Valkenswaard, The Netherlands – July 16, 2022 – In the perfect prelude for tomorrow’s €300,000 Grand Prix CSI 5*, it was Abdel Saïd (BEL) and Arpege du Ru who beat Daniel Deusser to the top spot by more than two seconds in today’s 1.50m 5* ranking class.
There were thrills and spills in the exciting class made up of 38 world-class combinations with some of the biggest names in the sport being caught out by Uliano Vezzani’s (ITA) tricky track.
Twelve combinations managed to go clear in the expansive ‘Wimbledon’ of show jumping arena’s grass ring. Denis Lynch (IRL) set the pace early on with 16-year-old Rubens LS la Silla and lots of famous combinations kept being caught out by an unlucky one down including Lillie Keenan (IRL) and Queensland E, Lorenzo de Luca (ITA) and Don Vito, Marcus Ehning (GEr) and Calanda and 2019 LGCT Super Grand Prix participants Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Alejandro.
Continuing his fantastic form this weekend Jos Verlooy (BEL) was aiming for the double of 5* wins today onboard FTS Killossery Konfusion and looked up on the pace until a miscommunication at the second to the last fence knocked their chances of a second win of the day.
But it was Abdel Saïd (BEL) who risked it all to pick up the lion’s share of today’s prize pot on board his super consistent Arpege du Ru ahead of the closing day of thrilling action at Tops International Arena’s first CSI5* event of the Summer. The Egyptian, who defends the colors of Belgium, was supreme aboard the 12-year-old chestnut Selle Français mare (Apache d’Adriers x Quat’sous), registering a lightning penalty-free performance in 63.41 seconds.
Germany rounded off the top three with Christian Ahlmann (GER) and Calvino (Castelan II x Literat 12) just half a second slower than Daniel Deusser (GER) and Kiana van het Herdershof (Toulon x Lys de Dramen) in 66.67 seconds.
After his win, Abdel Said smiled: “Arpege jumped fantastic today and I am thrilled with the win. The footing here at Tops International Arena is brilliant and it was a great class of top sport for everyone to enjoy.”
Final Results – €51,300 Speed Challenge CSI 5*
1) Abdel Said (BEL) & Arpege du Ru – 0 – 63.41
2) Deusser (GER) & Kiana van het Herdershof – 0 – 66.08
3) Christian Ahlmann (GER) & Calvino – 0 – 66.67
Source: Press Release (edited) from Tops International Arena
Photo: © Tops International Arena