La Baule, France – June 12, 2021 – The Derby of the Loire Region is among the most favorite classes of the public of La Baule, fond of this long course mixing jumping poles and fixed fences.
First to go, the Mexican Paola Amilibia (MEX) and V.I.P. completed a beautiful round, penalised by only one fault on the water jump. The two following pairs, Santiago Nunez Riva (ESP)/Ariana Dream and Julien Gonin (FRA)/Vipper du Lavoir came out of the arena with 12 penalty points each. Off to a good start with Astuce de La Roque, Victor Bettendorf (LUX) saw his dreams of victory fly away when his mare stopped in front of the lake, leading to the elimination of the pair.
The French Nicolas Delmotte (FRA and Citadin du Chatellier had a rail down on the very last fence, while the British Holly Smith (GBR) completed the perfect round with Fruselli.
This performance allowed the young British rider to register her name on the prestigious record of the Derby of the Loire Region, since no other pair managed to do better. Nicolas Delmotte (FRA) and Citadin du Chatellier climbed on the 2nd step of the podium.
The podium was completed by the third-ranked rider in the world, Martin Fuchs (SUI), who guided Tam Tam du Valon (Ogrion des Champs x Quidam de Revel) towards four penalties too, finishing just one-hundredth of a second behind the latter two.
Winner’s Circle – Holly Smith (GBR)
“This is my first victory and the first time Fruselli took part in a Derby. I was expecting him to do well, but not necessarily to that extent! On the water jump, I thought I would have a penalty, but in the end everything went well. I managed my tactics well. It is like a marthon, you have 1000 meters to handle, so if you start too slowly, maybe you will clear or get one time penalty point. I was afraid my time would not be good enough, or someone clears and goes faster. I think those who rode after me were maybe impressed and they had faults where they should not have, like Nicolas on the last fence.“
Second Place – Nicolas Delmotte (FRA)
“I am disappointed with this rail down, but this would not have make any difference, since I was under the time anyway. It is a little annoying, but I am very happy with my horse. It was his first Derby and I am pleased because he was prepared. To me it is a wonderful class and I thought that, for the evolution of my horse, it was interesting to enter him in the Derby of La Baule which is really pleasant. He did this with ease, as if he had done it several times. I think the Derby is good for horses’ education. Citadin is a horse I strongly believe in.“
Final Results – €40,000 Derby Région des Pays de La Loire CSIO 5*
1) Holly Smith (GBR) & Fruselli – 0 / 130.95
2) Nicolas Delmotte (FRA) & Citadin du Chatellier – 4 / 132.23
3) Martin Fuchs (SUI) & Tam Tam Du Valon – 4 / 132.24
Source: Press Release by Agence Consulis for Longines Jumping of La Baule
Photos: © PSV Photo