Sergio powered into first place on Kisby in a time of 59.56 winning the CSI5* 1.45m class ahead of a 42-strong field which included over 30 of the world’s top riders. French rider Kevin Staut was second in 60.25 on Le Prestige de Hus after accelerating sharply over the Global Champions Tour vertical during his round. Katharina Offel of the Ukraine came in third on Charlie in 60.73.
Ireland’s Billy Twomey was a fraction of second behind in fourth on 60.74 and fellow Irish rider Mark McAuley was fifth on the powerful horse Par Trois, owned by the young Italian rider Maddalena Valenzano Menada.
Several of the world’s top riders tried to catch the winning time but paid the price for having to take risks.
Speaking after the prize giving ceremony in the arena at the Oliva Nova Equestrian Centre Sergio said: “Kisby is a very fast mare and we made some good tight turns. Because she has so much speed it means I did not have to take as much risk.”
Kisby is owned by Sergio’s wife Marta Ortego Perez who is also competing at the GCT event. Marta and Sergio bought Kisby have owned the chestnut mare for about one year after buying her from Edwina-Tops Alexander. The Iberian Airlines class featured plenty of high quality young horses, with some of the equine stars of the future among them. The course designed by Frank Rothenberger produced 15 clear rounds but the Iberia Airlines double combination towards the end of proved a challenge for some of the best riders including Michael Whitaker and Alvaro da Miranda.
Source: Press release Global Champions Tour.