Lynch was among the top five world-ranked riders and top five Belgian riders in the Masters class, which saw each rider into the ring raising the height of a fence of their choice.
Olympic champion Steve Guerdat from Switzerland made a surprise exit in round one, followed by Belgium’s European silver medalist Gregory Wathelet in the first jump-off. The next round claimed a further five victims.
This left Lynch pitted against Germany’s Christian Ahlmann on the stallion Cornado II and Belgium’s Jerome Guery aboard Grand cru van de Rozenberg. All three passed the third jump-off test, but the fourth proved the decider, with Lynch and Dr Martin Fromer’s stallion the exception when providing the only clear, after Guery lowered the last fence and before Ahlmann also picked up four faults. The feature World Cup class takes place tomorrow.