Germany’s Sprehe unrivalled at Grand Prix
The Italian-Irish podium at 140cm and the unquestionable Grand Prix winning of Jorne Sprehe of Germany, with Belgium’s Wilm Vermeir finishing second and his compatriot Thierry Goffinett coming third – that is basically what the second day of Warsaw Jumping CSIO4* at the Służewiec Racecourse added up to.
The total of 50 competitors battled to win the top Friday competition for the prize of PKN Orlen and under the patronage of Polska Press, which was held over a course with jumps measuring 1,55 m and the prize pool amounting to PLN 390,000. The majority of the contestants – as many as 41 of them, to be exact – have been representatives of those teams that shall be seen at the Sunday’s Longines EEF Series Nations Cup. The remaining nine won their right to partake through a qualifier the day before.
Italy’s Andrea Colombo, the course designer, came up with a hard nut to crack. The parkour comprised 13 obstacles, including one double and one triple combination, and confirmed its righteous status as the qualifier for next year’s Championships of Europe. As it seemed before the start, the fourteenth obstacle would be time. And, indeed, there was no space for a bit of breath round the course, which complicated things for many riders. The first one to post a clear round and fit within the time limit was the current bronze medalist of World Championships – Maikel van der Vleuten of the Netherlands. The parkour was completed flawlessly by the total of 15 pairs.
The jump-off consisted of just seven obstacles, offering little space for shortcuts and requiring a healthy bit of gallop at some points. The matchless one was Jorne Sprehe riding a 10-year-old mare Hot Easy, the one of her own. She took an all-the-way risk towards the final obstacle, ‘stole one foulee’, thanks to which probably she clocked the wonderful 37,98 sec., leaving thirteen runners-up-to-be behind.
‘Hot Easy was just great today. I am so proud of her, as I also did the best I could. She is going to have a break tomorrow, and after that she will be seen at the Sunday’s Final. Our team is having a night out tonight, we should probably get a bit of chill at some downtown restaurant.’ – she said.
On top of the prize money, which amounted to PLN 97500, Sprehe got as many as 100 points that will count towards the Longines ranking. Additionally, she pulled it through into the European Championships 2023.
The winner of yesterday’s, Belgian Wilm Vermeir with his 13-year-old Joyride S finished second today. He managed to run through the parkour within 38,14 sec. Another Belgian – Theirry Goffinett with Carequicka – came in third place, clocking 38,39 sec.
The jump-off saw two Poles in action. Tomasz Miśkiewicz with mare Stakkato Lazar and Michał Kaźmierczak with gelding Notis. Their placings were 7th and 11th respectively. A fact worth noticing would be that both horses they rode were born and bred in Poland.
Prior to the Grand Prix, the day saw a four-star against-the-clock under the patronage of TVP Sport, won by Guido Franchi of Italy. The Itallian rode the same mare – the Dutch Falanita – that he came second with at a 140 cm the day before. By the way, Falanita’s mother is a sister to Durano – the three-time champion of MPMK (Polish Championships of Young Horses).
‘It has been a fantastic day. Yesterday was great, but it is today that makes me really happy. A very pleasant course, a bit more challenging than the one of yesterday. The Grand Prix this afternoon is of course what matters the most to me. And I am really hoping for a nice result.’ – he shared his feelings after the decoration.
Anthony Condon of Ireland with Merlins Victoire took the second place, with his obvious appreciation of today’s drizzle as … an ideal weather to be.
‘It is hard not to feel satisfied. I feel great here, and so do my horses. The parkour was a great reflection of the competition rank. And the weather is favourable, we do not really mind rainy days.’ – he said smiling.
The bronze went to a petite Italian – Francesca Ciriesi, with Calotta 23.
The very first two-star competition this morning saw the victory of Portugal’s Duarte Seabra with Fernhill Holly Chay.
Four competitions in total have been scheduled for Saturday, as well as the hobby horse show, followed by Blanka Satora’s performance.
The European Nations Cup Final comes exactly at 11:00 on Sunday.
fot. Łukasz Kowalski