CSI 5*

Alberto Zorzi & Ulane de Coquerie Conquer the €125,000 Turkish Airlines Grand Prix CSI 5* at Olympia

London International Horse Show 2018

Alberto Zorzi (ITA) became the fifth rider in history to win The Turkish Airlines Olympia Grand Prix CSI 5* back-to-back when he produced an incredible burst of speed to outdo his four rivals in the jump-off and bring a brilliant five days of jumping to an enthralling close.

Last year, Zorzi, a member of the Italian army, also won on a mare (Contanga); this time it was the black 10-year-old Selle Français mare, Ulane de Coquerie ( L’Arc de Triomphe – Quine de Coquerie). The duo were double clear, stopping the timers in 27.42 seconds during the decisive phase.

London International Horse Show 2018

Alberto Zorzi (ITA) & Ulane de Coquerie

“It’s unbelievable! I am so lucky,” said Zorzi. “I know my horse is very fast, so I trust her and go with her. She’s one of the best I have ridden. I love this Show!”

London International Horse Show 2018

Alberto Zorzi (ITA) & Ulane de Coquerie

In completing the double, Zorzi joins an elite band of riders: David Broome (with Philco and Sportsman in 1977-78), Nick Skelton (St James, 1982-83), Malcolm Pyrah (Towerlands Anglezarke, 1985-86), Franke Sloothaak (Walzerkoenig, 1988-89) and Ben Maher (Tripple X and Diva ll, 2013-14).

Only four went through to the jump-off, and Rodrigo Giesteira Almeida (POR) riding Iron Horse Farm’s GC Chopin’s Bushi made a feisty start with a clear in 28.69 seconds. However, he was overhauled by the stylish Maikel van der Vleuten (NED) on Idi Utopia, who came home in 28.64 seconds.

Scott Brash (GBR) was the sole British representative, riding a masterful clear round on the youngster Hello Jefferson, but a tight turn proved too ambitious for the nine-year-old and he refused.

2018.12.24.99.99 Olympia CSI 5 GP Cel Alberto Zorzi & Ulane de Coquerie HP KH.JPG

Alberto Zorzi (ITA) & Ulane de Coquerie during the awards ceremony

Both Zorzi and van der Vleuten felt the Grand Prix track was harder than that for the previous day’s FEI World Cup™. “Alberto’s horse had a shorter stride than mine and could move up more quickly to the fences,” explained van der Vleuten, who ended up as Leading Rider of the Show. “But finishing second, and as Leading Rider of the show, is a great way for me to finish the year.”

For full results, please click here.

Source: Press release from Revolution Sports for Olympia – The London International Horse Show

Photos: © Horsepower / Kit Houghton