Vilamoura, Quarteira, Faro, Portugal – February 18, 2022 – Michael Pender (IRL) and HHS Fast Forward were fast and furious to win the €25,550 Jump-off Challenge CSI 3* on Thursday during the fourth week of the VillaMoura Atlantic Tour at the VillaMoura Equestrian Centre.
A total of 50 combinations entered the Francisco Moura Arena to face obstacles set at the height of 1.45m/1.50m in pursuit of precious FEI points, a good amount of gold and last but not least, glory. Ireland has had many wins at the cozy venue and it was no different this time as Pender used all the power that Marion Hughes‘ 2012 bay Irish Sport Horse has (Fortunus x Cavalier Royale), guiding him towards a penalty-free jump-off performance in 35,59 seconds, a mark that no other challenger could even come close.
Robin Lesqueren (FRA) and Dorado de Riverland (Untouchable M x Argentinus) were a pleasant surprise among the top three. They did not only register two fault-free performances but also guaranteed the second spot on the podium backed by their jump-off time of 37.28 seconds.
Despite not scoring a win, it could be said that France was the best performing country in the contest. Les Bleus claimed three out of the top four. In fact, Mathieu Billot (FRA) and Baschung Courcelle (Lamm de Fetan x Jazz Band Courcelle) rode towards bronze honors after a clean scorecard in 37.78 seconds.
Final Results – €25,550 Villamoura Jump-off Challenge CSI 3*
1) Michael Pender (IRL) & HHS Fast Forward – 0 / 0 – 35.59
2) Robin Lesqueren (FRA) & Dorado de Riverland – 0 / 0 – 37.28
3) Mathieu Billot (FRA) & Baschung Courcelle – 0 / 0 – 37.78
Text: Jumper News, no reproduction without permission
Photos: © VillaMoura Equestrian Centre