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Luciana Diniz shows winning mood in Chantilly

Saturday, 15 July 2017
CSI5* LGCT Chantilly 2017

Photo (c) Stefano Grasso/LGCT. Luciana Diniz and Winningmood won Friday's feature class in Chantilly. Photo (c) Stefano Grasso/LGCT.

Luciana Diniz (POR) and her impressive grey stallion Winningmood had the crowd on the edge of their seats after an electric jump-off on the opening day of the Longines Global Champions Tour of Chantilly. Racing to the finish a full second ahead of the rest of the field, the pair made a triumphant return to the Tour.

Set against the breath-taking backdrop of the Chateau de Chantilly, spectators flocked to the grandstand to watch the world’s best horses and riders take to the lush grass arena as the sun burst through the clouds for an afternoon of top sport. Uliano Vezzani put together a challenging but fair track, featuring gappy verticals and a tricky white plank set against the white backdrop of the VIP hospitality. A huge Longines oxer, before a short stride to a skinny vertical, was one of the toughest combinations, catching out many of the top riders. 

It would be 13 rider jump-off, as the top athletes in the world returned to the arena to battle it out for the lion’s share of the 92,000 euro prize purse. 

First in was Scott Brash (GBR) and the 8-year-old Hello Senator (Carambole x Indoctro). After a beautiful clear first round, the top British rider carefully guided the young gelding around the jump-off to stop the clocks clear in 42.84s. Although a good time, the Olympian had left the door slightly ajar with some of the fastest riders on the grid yet to come. 

Despite there being room for manoeuvre, the pressure to ride faster clear kept the crowd on the edge of their seats, as many tried, and failed, to better the pair’s time. Jack Towell (USA), Ales Opatrny (CZE), Jos Verlooy (BEL) and Kerry Mc Cahill (USA) all pushed but were caught out with poles falling all over the field. 

Paris Sellon (USA) and her expressive grey mare Cassandra (Caressini L x Cardento) put in another strong clear, but the duo couldn’t match Brash’s time, stopping the clock in 43.63s and slipping in just behind the lead. Others went for the gap, but it came undone at difficult fence on the field - the Longines double, with many taking out the front rail including John Whitaker (GBR), Carlos Lopez (COL), David Will (GER) and the speedy Kent Farrington (USA).

It looks as though Brash had played the percentages, until Luciana Diniz (POR) re-entered the arena with the 18-year-old Winningmood (Darco x Cassini I). Setting off at a gallop, the pair looked determined for the win, racing around the arena. Turning back tight to the vertical and taking a galloping flier to the last, the formidable strong combination wowed the crowds, stopping the clock a full second ahead of the rest of the field in 41.37s. 

 


Source: Press release from LGCT // Picture © Stefano Grasso/LGCT

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