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Lisa Nooren nails her older competitors in the Longines Grand Prix in La Coruna

Saturday, 12 December 2015
CSI5* La Coruna 2015

Lisa Nooren won the CSI5* Longines Grand Prix in La Coruna. Photo (c) Oxer Sport.
Lisa Nooren won the CSI5* Longines Grand Prix in La Coruna. Photo (c) Oxer Sport.

The only 18-year-old Lisa Nooren again displayed her talent when taking the victory in Saturday’s CSI5* Longines Grand Prix in La Coruna, Spain. The Dutch rider has already impressed this season, when ending third in the CSI3* Grand Prix in Maastricht. On that occasion, she was only beaten by Hansi Dreher and Lauren Hough. Today, she bested Dreher who was left to runner-up position while Nooren took the win of 165 000 Euro.

The first round track at the equestrian venue of Casas Novas was a tricky one, and time and time again the riders were caught up by its demands. It was not until Nooren entered the ring as start number sixteen, that the first clear round came. Aboard VDL Groep Sabech d'Ha (Qredo de Paulstra x Talent Platiere*HN), Lisa rode a beautiful clear round – impressing all.

Five riders later, Belgium’s Niels Bruynseels – winner of the CSI4* Grand Prix in Liege  – secured himself a spot in the winning round as well going clear on Cas de Liberte (Cracky Z x Chellano Z). Then Marc Houtzager, Olivier Philippaerts, Denis Lynch, Edwina Tops-Alexander, Hansi Dreher and Marco Kutscher all followed up by being clear. For the winning round the eight clears were joined by the four fastest four-fault riders; Sheikh Ali Bin Khalid Al Thani, Laura Renwick, Julien Epaillard and Alberto Michan.

There were a lot of mistakes taking place in the first round, with the faults spreading out. Nine riders retired, and Henk van de Pol had to bite the dust on the last vertical – the fence that also broke the heart of Jerome Guery and Marlon Zanotelli that had to see the top pole of the vertical fall to the ground crushing their dream of a winning round. 

The first double clear of the Grand Prix was set by Marc Houtzager on Sterrehof’s Baccarat (Padinus x Silvio I), who rode a fast clean round to stop the clock at 50.35 seconds. One rider later, Belgium’s Olivier Phillippaerts on H&M Challenge V. Begijnakker (Chellano Z x Palestro V. Begijnakker) set a new time to beat at 49.24 seconds taking over the lead.

Hans-Dieter Dreher was next to go on the stunner Embassy II (Escudo I x Silvio I). Fresh from their second place last night, the two were full of confidence and blazed around the track to take over the top of the score board on 48.77 seconds after flying the final oxer. When Niels Bruynseels finished on 49.61 seconds slotting into third, it became crystal clear how fast the German rider had been.

Then it was time for Lisa Nooren. The Dutch rider, daughter of the legendary Henk Nooren, showed no fear over the 1.60 meter shortened track guiding her 9-year-old stallion effortlessly around in perfect style to bring the time down 48.20 seconds to take over the lead with a big smile on her face. And when neither Marco Kutscher nor Edwina Tops-Alexander could match her, both having a pole down – Lisa had secured herself the biggest win in her career to date. The first, but for sure not the last. 

Text © World of Showjumping // Picture © Oxer Sport.

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