X-Bionic Equestor Sphere, Šamorin, Slovakia – July 22, 2018 – Dominique Hendrickx (BEL) of Belgium earned his first major win of the X-BIONIC® Summer Tour on Sunday, riding Bacardi les Hauts. Hendrickx bested a field of 49 riders from as many as 25 different nations to win the €92,100 Energochemica Grand Prix CSI 4*, becoming one of only two double-clear rounds on course designer Uliano Vezzani’s challenging 1.60m track.
The day provided spectators seasonably warm temperatures and cloudy skies, eventually giving way to gentle summer rains just in time for the prize giving. The expansive, 13-obtacle first-round required both dexterity and stamina, offering plenty of challenges throughout. Jumps 6 and 7, the open water to an upright vertical liverpool, proved to be the undoing of more than one pair, while the final line, a wide oxer to the number 13 vertical, also fell at regular intervals.
Hendrickx and the 11-year-old Belgian Sport Horse stallion (Rexar du Houssoit x Cavalier) were one of only three pairs to jump clear in the first round, with the top 13 returning for the shortened course: nine on four faults; Ondrej Zvara of the Czech Republic on a time fault; and Luiz Francisco de Azevedo of Brazil, Hendrickx, and the U.S.A.’s Lucas Porter on zero.
Vezzani’s winding jump-off course featured a limited number of related distances but took in the full breadth of X-BIONIC’s sprawling, grass grand prix field.
Brazil’s Cassio Rivetti emerged as an early leader among the four-faulters with Ulahop Boy (Lamm de Fetan x Kannan), stopping the clock at a blazing-fast 41.95 seconds. Zvara, on one, attempted a more conservative route with Cento Lano, but pulled a rail, finishing on five faults. Riding the 11-year-old KWPN stallion, Comic, Luiz Francisco de Azevedo (BRA) also rode for the careful clear, finishing on 52.83 seconds and leaving the final two competitors—Hendrickx and Porter on Diamonte Darco—to battle for the win.
Luiz Francisco de Azevedo (BRA) & Comic
Hendrickx jumped first, keeping up the pace but following a slightly tidier track than de Azevedo to stop the clock at 49.51 seconds. Last to go, Porter looked ready to put the pedal down, but dropped an unlucky rail at the third oxer on course, finishing 6th overall. Brazil’s Rivetti took third; his countryman, de Azevedo, second.
Dominique Hendrickx (BEL) & Bacardi Les Hauts receiving one of their prizes from Katarina Kvassayova during the awards ceremony
This is the first major win of the season for the Lier, Belgium-based Hendrickx and Bacardi les Hauts, who have been paired together since 2015.
Dominique Hendrickx (BEL) & Bacardi Les Hauts
For full results, please click here.
Categories: CSI 4*