RENÉ LOPEZ CONTINUES HER HARVEST AT GRIMAUD

Sportfot (René Lopez & Stalognia) .jpg

René Lopez, the boss at Grimaud! In front of 29 other competitors, the Colombian won the big class of the day, the 1.50m CSI 5* speed, with his excellent Stalognia. Julien Epaillard, once again left his mark in the CSI 2* by winning his 3rd consecutive class with Cheyenne d'Auge.

The first day of competition ended in Grimaud with the Colombian national anthem accompanying the sunset!  Riding his grey mare, Stalognia, with whom he won the 1.45m CSI 4* Grand Prix the previous week (8th of October), René Lopez Lizarazo dominated again, this time in the 1.50m CSI 5* speed class. Ninth to go, the South American stopped the clock nearly a second faster, taking the lead which was previously held by France’s Simon Delestre.  “Stalognia was fantastic, just like last week,” rejoiced the rider. “She’s in great form at the moment and I hope it continues. I’ve been riding her for about a year, she belongs to Bertrand Darier who’s my owner and sponsor. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank him, because without him, I wouldn’t be able to ride such quality horses. I’m delighted for him, for myself, and also for the entire team that surrounds me daily. We don't know yet if we’ll leave her on this win for the weekend, or if she’ll jump again in a class on Saturday. We’re going to think about it. What is certain though, is that she won’t be starting the Grand Prix on Sunday. I’ll be entering Kheros, the second horse I’ve entered in the 5*.”  Simon Delestre from the Lorraine region of France and his very good Chesall Zimequest finished 2nd, ahead of Ireland's Mark McAuley, who was 3rd with O'Hara Els.

Julien Epaillard and Cheyenne d'Auge seem untouchable in Grimaud. At the start this afternoon in the 1.45m CSI 2* speed class, they were almost 2 seconds ahead of the other competitors and won the class. “She did two classes last week, she won both, yesterday she did it again, I can’t be anything other than pleased with Cheyenne,” proudly smiled the rider. “She’ll be doing the 1.50m speed class on Saturday, it’ll be one of her first over a track of this size. She’s just done the Bourg en Bresse 4* Grand Prix and the 3* one in Cabourg so we will see if she has made progress over this height." The rest of the podium was completed by Belgium with Wilm Vermeir and Joyride S and then, Grégory Wathelet riding Berline du Maillet Z.

France’s Nicolas Bost seems determined to follow in the footsteps of his father Roger-Yves Bost. Riding his grey mare Castlerforbes Besty, the rider from Barbizon made his presence felt winning the 1.30m CSI 2* speed class against 95 others. “I was placed in this class with both my horses so I’m very pleased,” said the winner. “I’m especially happy because last week Castleforbes wasn’t in great form so this victory is quite reassuring. Tomorrow we’ll be jumping in the 1.35m and then on Sunday maybe the 1.45m Grand Prix”. Italy's Emanuele Gaudiano, who is often strong opponent when it comes to jumping against the clock, took the second step of the podium with Vasco 118, ahead of Israel's Robin Muhr and Baccarat Meniljean.

The first three events of the day, the CSI 1* 1.00m, 1.15m and 1.25m speed classes, were won respectively by Monaco’s Alexandra Degoumois with Steckenpferd's Shopgirl, then France’s Sabine Maitrot Charmasson riding Ti Amo Tuillière and Noame Bernardin with Elsass du Mezel.

Today competition resumes in earnest, with, as the highlight of the day, the 1.55m CSI 5* Grand Prix.

Hubside Jumping Grimaud | Phto ©Sportfot (René Lopez & Stalognia)

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