La Baule: France shines, Lamaze back on top
The experienced French rider Michel Hécarrt and his horse Nokia de Brekka opened the show Saturday with a victory in the famous Derby. Despite 4 points on a bar in the early course, Hécart beat time his compatriot Roger-Yves Bost, the 2013 European champion, and Italian rider Luca Maria Moneta.
Right after the Derby, Penelope Leprévost brilliantly won the Prix RMC with her beloved horse Mylord Carthago HN, who had been injured for a long time,and with whom she had won many competitions in the past. Deeply moved, the French rider broke into tears in the arms of her mentor Michel Robert ! Her compatriot Hécart Marie, Michel's daughter, took a fine second place on Myself de Brève, in front of Belgian rider Olivier Philippaerts and Armstrong van de Kapel Z
But the event that the public was looking forward to the most was of course the 5* Grand Prix on Sunday. A very emotional competition with the beautiful victory of Eric Lamaze and his horse Powerplay. A first in a CSI 5 * for the Canadian rider since the tragic loss of his horse Hickstead in 2011, with whom he had won the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
Nine couples were qualified for the playoffs including four French rider : Simon Delestre on Qlassic Bois Margot, Kevin Staut and Rêveur de Hurtebise HDC, Pénélope Leprévost on Dame Blanche van Arenberg and Patrice Delaveau on Carinjo HDC. The Moroccan Abdelkebir Ouaddar and his horse to Quickly de Kreisker had established the reference time in the playoff, just 0'07 faster than the 2013 winner Patrice Delaveau on Carinjo HDC . It was thought that the case was in the bag for Abdelkebir... before Eric Lamaze took all the risks to complete his ride almost 2 seconds faster than the Morrocan rider near two seconds ! A great victory that sparked a standing ovation from the impressive crowd of La Baule, and the tears of the Canadian rider, very excited to win one of his favorite events for the second time .
Next "rendez-vous" for all those riders in Rome this weekend for the third stage of the FEI Furusiyya Nations Cup Circuit.
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Le classement du Grand Prix
- Eric Lamaze (CAN/Powerplay) 0-0 (35’83)
- Abdelkebir Ouaddar (MAR/Quickly de Kreisker) 0-0 (37’53)
- Patrice Delaveau (FRA/Carinjo HDC) 0-0 (37’60)
- Pénélope Leprévost (FRA/Dame Blanche van Arenberg) 0-0 (37’99)
- Jos Verlooy (BEL/Domino) 0-0 (38’67)
- Kevin Staut (FRA/Rêveur de Hurtebise HDC) 0-0 (38’79)
- Simon Delestre (FRA/Qlassic Bois Margot) 0-0 (41’00)
- Joe Clee (GBR/Utamaro d'Ecaussines) 0-0 (41’73)
- Paul Estermann (SUI/Castlefield Eclipse) 0-Retired