Julien Epaillard continued where he left off at Casas Novas last night, when he won the CSI5* NH Collection Trophy after a jump-off that blew everybody away. The last time the French rider visited La Coruna was during the summer edition of their event, and then he took home four trophies during the weekend including the Grand Prix. Epaillard's performance on Friday night showed that he is more than up for a repetition.
No less than eighteen of the 45 riders in the 1.50 class went clear over the first round track that counted twelve fences, and it was all set for a long as well as fast jump-off as one rider after the other went for the top prize of 30.000 Euro.
As third to go, Germany's Hans-Dieter Dreher delivered one of his trademark rounds on Embassy II (Escudo I x Silvio I) - and it looked so fast that it was believed Hansi would be the winner with a time of 36.06 seconds.
Those that followed, all tried - but in vain. That was until Epaillard and the brilliant Cristallo A LM (Casall x Corofino) entered the ring. Leaving the breaks by the in-gate, Julien went all in from start to finish. Opening up with one less stride on the first line, and then not once pulling up the pair blazed around the track to shave the time down to an unbelievable 34.52 seconds to take the victory.
Third place went to Irish rider Billy Twomey and Tin Tin (Cavalier x Animo), with a time of 37.88 seconds in the jump-off.
The opening 1.45 Trofeo Marques de Riscal went to Belgium's Jerome Guery on Grand Cru van de Rozenberg (Malito de Reve x Heartbreaker).
Text © World of Showjumping // Picture © Jenny Abrahamsson.
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