Portugal’s Luciana Diniz left the rest of the field in her wake as she sailed to victory in the second 5* class in Abu Dhabi. Riding her chestnut gelding Bluebuster, Luciana notched up a stylish first place on the 11-year-old. Underlining the speed of her win, she was second to go but held on to the lead throughout the rest of the class. Luciana and Bluebuster made the 1m50 course look effortless as she cleared the Gucci oxer and the triple before finishing in 61.54.
Kevin Staut, of France, on Cheyenne was second in 63.57 and was lucky not to have a rail down at the triple towards the end of the course. Dutch rider Marc Houtzager was third on the 11-year-old chestnut gelding Sterrehof’s Uppity coming home in 63.85. Johannes Ehning on Salvador and British rider William Funnell on Billy Congo were fourth and fifth in 63.88 and 64.11.The atmosphere in the floodlit Al Forsan arena is mounting as the final Grand Prix of 2012 approaches. Leading home rider, Sheikh Shakboot bin Nahyan Al Nahyan, of the United Arab Emirates, who rode clear on his bay gelding Valentino Balia, has spoken of the privilege of hosting the climax of the GCT series in Abu Dhabi.
VIP guests watched the world class jumping action from the stylish lodges surrounding the arena and special pop-up retail shops by luxury brands Gucci and Jaeger-LeCoultre have proved a hit with visitors to the show.
The course for the second 5* class of the day caught out several top riders. Several clocked up 4 faults at the Jaeger-LeCoultre third fence and the first part of the triple running up to the finish line. As the clock ticks towards Saturday’s Grand Prix final of the 2012 series, the top riders in the world will be in action again tomorrow.
Source: Press release from GCT.
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