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Surprise win for Marcus Westergren and Fellaini de Liebri Z in the Prix FFE in La Baule

Thursday, 08 June 2023
CSIO5* La Baule 2023

Photo © Jumping International de La Baule/PSV Marcus Westergren surprised with a win in Thursday's CSIO5* 1.50m Prix FFE – a qualifier for Sunday's Rolex Grand Prix – in La Baule. Photo © Jumping International de La Baule/PSV.


Edited press release from Jumping International de La Baule



Sweden's Marcus Westergren and the only 9-year-old Fellaini de Liebri Z (Faustino de Tili x San Patrignano Corrado) took a surprise win in Thursday's CSIO5* 1.50m Prix FFE – a qualifier for Sunday's Rolex Grand Prix – in La Baule, as five-star competitions got underway at the traditional French venue.

“When I started out, I just tried to do a normal round,” said the Swede. “I really did not expect to do so well, particularly because my horse is only a 9-year-old and is still inexperienced. As I was one of the early starters, the wait seemed very long. Marlon Modollo Zanotelli took it right up to the wire towards the end. Well, I won in the end, I can’t believe it. I’m really surprised to have won. I am a reserve rider for the Swedish team so I will not be taking part in the Nations Cup, but I am very happy to have already qualified for the Grand Prix”.

The Swede finished first ahead of the host nation’s own Nicolas Delmotte and Ilex VP (Diamant de Semilly x Darco) – that crossed the finish line 0.08 seconds behind the winning time. “It’s a good way in," the Frenchman said. “Last week, we had a good Nations Cup at St. Gallen with a clear round in the second round. Today’s class was important because I needed to qualify for Sunday’s Grand Prix. The horse jumped really well, so I’m feeling confident about the rest of the event.”

Following in third after Delmotte were two Irish riders; Max Wachman on Quintini (Quintender 2 x Cassini II) and his trainer Cian O'Connor on Checkter (Cellestial x Lord Pezi). Belgium's Gregory Wathelet and Ace of Hearts (Aliandro B x Ramanov) placed fifth.

Photo © Jumping International de la Baule/PSV. Nicolas Delmotte and Ilex VP took the second place in the CSIO5* 1.50m Prix FFE. Photo © Jumping International de la Baule/PSV.

In the CSIO5* 1.45m Loire-Atlantique Region Derby, home heroes Julien Épaillard on Hoover (Clinton x Carthago) and Roger-Yves Bost on Ballerine du Vilpion (Baloubet du Rouet x Quidam de Revel) lived up to expectations when finishing first and second. “It’s always nice to start a competition with a win,” the world no. 2 said. “I had never ridden Hoover on grass and it’s encouraging to see that he feels confident right from the first day. But the hardest part is yet to come.”

On Friday, the Nations Cup presented by Barrière will be the highlight of the day. Ten teams – Belgium, Brazil, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Japan, Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland – will battle it out, and the eight best nations in the first round qualify for the second.

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