William Funnel and the beautiful Billy Congo (Vectha x Animo) made sure that God Save the Queen was heard all over Piazza di Siena today. Saturday’s biggest class was a 1.50 class with no less than 61 starters, but it was William that controlled the competition from start to finish on the lovely British bred stallion. Seventeen riders posted clears in the first round, and moved on to the jump-off. Faults spread out over the twelve fence track, but mainly appeared on the grey vertical that also caused problems in yesterday’s Nations Cup and in the triple combination at 11a, b and c that had a tight distance between the first two elements.
The first clear came from William on the impressive Billy Congo, who jumped a lovely round. Roberto Arioldi was the next to leave the fences intact, and the crowds went crazy in appreciation. Guy Williams, Roger Yves Bost, Jur Vrieling and Lisen Bratt Fredricson all delivered clear rounds – as did Jos Lansink on the impressive Ensor de Litrange (Nabab de Reve x Mr. Blue). Wings Sublieme (Oklund x Voltaire) also jumped beautiful under Billy Twomey to move on to the jump-off, where he was also joined by Harrie Smolders, Penelope Leprevost, Fabio Brotto, Filippo Bologni, Henrik von Eckermann, Ludger Beerbaum and Marc Dilasser. Patrice Delaveau also rode a great clear on Orient Express *HDC (Quick Star x Le Tot de Semilly), as did Kevin Staut on Estoi aqui de uze (Malito de Reves x Kashmir van Schuttershof) – but they did not ride the jump-off.
The jump-off was William’s show from start to finish. As first to go the British rider had a difficult job, but certainly solved the task well. Really tight turns around the shortened seven fence track, and a gallop on the last stretch to the final vertical that looked like something from a race track and a literally flying jump from Billy Congo over the Longines vertical stopped the clock at 37.65. None of the riders to come could match William. Only Jur Vrieling on Sissi van’t Schuttershof shaved off time, but the Dutch rider had the last fence down in his chase.
Stall Beerbaum really tried to fix a win, but both Henrik von Eckermann and his boss Ludger Beerbaum were a little too slow. Ludger ended second on Chaman (Baloubet du Rouet x I Love You) with the time of 38.40, while Henrik was fourth on 39.31 together with Quibell (Quintero x Cento) – with Roberto Arioldi sneaking in between in third with a time of 38.60 on the wonderful Loro Piano Utile (Lancer III x Pierot II).
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