Italian riders continued their impressive strike rate when Bruno Chimirri came out on top in Friday’s 1.50m table C competition at Piazza di Siena. With four seconds added for every fence down, a clear round was essential to take a podium placing and Chimirri’s 57.47 seconds with the 12-year-old Irish bred mare KEC Giorgia (Aldatus Z x Cruising) squeezed Olympic Champion Steve Guerdat off the top step. This victory brings the number of Italian wins at their home fixture to three so far this week, following Thursday’s successes for Gianni Govoni and Guido Franchi.
Uliano Vezzani’s track offered plenty of short options, and those brave enough to take them were well-rewarded. But many horse-and-rider partnerships, including Britain’s John Whitaker and Lord of Arabia (Cassini II x Carry), were clear and fast all the way to the final fence only to leave that on the ground.
The final three fences presented the biggest challenge, the vertical at 10 followed by a big oxer at 11 and then a sharp right-hand turn to the last fence on the track, another tall vertical, at 12. Many of those who turned tight here found themselves off-balance to the last, and on an impossible stride. Experienced Italian contender, Filippo Moyersoen even took a fall on the turn with Loro Piana Biricchina Bella (Contendro I x Burggraaf) for elimination.
It was Colombia’s Carlos Lopez, winner of Friday’s opening competition, who set the first strong target with a brilliant run from the 9-year-old mare Cuplandra (Upgrade x Metall), but Guerdat reset the goal with a picture-perfect run from Concetto Son (Concetto x Drosseklklang II) who broke the beam in 57.86 seconds. The unluckiest man of the day was perhaps Italy’s Luca Maria Moneta who posted the quickest round of the competition with the 15-year-old Neptune Brecourt (Cumano x Kayack) only to clip that bogey final vertical. No-one else would come anyway close to his finishing time of 54.68 seconds which, however, rose to 58.65 when those additional four seconds for the knockdown at the last were included.
Chimirri was ninth-last to go of the 27 starters and set off at a relentless pace with KEC Girogia who was super-quick and super-careful. Turning to the last they were clearly going to oust Guerdat from pole position if they could leave it up, and the spectators responded with delight when the Italian pair broke the beam with what would be the winning time.
Chimirri said afterwards that he was lucky to have this horse which was loaned to him by his cousin, Vincenzo Chimirri. .
The opening 1.45 five-star class of the day went to Rene Lopez on Ultramarine (Calvaro x Rosire*HN), beating Irish rider Billy Twomey on Ardcolum Duke (Gypsy Duke x Clover Hill) and Sweden’s Petronella Andersson with Cantacorda (Canturo x Accord II).
Source: Press release from CSIO Rome // Picture © CSIO Rome / M. Proli
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