HUBSIDE JUMPING: RENÉ LOPEZ "LIKE AT HOME"

René Lopez Lizarazo e Stalognia © Sportfot.jpg

The most French of Colombians shone today at Grimaud! 46 starters, 12 going through to the jump-off and only one winner: René Lopez Lizarazo. The rider had plenty to be happy about today as the honours went to him in the big class of the day, the 1.50m CSI 4* Grand Prix. France’s Julien Epaillard’s excellent current form continues as he took the 1.45m CSI 2*Grand Prix.

René Lopez had a smile on his face this afternoon at Grimaud! Riding Stalognia, a 12 year old mare by Chacco-Blue, the Colombian who is based at the Haras des Grillons alongside his brother Carlos Lopez, won the day’s big class, the 1.50m CSI 4* Grand Prix.  At the end of a jump-off contested by 12 riders, he took the lead, which had been held up until then by the Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat, by 40 hundredths of a second. “It’s a bit like being at home here thanks to the work of Sadri (Fegaier),” smiled the winner. “I saw Steve's (Guerdat) round and knew that I’d have to pull out all the stops to be faster, but my mare is amazing, she responded and we succeeded. She’s still progressing at this height so this victory really confirms her potential. I felt in the first round that we had something to play for, she was very good and very much at ease during the round. She’ll do the Grand Prix on Sunday and in the meantime she’ll be hacked out and eat lots of carrots (laughs)!" He certainly gave the other competitors a hard time! Steve Guerdat with the chestnut Pb Maserati seemed to be well on his way to victory but had to be satisfied with second place. France’s Jean-Luc Mourier, winner of a class yesterday in the CSI 2* was 3rd with Kielekoo Van T Et L.

The Belgian François Mathy Jr won the CSI 4* speed at 1.45m. Riding Casanova de L'Herse, a 13 year old grey stallion who secured victory by finishing 50 hundredths of a second ahead of the Frenchman. “I’d already ridden a good round with Hello Diamant and thought I’d be in the top 10, but finally I was a long way down, and then, as usual, Julien took control of the class,” joked the Belgian. “The only solution I had with Casanova was to gallop, I took a stride out just before the last jump and that's what made the difference.” Behind him, Julien Epaillard finished 2nd with his long-standing ride Usual Suspect d'Auge and as for Steve Guerdat, he was 3rd with Ulysse des Forêts.

Two wins yesterday, one today, Julien Epaillard is unstoppable ! “He even gave himself the luxury of braking” was heard as the Frenchman was about to jump the final obstacle. Against 9 others in the jump-off, and piloting Cheyenne d'Auge he was unstoppable, seizing victory in the 1.45m CSI 2*Grand Prix. "Cheyenne is fantastic! She already won last week and she's done it again today! Contrary to what you might think, she’s not an easy ride, but she’s very respectful and above all very fast! She has lots of qualities, we’ll continue to make the most of them as best we can to take her as far as possible”. France’s Harold Boisset followed in the placings riding Divine de la Roque, while the Israeli Robin Muhr was 3rd with Stawita PS.

The first speed class of the CSI2*, over a 1m35 track, took place mid- morning and was won by Paul Delforge and Uschka du Tassier for France. On the French Equestrian Federation's list of hopefuls for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, the rider from the Haute-Saône region had a convincing win against the other competitors. Benoit Cernin with Bellatrix du Puy and Jean-Luc Mourier with Denfer Saint-Amour were respectively 2nd and 3rd.

Noa Verel on the way to a new hat trick? Already victorious on 3 occasions during the second week of the Hubside Fall Tour and again yesterday in the 1.25m, the rider from the Rhone-Alps region of France seems to be on her way to a repeat performance! With Balduin 35 she this morning took the 1.30m CSI 1* two-phase class and with Urbane de Ribaudiere was 2nd. France’s Noame Bernardin with Elsass du Mezel,  who also is showing good form since the beginning of the event, finished 3rd.

The sun sets over Grimaud and with it, the last national anthems of the day. In the 1.15m CSI 1* it was the Czech Republic that was in the spotlight with Anna Marie Vitek and Mama Mia Picobello Z. The 2nd and 3rd places were occupied by France, with Alice Weill, a winner yesterday, accompanied by Bakara Barbotiere followed by Daphné Monni and Tessa Boreal.

The tone is given, rendezvous tomorrow as the show continues with no less than 7 classes scheduled, ranging in height from 1.00m to 1.50m.

Hubside Jumping Grimaund - Golfe de St. Tropez | René Lopez Lizarazo & Stalognia © Sportfot

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