Ph. Manuel Queimadelos.
With victory in the CaixaBank Grand Prix on Sunday, July 31st, Patrice Delaveau put the finishing touch on a fantastic participation in the CSI4* A Coruña in La Coruna, Spain. The Frenchman completed in 34.71 seconds an incredible course with Orient Express HDC, after also setting the fastest time in the first round.
The audience enjoyed a thrilling second round, as the winning pair came into the arena in the last place to snatch the top spot from Abdel Saïd and California.
Delaveau, who was a big fan favorite because of his great results throughout the whole weekend, just made one fault throughout seven courses jumped during the week. About the form of Orient Express, a 14-year-old Selle Francis stallion that had suffered a minor injury earlier this year, the rider said that he is fully recovered: “In this class I felt that he is again fit and he is as good as he used to be in a competition of this level. Unfortunately he did not have the time to get in shape for the Olympics, and we are now participating in CSI4* events.”
With the French team on their way to Rio, Delaveau will continue participating in other competitions with Orient, with a plan to compete in 4* and 5* competitions throughout the rest of the summer, and finally going to Lausanne and the Longines Masters in Los Angeles this fall.
About the show, Delaveau said: “It is always a pleasure to come, it’s an extraordinary show, not only for the top level of the competition but also for the organization. The design of all the courses has been fantastic, there were good riders and the level was shown with only seven clear rounds in the first round.”
Abdel Said of Egypt put in a spectacular performance for 2nd place; he’s only been building on his success after winning the NH Collection Trophy on Friday, and a recent winner two weeks ago in the Knokke Grand Prix at Knokke-Heist, Belgium. Third place went to the Spanish rider Sergio Alvarez Moya with Arrayan, who won this class in 2012, and who will compete in two weeks in Rio.
Fourth was Gudrun Patteet of Belgium, who rode the first clear jumpoff round aboard Sea Coast Atlantic, and in 5th was Samantha McIntosh of New Zealand with Check in 2.
Clear rounds were hard to come by in the first round. The first one was early in the order with British Samuel Hutton, sixth out on the arena, going clear aboard Happydam. It then took over an hour until Mcintosh was clear with Check in 2. The audience was so excited when the Spanish Alvarez Moya was clear, he was the only Spanish rider in the second round. Maikel van der Vleuten, Eric Lamaze and Tobias Meyer were clear but with 1 point for exceeding the time allowed. And two riders completed the list of the second round but with 4 points: Mathieu Billot and Leopold van Asten.
Competition in La Coruna will come again in December with the CSi2* and the CSI5* – W.
See the complete results list here.