The French Alexis Deroubaix did not want to leave Casas Novas without a victory after reaching the podium yesterday. So, he put all his talent and skills in a tough final and managed a perfect score.
The test was very hard, as it should be a Grand Prix 4 * of this level and it was judged in the exciting two rounds without Jump Off scale. The riders had to overcome in the qualifying 16 efforts in a total of 13 obstacles, for the eight of the second round. The course plan, designed by Javier Trenor, had a maximum height of 1.60 meters, which attests its difficulty. Participants had to complete it in less than 84 seconds if they do not want to be penalized.
As it happened the previous day, the starting order was divided into four seriess of bets (beginning with the third one, since the previous two were made in the previous trophy) of ten runners each, with a pair out of bets, making a total of 41 pairs.
In the first series of participants (third seriess of bets of the day), there were several demolitions, rejections and difficulties (especially the bidet of one of the last obstacle). The Spanish Mikel Aizpurua Quiroga was the first zero of the test, very meritorious with a brilliant performance of his horse Cartanya, who received the praise of the audience. The Canadian Elizabeth Bates did not knock down but accumulated a penalty point for time, since she had to manage her horse several times (Chronos 31), because the horse threatened to stop.
Shortly after the Swedish Hannah Åkerblom showed her skills and her horse worked impeccably, with the best time without penalties. The Argentine pair Luis Magnasco and Callisto Des Bieffes completed the course with only 1 point and to try to qualify. The Colombian Mauricio Ruiz flew on his journey but knocked down in the bidet, so he made 4 points.
Sensational fifth seriess for Emilio Bicocchi who is in a fantastic moment, scoring zero points despite touching in some bars. Another rider who is jumping well in the contest is Reynald Angot, who made a fast and consistent course in time without faults. Another Spanish classified to the final in this seriess was Gerardo Menéndez Mieres. With a perfect management, the French Alexis Deroubaix, stopped the clock in the shortest time so far.
The first to qualify would be Eduardo Álvarez Aznar, with a great job. The Dutch Eric van der Vleuten, sponsored by Massimo Dutti, can not add another victory in this CSI winning this GP because he got 4 penalty points. Guillaume Foutrier, another of the favorites and winner of the Longines Trophy of the previous day, took a new zero with a good time. Then there was the Spanish Sergio Álvarez Moya(riding Carlo 273) who took a place for the second round.
Therefore, these would finally be 11 riders who will be in the second round: all the zeros and the two ones.
THRILLING SECOND ROUND
Elisabeth Bates, Canadian rider, was the first to emerge in this second round, but the penalty point for excess time made her victory impossible. Then, it was the turn of the Argentinian Luis Magnasco, who accumulated penalties for demolition and time. Afterwards, it was the turn of the Spanish Mikel Aizpurua Quiroga, who lifted the audience from their seats with the first zero of the test in 51.99 seconds on the back of Cartanya. Another Spanish on the track, Gerardo Menéndez Mieres with Cassino DC, but he knocked down and could not fight for the podium. Sergio Álvarez Moyawas very fast and seemed to approach the victory, but he knocked down in the last obstacle with Carlo 273. The Swedish Hannah Åkerblom was again impeccable but her time was not enough to be among the top (54.30 seconds). Eduardo Álvarez Aznar knocked down in the double and ran out of options despite his good time with Uqualin du Saulcy. The champion of the Longines Trophy, Guillaume Foutrier, was left without a double and also knocked down in the double. Emilio Bicocchi also knocked down twice with Call Me and could not take tow trophies at Casas Novas.Reynald Angotstarted very focused but his horse Symphonie des Biches refused in two obstacles (Marqués de Riscal and Massimo Dutti with bidet) and was eliminated. And, as usual in this contest, the last one to go out won the Trophy. It was the best of the qualifying and also in the second round: Alexis Deroubaix and Timon d’Aure made a great track and added to France another victory in Casas Novas in 51.08 seconds. The audience recognized the work of the rider, not only today, but throughout the weekend and applauded him with fervour.
FULL STANDS AND EMOTIONAL TRIBUTE TO TINO TORRES
As usual, the Galician fans replied well and filled the stands of the equestrian center, as well as the other spaces conditioned to watch the competition.
Before the dispute of the second round, Casas Novas made a tribute to the recently deceased Tino Torres, award-winning rider with participations in World Equestrian Games and winner of two Nations Cups (among many other national and international trophys), was director of the equestrian center for many years and coach of Marta Ortega, which led to winning the Spanish Championship of Young riders.