X-Bionic Sphere, Šamorín, Slovakia – July 30, 2018 – The first clear of the day was a precursor of things to come for Enrique Gonzalez of Mexico, who rode away with the win in the €92,100 Energochemica Grand Prix CSI 4* during Week 2 of the X-Bionic® Summer Tour (July 24-29, 2018).
Enrique Gonzalez (MEX) & Chacna
The top 11 riders from a field of 43 were welcomed back for the jump-off round, where Gonzalez and the 11-year-old Hanoverian mare Chacna (Chacco-Blue x Narew XX) became the fastest of four, double-clear rounds to clinch the victory.
“I could not feel happier. Last year, when we came here and we saw this incredible place, I fell in love immediately with X-Bionic® Sphere. This year, to come and be able to win a grand prix is absolutely fantastic,” Gonzalez said.
Clear rounds were scarce for the first quarter of the class, until Gonzalez and Chacna, the 14th to go, solved the riddle of Uliano Vezzani’s 1.60m track. Only three more clears would follow: Emanuele Camilli (ITA) with Urban de Rohan, Gerrit Nieberg of (GER) Contagio, and the class leader going into round two, Tiffany Foster (CAN) riding Donjo.
Of the riders qualified for the jump-off, seven returned on a score of four faults to join the four riders on clears. Most of these attempted to climb in the standings by taking risks to better their time, with only the hometown favorite, Bronislav Chudyba of (SVK) on Lester IX, succeeding in his effort to jump both fast and clear, finishing 5th overall.
Emanuele Camilli (ITA) & Urban de Rohan
Nieberg was the first competitor on a zero score to return, riding for the careful clear to stop the clock at 52.96 seconds. Gonzalez followed, picking up the pace and executing two skillful turns to become the new leader on 49.18; Camilli followed on 51.35.
Tiffany Foster (CAN) & Donjo
Last to go, Foster and the big-strided Donjo made up ground, very nearly catching Gonzalez to ride through the timers and finish second on 49.62 seconds.
A happy embrace for the winner during the awards ceremony as Enrique Gonzalez (MEX) is greeted by event director Denis Monticolo
“I normally walk my course, then I go alone to the side, and I visualize three or four times how I am going to ride the course,” Gonzalez said of his winning process. “The experience keeps [me] more calm and focused.”
This is the second, top-10 finish for Gonzalez and Chacna in an X-Bionic® Summer Tour Grand Prix, having placed 7th in the Grand Prix Energochemica on Sunday, July 22. The pair also won the 1.50m Respect CSI4* Grand Prix Qualifier on Friday. “Last week, I had one rail down, I placed in the Grand Prix, but this week, I also won a qualifier,” said an enthusiastic Gonzalez. “It could not have been a better week!”
For full results, please click here.
Source: Press Release by Sara Tanganelli for X-Bionic Summer Tour
Photos: © Filippo Gabutti