Devoucoux Indoor Derby: French Karim Laghouag takes revenge

The very popular Devoucoux Indoor Derby, a “crossover” between a cross country course and a show jumping course, is undoubtedly Friday’s highlight at the International Jumping of Bordeaux. Deprived of a fourth victory last year by the Individual Olympic Champion, German Michael Jung, French Karim Laghouag had his revenge taking his fourth victory on Friday evening.

The South West region of France definitely is an eventing country, not only because it is where some of the best competitions, like the 5* of Pau, take place but also because it is where some of the finest French horses of the discipline are bred. This is certainly why the Bordeaux public massively joins each edition of this derby. The 2020 edition was no exception to the rule and it was in an exhilarating atmosphere in front of 7,500 spectators that this original class took place.
On a course of approximately one kilometer, punctuated with 22 fences, some of the world’s best athletes of the discipline including four Olympic champions, three French and the Rio individual gold medallist, Michael Jung, were at the start. It was among these four that one had to look for the winner and more precisely between the French Laghouag and the German Jung. The first rode this course very neatly with his incredible Punch de l'Esque, a wonderful little explosive 17-year-old. “Punch is a horse that I have had for a long time. He arrived at mine aged four, today he is 17. Once again, he gave me a nice victory. He is in top form; we saw the vets who told me he was stainless. He is very good, he loves the atmosphere, he is more and more calm and he has gained more serenity and experience in this type of class.” Their very quick round would put pressure on the German. “Michael Jung almost got me though. He was fast, but was forced out of his comfort zone, which was my goal. I did not want to take all the risks so as not to drop a fence therefore Michael was forced to take risks, which cost him a fault.” A good strategy as at the end of the course, having to accelerate, the German slightly pushed Highlighter to knock down a fence. With four points Jung was relegated to fourth place, offering the public a fully French podium that reflected yesterday’s spirit where every single class, derby or jumping, has been won by "les Bleus"!