Eric Lamaze took his second five star Grand Prix win in one week, when he went all the way to the top of the Grand Premio Loro Piana Citta Di Roma on Sunday. This time around, Lamaze partnered up with Zigali P S (Kigali x Palfrenier) – the horse who also won Thursday's 1.50 class in Rome with Eric. Lamaze – who leaves the Italian capital with no less than three wins – left Michael Whitaker and Viking (Jacomar x Almox Prints) behind him in second, and Frank Schuttert on Winchester HS (Numero Uno x Nimmerdor) in third.
After the first round, ten riders had produced clear rounds over Uliano Vezzani's thirteen fence track – that included a combination, open water and a triple combination placed as the penultimate challenge with a vertical-vertical-oxer. Faults spread out around the track, and five riders were also left on a single penalty score exceeding the time allowed – whereas three of them joined in for round two making the total of riders thirteen.
The first double clear came from Germany's Patrick Stühlmeyer, who rode a nice and forward second clear round on a very well jumping Lacan (Lando x Contender). It looked like Daniel Deusser would go clear as well, but after giving full gas to the final fence – a wall with a plank on top – Fyloe V. Claeyssenhof (Burggraaf x Hertbreaker) went out on the side rather than over leaving the German rider on six penalties.
Frank Schuttert put the pressure on those to come though, with a fast round on his eccentric gelding who jumped sky high around the shortened track. A great turn to the third last oxer and a race to the last stopped the clock on 42.26 seconds. Alex Zetterman also went double clear on Cafino (Cardento x Roderik) slotting in behind Schuttert with a time of 44.01. Both Penelope Leprevost and Lorenzo De Luca really gave it a go, but the b-element out of the combination fell for the two riders – who both were clear in the first round.
Then it was time for Lamaze, and the Canadian rider put Zigali P S in top gear from the start – full of confidence. When the couple crossed the finish line to wild roars from the Italian crowds at the Piazza Di Siena the clock showed 41.29 seconds – good enough for the lead. Michael did his very best to catch Eric though, but despite a blistering fast round it was 0.02 seconds to slow placing the British rider in second by the smallest of margins – pushing Schuttert down to third. Neither of the two last riders could catch the top three, but Marie Hecart gave it a good go to end fifth on Myself de Breve (Quidam de Revel x Grand Veneur) behind Zetterman in fourth – making her the best lady rider of the Grand Prix. The win rounded of a dream-weekend for Lamaze, who definitely is back in winning mood with a strong string of horses.
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