It was an outstanding jump-off that lead Sergio Alvarez Moya and Carlo 273 (Contender x Cascavelle) to the win in Zürich's Longines FEI World Cup Grand Prix on Sunday afternoon. The Spanish rider and the lovely fourteen year old gelding had the fastest of the four clear rounds in the jump-off, and left Bertram Allen and Molly Malone V (Kannan x Cavalier) behind them in second and Rolf-Göran Bengtsson and Casall Ask (Caretino x Lavall I) to third after a spectacular race against the clock.
The riders got a difficult track to figure out from the course designer Gerard Lachat. In the end only seven of them managed to clear the course. Two riders - Robert Whitaker with Catwalk IV (Colman x Corleone) and Hans-Dieter Dreher with Cool and Easy (Contender x Riverman) - cleared the fences but was outside the time allowed.
Home rider Romain Duguet and Quorida de Treho (Kannan) were the first ones to enter the ring for the jump-off. Even though both of them tried their hearts out they ended up with four faults - as did the next rider in the ring, Martin Fuchs with PSG Future (Cashandcarry x Lorentin I).
Bertram Allen produced a very good round with the fantastic Molly Malone V - leaving out strides and finding the perfect turns everywhere. When the Irish super talent crossed the finish line the clock showed 39,48 seconds. Penelope Leprevost didn't rush as next to go, and cleared the track in 44,51 seconds riding Flora de Mariposa (For Pleasure x Power Light). Rolf could not catch Bertram either, and slotted into runner-up position a second behind the Irish rider.
Sergio Alvarez Moya and Carlo showed off though. After nailing the turn between the fourth and fifth fence in the jump-off, as well as takingf out one stride to the last fence, Sergio won the class being just slightly faster - 0,09 seconds - than Bertram. Maiken van der Vleuten was last to go in the jump-off, but with two fences down he had to settle for the seventh place on VDL Groep Verdi TN N.O.P (Quidam de Revel x Landgraf I).
“Our poor results were not his (Carlo’s) fault for the last few months," Sergio commented after his win. "My head was not focused on the sport as much as it should have been, but that’s changed now and we are riding together again with great confidence. When you don’t have good results you try to change things, and that isn’t always the right thing to do, so we went back to our olds ways and now we are jumping really well together again!”
Bertram Allen said, “I thought someone might beat me in the jump-off, and Sergio did one stride less to the last, but I’m happy with my result. Molly’s such a fantastic mare! I’ll give her another break, and then we’ll start getting ready for Las Vegas - it’s great to have picked up the points for the final and I’m looking forward to it now!”
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