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First Colombian win in the La Baule Derby

Saturday, 19 May 2018
CSIO5* La Baule 2018

Photo (c) PSV Morel / Jumping International La Baule René Lopez and Destiny's Child won the La Baule Derby. Photo (c) PSV Morel / Jumping International La Baule.

Nineteen horse-and-rider combinations were on the start list for the traditional CSIO5* Derby of Pays de la Loire Region in La Baule on Saturday afternoon. The course, 1000 meters long, was composed of 22 fences with two banks and a lake to jump.

Colombian rider René Lopez, faithful to the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup of France, was the first to go in the grass arena of the François André stadium with his 10-year-old mare Destiny’s Child (Sandro Boy x Corland). The pair showed their talent and managed to fly over the difficulties fences with a clear round in 139.48 seconds. After that, the pressure was on the shoulders of the other riders. 

Actually, nobody managed to do just as well. French rider Harold Boisset was riding his very first Derby and managed to be faster than René Lopez. He completed his course in 137.63 seconds with Vakhenaton (Ogrion des Champs x Noblequest), a 9-year-old Selle Français. But with one rail down, he saw victory fade away, and placed as runner-up. 2012 Olympic Champion Steve Guerdat had a rail down too with Venard de Cerisy (Open Up Semilly x Djalisco du Guet) in a time of 138.04, and placed third.

At the prize giving ceremony, René Lopez did not hide his emotions. Clinching victory in the La Baule Derby, his dream had come true. With this victory, he made history by being the first Colombian to write his name on the record of the prestigious Derby of the Loire Region.

“I am delighted about this. I thought I would finish among the 3-4 first riders, and during the class, I realized I might end up with a better placing. It is a class I really like, and that I always tried to ride. I tried to train my horse last week, but I could not jump a simple puddle of water. Today, everything went well, so of course I am very happy. Last year I could not take part. It is an important class for me, mythical, and I try, whenever I have the suitable horse, to be present, here in La Baule,” said René Lopez after his win.  


Source: Jumping International La Baule // Picture © PSV Morel / Jumping International La Baule

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