Friday's biggest class at the Helsinki International UB Horse Show was a tight affair. Out of 46 riders 20 managed to produce clear rounds, and the top four finished within 13 hundreths of a second. The fastest of them was Luca Maria Moneta from Italy with Connery (Cordobes II x Polydor).
"I am very pleased with my horse Connery. He has gotten older and knows his job better. Earlier he was too much in a hurry: if I let him go, he was too excited and not really careful with what he was doing. Now, he finally knows his job and fights for me against the fences. It's nice because I can let him do the job and it is very easy for me," Moneta said after his win.
He was able to beat Maikel van der Vleuten and Vdl Groep Eureka (Chin Chin x Quidam de Revel) by a very slight margin, 0,07 seconds, while Christian Ahlmann followed another 0,10 seconds behind in third on Aragon Z (Askari x Kolibri). "To be honest, my plan was to go in and do a clear round. I knew that the top three was very close, within 10 hundreths of a second. But then it felt like I was doing well and I went fast. I did not expect to win, because we did a fast round but not crazy fast – it could have been faster," he continued.
Moneta has had a good season and he was an important link in the Italian team at the Barcelona Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Final. "The Italian team got into the top league in the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup for the next year. It will be tough for us, but it is also a good chance to train ourselves to be ready for the European Championships. That will be the last chance to qualify for the next Olympics. This is a very important goal not only for me but also for my national team," he said.
Moneta likes it in the new Helsinki venue, well almost. "Helsinki is a high level show, and this year the practice area is bigger and better than before. I think the crowd is not so friendly and hot, yet, but it is also a very cold here," Moneta said smilingly.
Shane Breen and Calido Boy (Calido Ass x Alcatraz) – also winners in Oslo last weekend – were the fastest in the 1. 40 speed class on Friday evening. The Norwegians Dag Ove Kingsrod with Clarkes Ferro (S Creevagh Ferro x Diamonds Are Trumps ) and Geir Gulliksen with Grand Balou were next (Balou du Rouet x Grandeur) on the result list.
The winner of the 1.40 International Welcome presented by Stopteltat was Lithuanian rider Andrius Petrovas with Winston (Indorado x Vader). Second place went to Christian Ahlmann on Caruso (Cornet Obolensky x Primero) and the third was Pius Schwizer on Anisette de Lassus (Sherman-Sitte x Blume la Borderie).
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