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Rozier strikes in El Jadida Grand Prix

Monday, 22 October 2018
CSI4*-W El Jadida 2018

Photo (c) R&B Presse. Philippe Rozier with Cristallo A*LM. Photo (c) R&B Presse.

Philippe Rozier and the Moroccan equestrian sports have a long history together – lasting for more than ten years – and was displayed once again by another victory for the Olympic Champion in this first 4* Grand Prix in El Jadida. 

The Grand Prix 4* was a fantastic conclusion for the 2018 edition of the Morocco Royal Tour, upgraded to a 4* level for the first time. Uliano Vezzani, the course designer, recently said that 5* competition was absolutely possible on the El Jadida’s arena and that he designed this year Grand Prix to be close to that level. During the first round, four out of the thirty-nine riders entering managed to produce clear rounds: Philippe Rozier was the first to sign off with a perfect clear followed by the French rider Olivier Perreau, the Saudi rider Abdullah Alsharbatly and the Brazilian rider Pedro Junquiera-Muylaert. In this Grand Prix with a second round, ten riders were allowed to come back: Three riders with four faults – Henk van de Pol, Pierre-Alain Mortier and Pius Schwizer, three riders with one penalty – Alberto Marquez-Galobardes, Simon Delestre and Roberto Arioldi and the clear ones. The second round against the clock reorganized the ranking, even though riders still carried their first-round scores. At the end, only the Olympic Champion Philippe Rozier managed to deliver a double clear round, taking the victory.

Besides being a distinguished rider, Philippe Rozier has been the Moroccan national team coach for many years. He carried the team up to the World Equestrian Games in 2014 and still continues to train some of the Moroccan riders. “Emotionally, it is an important victory for me,” confessed a touched Philippe Rozier. “It is amazing, I love those feelings and it is why I get up every morning, even after thirty-five years! Cristallo A*LM is a small wonderful horse. He has a big heart and will give anything to please his rider. He arrived at the perfect time in my career, Rahotep de Toscane (his Olympic Games horse – ed) was hurt for almost a year and Cristallo took over him with brio. I am really lucky that the Laiterie de Montaigu believed in me and entrusts me this horse. I can not wait to go back to competitions with both Rahotep and Cristallo in the beginning of next year, it will be incredible!”  

“I have a great horse, I only had to ride him well! Here, it is difficult, everything comes very fast and it’s the first indoor of the season. My horse is fourteen years old and I am an experienced rider, so we had the advantage on other couples of the class. In the arena, they were difficulties a bit everywhere, which is often the case with Uliano Vezzani’s courses. He always designs his courses in the respect of horses, but demands of us, riders, to be precise unless we want to pay for it! He forces us to ride just and well. During the jump-off, considering my position I preferred to focus more on the clear round and less on the timing. I would prefer to be, in the worst case, on the third position rather than making a four faults course or even more by going too fast and finishing in tenth position, like in Tétouan or Rabat,” Rozier said.

The two riders completing the podium both finished with one fault for exceeded time in the first round, as they both produced clear rounds during this second part of the class. Roberto Arioldi seized the second place with Dundee van het Marienshof and Simon Delestre took the third place, riding Ulane Belmaniere – that jumped her first indoor Grand Prix. 

Press release from R&B Presse

Photo © R&B Presse

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