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Taking a chance pays off for Eduardo Alvarez Aznar in Longines FEI World Cup of Zürich

Sunday, 29 January 2017
Mercedes-Benz CSI5* Zürich 2017

Photo (c) Stefan Lafrentz/FEI Spain’s Eduardo Alvarez Aznar galloped to victory with Rokfeller de Pleville Bois Margot in today’s 11th leg of the Longines FEI World Cup in the Western European League in Zurich, Switzerland. Photo (c) Stefan Lafrentz/FEI.

A daring ride gave Spain’s Eduardo Alvarez Aznar victory in today’s 11th leg of the Longines FEI World Cup of the Western European League in Zürich, Switzerland. In a nine-horse jump-off against the clock the 33-year-old rider threw caution to the wind with a thrilling run with Rokfeller de Pleville Bois Margot (L'arc de Triomphe x Apache d'Adriers) that stopped the clock in the winning time of 36.20 seconds. 

“He’s not a horse I normally ride so quickly, so I took a chance today and I’m so happy because it paid off!” Aznar said after posting his first points on the series table. Runner-up was last man into the ring, Austria’s Max Kühner with Cornet Kalua (Cornet Obolensky x Platin), while Colombia’s Carlos Enrique Lopez Lizarazo claimed third spot with the ever-brave Admara (Padinus x Murano).

Swiss course designer, Guido Balsiger, gave the 38 starters plenty to think about in the first round and many struggled to negotiate the left-hand turn to the triple combination at fence 10, often meeting the opening triple bar on a very deep distance, while the penultimate one-strided double also proved influential. Rio Olympic team gold medallist Roger Yves Bost from France took a spectacular fall with Sangria du Coty (Quaprice Boimargot Quincy x Muguet du Manoir*HN) when the mare attempted to tackle the middle element of the triple combination on a single stride instead of two, but they left the arena unscathed. 

Lopez Lizarazo set the target at 38.43 seconds when second to go against the clock, and when Germany’s Marco Kutscher played safe with Clenur (Carinue x Fernando) he didn’t threaten the lead. Fourth to go however Alvarez Aznar was on fire, taking every risk to race through the finish and when Britain’s William Whitaker was a little cautious with Utamaro D’Ecaussines (Diamant de Semilly x Quidam de Revel) and Belgium’s Nicola Philippaerts lost his chance when H&M Harley vd Bisschop (Dulf van den Bisschop x Coronado) tripped up after the second fence, there were only two left to deny him the win. Last to go Kühner came closest to the Spanish rider’s time thanks to a courageous gallop to the last, but was almost two seconds adrift when breaking the beam in 38.03. 

Alvarez Aznar, son of legendary six-time Olympian Luis Alvarez Cervera, now heads to the second-last leg of the qualifying series in Bordeaux next weekend. When asked tonight if he thinks he can take maximum points again in order to qualify for the Longines FEI World Cup Final at the end of March, he replied “It’s difficult enough to win one without winning two-in-a-row, but we can always try!”

 


Source: Press release from the FEI written by Louise Parkes // Picture © Stefan Lafrentz/FEI

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