Lorenzo de Luca brought the atmosphere to a maximum in Verona on Saturday afternoon, when he won the Premio Miasuki aboard Zoe II (Kannan x Goes Without Saying). The sympathetic Italian rider got a standing ovation as reward for his efforts which also resulted in bringing home 15 000 Euro. It was no easy task to win the 1.55 class, as some of the fastest riders in the world met in the jump-off.
The second round counted nine riders that had jumped clear the first time around. Martin Fuchs and Kevin Staut opened the jump-off without luck on their side, while William Whitaker set the first clear on Fandango (Last Liberty 988 x Krocket 651) – opting for a medium fast version that still put pressure on those to come. Maikel van der Vleuten followed with two down, while Katharina Offel was the next to go clear on Quebracho Semilly (Le Tot de Semilly x Eyken des Fontenis) although with a slightly slower time than Whitaker.
Jane Richard Philips took over the lead as next to go on Upanisad di San Patrignano (Mr. Blue), riding a great round over Ulliano Vezzani's shortened seven fence track that opened for tight turns and a couple of stretches to gallop on. Stopping the clock on 39.28, the Swiss rider slotted into the number one spot. Marcus Ehning had a fabulous first round on Singular LS La Silla (Chapultepec La Silla x Stakkato), but in the jump-off the German maestro had to see the planks fall to the ground and settle for four faults.
As next in the ring, the heat was on for Lorenzo de Luca. The Italian rider kept cool as ice though, and set of determinedly on his 10 year old mare. Almost lifted forward by the home crowds that went with every stride around the track – De Luca produced a confident and clear round cutting the time down to 38.50 seconds. The crowds exploded in applause, but Lorenzo had to wait for Janika Sprunger to decide what the final result was going to look like. The Swiss rider went clear on Uptown Boy (Odermus R x Joost), although slower than both De Luca and Richard Philips slotting into third – leaving the home crowds celebrating a very popular win.
The 1.50 speed class Premio BMW went to Niels Bruynseels riding Domingo (Thunder van de Zuuthoeve x Brownboy). Coming in towards the very end of the class, the Belgian rider snatched the win by a mere 0.16 seconds from Katharina Offel on Pin Up Ouistreham (Jarnac x Kessel) that took the lead half way in the class. Ben Maher on Wings Sublieme (Oklund x Voltaire) ended third.
The morning class Premio Equiline was won by home rider Gulia Martinengo Marquet on Pop Lady d'Elle (Quick Star x Jalisco B), ahead of Penelope Leprevost on Sultane des Ibis (Quidam de Revel SFA x Elan de la Cour HN) and Geir Gulliksen on Grand Balou 4 (Balou du Rouet x Grandeur).
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