After a very tough competition in Gijon, Abdel Said went off with the victory in the HRH Princess of Asturias Trophy presented by Lacera L.
The 1.60 class counting for the Longines Ranking – and a qualifier for Monday’s Grand Prix – was no walk in the park. The thirteen fence track consisted of some massive and spooky fences, and the triple bar out of the corner as fence no. five on six short or five forwards strides to a vertical-vertical-oxer treble then followed by an optically difficult oxer on a bend line put an end to most riders’ hopes for a clear round. Also, the following line with a combination at 9ab and then a huge white oxer with bushes in it turned out to be a problem. In the end, even the caliber of Olympic bronze medalist Eric Lamaze (CAN) and European Vice Champion Gregory Wathelet (BEL) chose to retire after mistakes on these two lines.
Only six riders managed to go clear, and for another five the time allowed of 75.00 seconds stood in their way of attending the jump-off.
As last to go in against the clock, it was Abdel Said (EGY) who was the fastest one. Aboard the feisty 9-year-old mare Hope van Scherpen Donder (Quadrillo x Balou du Rouet), Said stopped the clock on 41.00 seconds – 1.50 faster than runner-up Tim Stockdale (GBR) on Fleur de l'Aube (Thunder van de Zuuthoeve x Alcatraz). Juan Carlos Garcia (ITA) on Bonzai van de Warande (Nonstop x Feinschnitt I V D Richter) followed in third with the fastest time of the class but on the expense of a rail.
Fourth went to Cassio Rivetti (UKR) on Torgal de Virton (Kashmir van’t Schuttershof x Saphir D Elle), fifth to Federico Fernandez (MEX) on Guru (ARD VDL Douglas x Clover Brigade) and sixth to Julio Arias (ESP) on Castor vh Molenhof Z (Catoki x Richebourg).
Earlier in the day, French speed phenomenon Julien Epaillard was lightning fast and went to the top in the two-phase 1.40 class aboard Sheriff de la Nutria LM (Diamant de Semilly SF x Papillon Rouge).
Text © World of Showjumping // Picture © CSIO Gijon
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