Marlon Modolo Zanotelli & Rock ‘N Roll Semilly. Ph. Bolesworth International.
Brazilian rider Marlon Modolo Zanotelli started where he left off 12 months ago by being a winner at the Bolesworth CSI **** International in the United Kingdom on Thursday, June 16th, 2016.
Zanotelli, who won more classes than any other rider during Bolesworth’s 2015 event, took 1st place in 1.50m Longines ranking class, a CSI4*, two-phase class, sponsored by Equiline/Fearns Farm Partnership, on Rock ‘n Roll Semilly, landing a top prize of £6,400.
In doing so, he underlined the rich potential that could easily be converted into an appearance at a home Olympics in Rio later this summer.
“The team looks good – Brazil has some good horses,” Zanotelli said when asked about Rio. “I would say we have about seven riders with a chance of making selection, and they all look good. It is a good group together, and everyone is motivated.
“Hopefully, I will be selected. An Olympics at home – and my first one – would be special.”
Reflecting on his latest Bolesworth triumph after edging runner-up American Lillie Keenan with Super Sox into 2nd, and Britain’s Chloe Aston aboard Kolibri Classic into 3rd, Zanotelli added: “He jumped very well, he is always doing a great job. He can do the tight turns very well.”
Modolo Zanotelli rode the 11-year-old Selle Francis stallion (Diamont de Semilly x Apache D’Adriers) at last year’s Pan American Games in Caledon, Ontario, and the horse is his top prospect for Rio.
The USA’s Reed Kessler placed 4th aboard Irish Sport Horse Cos I Can, and home rider Jessica Mendoza was 5th with Sam De Bacon. The top 18 riders all completed the course without fault, making speed in the second phase the deciding factor.
See the full results list here.
Earlier in the afternoon, Irish eyes were smiling at Bolesworth when Marion Hughes won the four-star speed class, sponsored by NFU Mutual.
A bumper field entered the afternoon’s feature event, and Hughes showed all her experience to guide Heritage HHS Fortuna home in a time of 63.93 seconds.
Britain’s Keith Shore, riding Zegreanne Z, led the chasing pack in second spot with a time of 64.16, and third went to another Britishb rider – Douglas Duffin – on Chiquito Z.
“I was hoping that I would hoold out for the whole class because there were a good few fast ones to go after me,” Hughes said. “My mare is very fast. I didn’t do the inside routes – I just decided to just keep nice and flowing, and I think it paid off.”