It was a French victory in the CSI2* Grand Prix Oliva Nova Beach and Golf Resort, as Nicolas Deseuzes snatched the win after a blistering fast jump-off. Riding Quilane de Lezeaux, a 12-year-old Grenat de Grez-daughter, Deseuzes bested a field of 43 riders to take the top prize of 7500 Euro and valuable points for the Longines World Ranking in this first Grand Prix competition of the 2016 Spring MET.
The first round 1.45 track saw eleven riders producing clears in the huge grass ring in Oliva to move on to the jump-off. The thirteen fence track had faults spreading out, but many came in trouble in the vertical, oxer, vertical triple combination set as the fourth fence by German course designer Peter Schumacher.
The jump-off track was cut down to eight fences and nine jumps as it included the first part of the former triple combination, and was all about getting tight turns until the very last line where a stretch waited for some real galloping from the penultimate vertical to the last upright calling for a quick and careful horse.
Italy’s Alberto Zorzi, stable jockey at Stal Tops in the Netherlands, was first to go on the 10-year-old Ramiro Cruise and set a clear round with a time to beat at 48.38 seconds. Azerbaijan’s Jamal Rahimov on Excenel V was next in the ring; also he clear – but slightly slower than Zorzi to slot in behind in second. The same went for Great Britain’s Joseph Davison on Calimero van’t Roth, that left all the fences intact but had to see the clock stop a little over a second behind Zorzi.
Three riders later, Zorzi was overtaken though – and it was the 41-year-old Nicolas Deseuzes that managed to bring the time down to 46.94 seconds after a very efficient jump-off on Quilane de Lezeaux.
Deseuzes’ last international appearances were at the 2015 Morocco Royal Tour as well as the CSI3*-W event in Mostaganem, where he in total picked up no less than seven wins which of two came on Quilane de Lezeaux. “I have been riding Quilane de Lezeaux for the last three years for her owner Catherine Girardot. She is a really careful mare, and both good in indoor rings and outdoor rings,” said Deseuzes.
And so the French rider’s winning streak continued today in Oliva, as none of those to come could do anything about his time. Germany’s Tobias Meyer came closest aboard Cerano, but was still almost a second behind to settle for runner-up position.
Third place went to one of the most spectacular horses in the class; the 10-year-old Cornet Obolensky-mare Coree ridden by European Vice Champion Gregory Wathelet. The grey mare spends so much time in the air that it costs her a bit time, but this pair will for sure be one to watch in the coming weeks of the 2016 Spring MET. This week the couple was also second in Friday’s 1.45 Longines Ranking class.
On his victory Nicolas Deseuzes commented: “I found the first round track both technical and delicate, set at the maximum height for a CSI2* Grand Prix. It was a good test. As to my jump-off, I know that my mare is really quick and careful so I could leave strides out and also go fast on the last stretch without worrying about the final upright – I knew she would take care of it.”
The French rider stays for the first part of the 2016 Spring MET, that runs from 19-31 of January. “Then I will do a few shows in France, and I also hope to get the chance to ride on a few teams for my country this season,” Deseuzes said.
Source: Press release from the 2016 Spring MET // Picture © Hervé Bonnaud / www.1clicphoto.com.
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