Ales Opatrny won the Falsterbo Derby Saturday riding the ten-year-old gelding, Acovaro (Acodetto I x Calvaro). Both Opatrny and Shane Sweetnam were clear after the first round and the win had to be determined by a jump-off. Opatrny was first to go, but got four faults making Sweetnam trying to make a safe clear round with with Cyklon (Cardento x Cortus). Unfortunatley Sweetnam got a fence as well and although he finished the jump-off in a much higher speed it was too late and he had to settle for second place. Sweetnam and Cyklon can look back at a successful weekend though, bringing home two victories and one second place.
The fastest four-faulter in the first round was Romain Duguet with Sherazade du Gevaudan (Tinka's Boy x Iago C) to finish third, followed by Darragh Kenny with Zahra II (Kashmir van Schuttershof x Furore) and Billy Twomey with Diaghilev (Vangelis-S x Handstreich). For a long time it looked like Twomey, the 2016 winner of the Hamburg Derby would join the jump-off, but the very last fence fell and the disappointment was huge.
"I used to ride eventing which is a good experience for derby classes, but I haven't practiced anything ahead of this derby since I decided to start yesterday. Acovaro is one of my best horses and he is normally doing nations cups, but this weekend I wanted to try out my other horse in the nations cup so that is why I could start Acovaro in the derby. If I get invited back for next year I will of course ride the derby again," Opatrny said with the help of a translator after the victory.
Text and photo (c) World of Showjumping / Jenny Abrahamsson.
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