The big class for Friday, opening day of San Patrignano's Vincenzo Muccioli Challenge CSI5* saw 43 of the world's most impressive horse and rider combinations competing in a mixed category with fences at 1.55m.
Among the top riders is gold and silver Olympic medalist, Canada's Eric Lamaze, multi-medalist Phillipe Le Jeune, and new Italian Champions Natale Chiaudani on Fixdesign Almero 12, an extraordinary thirteen year old gelding by Asti Spumante. Chiaudani and Almero have also recently won a Nation's Cup with the Italian team at the Lumen Csio and a Grand Prix 2* in Drammen.
The Mapei mixed course, designed by Louis Konickx and his team, let just twelve of the riders through to the jump off, perfectly in line with the high technical level of the event. On the second round, the rider that came out on top was Conor Swail on Lansdowne. The Irish rider came onto the field already with a good number of clean rounds ahead of him, and turned in a smooth round in 38.27". Just a second behind was Germany's Max Kuhner on Coeur de Lion 14 with 39.13", beating Holland's Jeroen Dubbeldam on BMC Quality Time TN with 39.26" and third place.
"I liked the course very much", commented the winning rider, "both rounds were quite technical and yet different among themselves. My horse is nine years old, and I've been riding him for a while so we are in tune with each other. I think he is one of the best horses around. Last year here at San Patrignano I won the third class: this place must be lucky for me".
The highest placed Italian rider was Natale Chiaudani on Fixdesign Almero, with two clean rounds and 40.02", putting him in sixth place.
At the end of a great day of sport at San Patrignano, Alessandro Rodino Dal Pozzo, President of the show's Organizing Committee, was satisfied, "I am particularly proud of the great work we were able to do to make this sixteenth edition of the San Patrignano international horse show. Already we have seen the public's interest is high as there were quite a few people here already in the audience on the first day".
Source: Press release from San Patrignano Press Office
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