Rabat, Morocco – October 10, 2019 – The Morocco Royal Tour CSI 4*-W & CSIO 4* kicked off Nations Cup week in yesterday in Rabat, with the first major class of the week, the CNOM Prize CSIO 4*, the qualifier for the Grand Prix. The competition was held at the Royal Golf Dar Es Salam, the showjumping venue of the Royal Moroccan Federation of Equestrian Sports (FRMSE) for the second leg of the tour, in the nation’s capital.
Once again the organizers brought one of the best professionals in the world in his métier, leaving the duty to 2018 World Equestrian Games (WEG) course designer, Alan Wade (IRL). Originally, one hundred and twenty-one combinations were set to challenge the 1.45m speed course, but in the end, 110 attempted to do so within the time allowed of 78 seconds. The two double obstacles, the first along the grandstand (number 4) and number 7 on the opposite side, were the bogey jumps, being responsible for a high percentage of the penalties. Moreover, element b of both of them came down more often.
Simon Delestre (FRA) & Qopilot Batilly
Sixth in the order, former world number, Simon Delestre (FRA) and Qopilot Batilly Z (Qlassic Bois Margot x Cabdula du Tillard) were one of the early leaders, backed by a clean effort in 62.15 seconds. One of the favorites and fastest combinations in the sport, Emanuele Gaudiano (ITA) and Carlotta 232 (Chaccomo x Cento) had an early pole down, leaving them out of contention.
Samantha McIntosh (NZL) and James S (Verdi x Concorde) overtook Delestre at the top of the leaderboard, but their mark of 61.68 seconds turned out to be good enough for fifth place.
Roberto Turchetto (ITA) and Baron (Colman x Numero Uno) used tight turns from obstacles 2 to 3, from 6 to 7, and around the yellow barrier to the last obstacle for a provisional lead that would eventually earn them bronze honors, timed in 61.48 seconds. Paolo Adorno (ITA) and Fer ZG (Nabab de Reve x Cantos) challenged his fellow countryman, falling short by just four-hundredths of a second.
Tiffany Foster (CAN) & Brighton
Tiffany Foster (CAN) and Artisan Farms’ Brighton (Contendro x Quick Star) were very clean and tight around the turns, doing some leave outs in what seemed to be the winning performance in 59.80 seconds. However, the Canadian’s lead would still face one final challenge.
If there was still a combination that could beat her, that would be Ramzy Al Duhami (KSA) and High Quality J, winners of the Grand Prix Qualifier CSI 4*-W (Group A) last week in Tétouan. And that’s exactly what the Saudi did, daring his 12-year-old bay Belgian Warmblood gelding (Quadrillo x Nabab de Reve) to do the leave outs at some critical lines, going tight from 2 to 3, to the first double combination (obstacle number 4) in seven strides, from obstacle 6 to 7, securing the victory in blazing speed after tripping the timers in 58.91 seconds.
Winner’s Circle: Ramzy Al Duhami (KSA)
Approach to the Bogey Jumps
“The seven strides, I was trying to do it as smooth as possible and to stay as quiet as possible, it was very delicate. The second double, I wanted to be short and not so fast around it, so I don’t really open him up and afterwards, I tried to win some time and he’s naturally fast by nature, I tried to shave the corners and keep him going.”
Decisive Factor for the Win
“High Quality J is fast by nature, he’s gone in the first stride after landing, what I have to do between the lines is hold him because he always runs to the fences. He likes that, that’s him. I know him very well and we have a good chemistry together. Normally, if I pick up my lines, he’s fast enough to beat any horse in the world, he’s a fast one!”
For full results, please click here.