The biggest class in Verona Friday evening was dedicated to the amazing Hickstead that tragically passed away during the World Cup here last year. Because of Hickstead’s death the class last year was cancelled and the prize money was supposed to be shared between all the riders. Instead of taking the money the riders wanted a class in Hickstead’s memory during this year’s show, and tonight Hickstead’s 100,000 Euro was won by Christian Almann and Taloubet Z.
It was a difficult first round and most problems were caused by the triple combination, and the combination consisting of two oxers and the last fence. Still 14 riders managed to clear the first round and qualify for the jump-off.
Penelope Leperevost and the wonderful Mylord Carthago *HN started off the jump-off really well with some great turns. Second to go was also a female rider - Christina Liebherr with L.B. Callas Sitte Z - and she produced another clear round but couldn't really catch Penelope's time.
It is no doubt that Ludger Beerbaum and Chaman are fast and once again they produced a speedy round and took over the lead. Dirk Demeersman tried his best with the big Bufero van het Panishof and the time was in the end good enough for eight place.
Kevin Staut started off really fast with Reveur de Hurtebise HDC, but one pole fell in the middle of the course. Also the next rider - Pilar Lucrecia Cordon and Nuage Blue - got a fast start but she had to see three poles fall to the ground on her way around the course.
Taloubet Z seems to be in a great form! He and Christian Ahlmann raced around the 1.55 m course as if the fences were poles on the ground and took over the lead from Ludger, although it was really close. Luca Moneta and Neptune Brecourt wanted to give the home crowed a second win today, but they were not fast enough to catch Christian and Ludger.
One fence down stopped Henrik von Eckermann and Allerdings' hope for victory. William Funnell and Billy Angelo did not reach over fence number two, the wide triple bar, and slowed down a bit.
Marco Kutscher and Cornet's Cristallo was next to go and did a fabulous jump-off that eventually was good enough for third place. Philippe Le Jeune and Carlino STX had one down, while Edwina Tops-Alexander and Erenice Horta ended at eight faults.
Last to go was Jeroen Dubbeldam aboard BMC Quality Time TN. Jeroen didn't go all in, but still got a time good enough for sixth place.
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