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A tight time allowed mixed with a healthy dose of determination resulted in a fantastic day for 20-year-old Adeline Hecart of France at Vilamoura Champions Tour CSI3* in Portugal. The final grand prix of Vilamoura’s fall series was held on Friday, October 16th due to a weather-related schedule change. It made for a whopping entry list of 72, and while Hecart was dead set on jumping clear, she didn’t think that she and her horse would be the only faultless pair of the class.
But that’s exactly how it shook out in the €30,300 CSI3* 1.50m Grand Prix, presented by CM Loulé.
“I have to say that the course was not easy, but it was really nice to ride,” Hecart said. “The time was very short, which was difficult. When the time is that difficult you have to run a bit and then the faults come. But I have a horse that was quite fast, so I was lucky.”
“When the time is that difficult you have to run a bit and then the faults come. But I have a horse that was quite fast, so I was lucky.”
Hecart tacked up Pasha du Gue, a 12-year-old Selle Francis gelding (Dollar Dela Pierre SF x Darco) that was developed by her father, French champion Michel Hecart (Adeline’s older sister is international grand prix rider Marie Hecart.) Adeline began riding Pasha du Gue last year at Vilamoura, giving Friday’s win –their best finish together yet– special significance.
“My father produced Pasha, and when the horse was ready to make big shows he gave the horse to me, lucky me!” Hecart said. “I train with my father, he’s my only trainer and he’s the best one I can have.”
But during the four-week Vilamoura Champions Tour, Hecart struggled with a bit of “four fault-itis”, and rode into Friday’s grand prix a little angry with herself.
“I was in a little bit of a bad period because I had a few rounds with one down and I was a bit disappointed,” she explained. “So I was really angry today for the grand prix and I really wanted to be clear. My horse was amazing, today was my day and now I am really really happy.”
The 2nd through 4th placed riders all finished clear on a time fault, with Celine Schoonbroodt-De Azevedo and Bardine placing 2nd for Belgium, James Smith and Tyson Uno of Great Britain in 3rd, and Nicolas Paillot and Sbine Des Ibis in 4th for France.
Hecart will continue on to a tour in Spain before taking a few months break from competing. She enthused that Vilamoura’s atmosphere was second to none, with attentive show managers, and as it’s located in an ideal seaside region of Portugal, the life outside of the horse show is an added bonus.
Go here to see the full results list of the €30,300 1.50m Grand Prix, presented by CM Loulé.