Ales Opartrny became the first winner of the Emirates Airline Dubai Grand Prix FEI World Cup Qualifier from the Czech Republic as he guided Acovaro to the win in 43.86 to top the field of 28 competitors on the closing day of competition.
Ferenc Szentirmai of Ukraine was slightly behind in second in 44.20 aboard Quick Diamond. Third place was France’s Frederic David with a time of 46.60 on Baloussini.
In winning, Opartrny earned 80,850AED with the total prizemoney valued at 245,000AED.
His mount, Acovaro, a 10-year-old, is not known for his speed but proved worthy of the test today.
Opartrny said: “I have been riding this horse for two and a half years. He jumps well, but he is not the fastest of horses in the jump off. Today I am happy that he was the fastest.”
Szentirmai opened the competition with a third in the Emirates Airline Two Phase on Thursday before his runner up performance in the Dubai Grand Prix. Frederic David was also a frequent visitor to the presentation podium as he secured two runner-up performances on Thursday in the Emirates Airline Two Phase and the Dubai Equestrian Club Welcome Stakes.
Rounding out the top six placements were: Abdullah Al Sharbatli, a three-time winner of the event in fourth; Marion Hughes, fifth; and Francesco Turturiello of Italy, sixth.
The final day of the Dubai Show Jumping Championship opened with the 120,000AED Longines Accumulator a class won by 27-year-old David Will of Germany.
Will, who began riding at the age of 9, had an exceptional weekend as he won the Emirates Airline Two Phase on Thursday and was runner up in the Gulf News Dubai Cup Qualifier on Friday.
Riding the 10-year-old Monodie H in each of the classes, Will finished in a time of 52.43 in the field of 30 contenders. Ireland’s Marion Hughes completed the course in 52.93 aboard Laith to take second. Hughes an accomplished international performer was also third in the opening day’s Dubai Equestrian Club’s Welcome Stakes. The UAE’s Abdullah Al Marri, who is based at the Emirates Equestrian Centre, secured third with AMS Catch Me in 53.58.
The Longines Accumulator is an event that allows competitors to choose the jumps they will attempt. Each of the fences cleared is worth a given amount of points based on difficulty. The winner is decided by the highest point total and fastest time.