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McAuley and Miebello set Lyon on fire with Longines Grand Prix win

Saturday, 04 November 2017
CSI5*-W Lyon 2017

Photo (c) Nanna Nieminen for World of Showjumping. A happy winning team in Lyon. Photo (c) Nanna Nieminen for World of Showjumping.

Friday night’s 101,000 Euro Longines Grand Prix at CSI5*-W Lyon went to Ireland’s Mark McAuley and the 13-year-old gelding Miebello (Flyinge Quite Easy x Cardento). “It is always difficult to start the show with a Grand Prix on the first day – I think it is also very difficult for the course builder to do that,” McAuley said after the class.

The 1.60m track set by French designer Grégory Bodo counted 13 obstacles and 16 efforts in the time allowed of 75 seconds. A triple combination at fence number seven, a delicate golden plank on top of the b-element on fence number ten and the last line of two huge oxers saw many of the horse-and-rider combinations struggle. “There were a lot of bending lines with a lot of options,” McAuley commented on the 1.60m course that saw 13 combinations out of the 49 starters clear their way into the jump-off.

It took until rider number 11 – Alberto Zorzi (ITA) on the 9-year-old mare Danique (Zento x Hamlet) – before anyone managed to leave all the fences intact. Jonna Ekberg (SWE) on the 10-year-old stallion Tenor du Gue (Opium de Talma x Banboula du Thot), Peder Fredricson (SWE) on the 9-year-old gelding H&M Carat Desire (Carinjo x Latus II), Juulia Jyläs (FIN) on the 12-year-old stallion Finishing Touch Wareslage (Quival x Toulon), Lauren Hough (USA) on the 13-year-old made Ohlala (Orlando x Cardento), Julien Gonin (FRA) on the 11-year-old gelding Soleil de Cornu CH (Qredo de Paulstra x Le Tot de Semilly) and Christian Ahlmann (GER) on the 14-year-old stallion Colorit (Coriano x Capitol) also cleared the demanding course. Joined by McAuley, Steve Guerdat (SUI) on the 11-year-old mare Bianca (Balou du Rouet x Cardento), Sergio Alvarez Moya (ESP) on the 12-year-old gelding G&C Arrayan (Baloubet du Rouet x Grannus), Simon Delestre (FRA) on the 11-year-old gelding Gain Line (Stolzenberg x Raphael), Penelope Leprevost (FRA) on the 12-year-old stallion Vagabond de la Pomme (Vigo d'Arsouilles x For Pleasure) and Gudrun Patteet (BEL) on the 11-year-old gelding Sea Coast Pebbles Z (Picasso x Flamenco de Semilly), the fully packed EuroExpo was in for a treat in the form of a jump-off of 13 pairs.

First out over the shortened track in the jump-off was Italy’s star Alberto Zorzi, who set the standard with a time of 37,45 seconds. Shortly after the current European Champion Peder Fredricson and H&M Carat Desire took over the lead with a time of 36,53 seconds – only to be overtaken by Lauren Hough and Ohlala who crossed the finish line in 35,33 seconds. Number eight in the jump-off, McAuley and Miebello took a mad gallop around the huge ring and shaved nearly a second off Hough’s time, shooting to the top of the leader board with their time of 34,38 seconds. Steve Guerdat and Bianca got closest to the Irish rider, taking the runner-up position with a time of 34,77 seconds. Penelope Leprevost and Vagabond de la Pomme took the third place for the hosts, pushing Hough down to fourth and Julien Gonin to the fifth spot.

“He is a star – every time he goes in the ring he gives a 100 percent and unless the rider messes up, he is clear,” McAuley said about his mount Miebello. “When I motivate him more in a jump-off, he tries even harder. He has been a fantastic horse for me.” Lyon has always been a favorite venue for Mark. “This is definitely my favorite indoor show. I came here the last two years for the two-star classes and it has been a dream for me to be able to ride the five-star here. This year the organizers were kind enough to invite me – so I am very happy to be here,” he explained.

McAuley is engaged to the Swedish rider Charlotte Mordasini, and the pair is expecting their first child. Charlotte used to compete with Miebello herself, and said that watching from the sidelines is “teasing”. “I am very happy for the horse! To see Miebello go so well, whether it is with me or Mark, is wonderful,” she smiled. “I think they are great together – it is like they are meant to be.”

The first five-star class of the day, a 1.50m in two phases presented by Region Auvergne Rhone-Alpes, went to Italy's Emanuele Gaudiano on the 11-year-old Caspar (Berlin x Padarco 2) with a time of 31,81 seconds in the second phase. Dermott Lennon (IRL) on the 12-year-old mare Fleur IV (Chatman x Darco) placed second with a time of 32,86 and Penelope Leprevost (FRA) on the 9-year-old stallion Urano de Cartigny (Diamant de Semilly x Double Espoir) took the third spot with a time of 33,30 seconds. Yuri Mansur Guerios (BRA) on the 10-year-old gelding Inferno (Incolor x Italic des Salines) placed fourth with a time of 33,78 seconds, and Robin Muhr (FRA) on the 9-year-old stallion Unforgettable Damvil (Corrado x Papillon Rouge) took the fifth spot with a time of 34,19 seconds.

 


Text and picture © World of Showjumping by Nanna Nieminen

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