El Jadida, Morocco – October 23, 2022 – Each stage of the Morocco Royal Tour has its personality. In El Jadida, the riders have the chance to ride in a large indoor arena in a decor of lights and blue finery that characterizes this hall with its special atmosphere. As during the biggest competitions in Europe, the stands are full to the brim during the big classes and in particular this €100,000 Grand Prix of His Majesty the King Mohammed VI CSI 4*-W serving as support to the Arab League of the FEI World Cup. So imagine in this atmosphere the victory of a Moroccan and imagine that this Moroccan is none other than a certain … Abdelkebir Ouaddar. Crazy!
Kebir was already popular… but now! On Sunday, he signed his fifth victory of the 2022 Morocco Royal Tour and his second in a Grand Prix, after Tetouan, with this same Istanbull V.H Ooievaarshof.
But let’s go back to the beginning of the story. On the menu of the first round, thirteen fences and sixteen efforts (the inevitable triple and double which followed each other in this order, separated by a turn in front of the entrance), 420 m, 39 contenders representing 11 nations including 10 Moroccans and one Egyptian for the World Cup and ten places in the second round. The time of 72 seconds was a small handicap for the Brazilian Luciana Diniz (BRA), 2 penalty-points points with her very “clean” Vertigo du Désert and the French Jean Sadran (FRA), one penalty-point with Dexter de Kerglenn, without closing the door of the second round to which they reached in company of five “pure” clear rounds, including the future winner, and three four faulters. The battle for the Top 10 was on.
After the preliminaries, Niklaus Schurtenberger (SUI) signed the first double clear on Quincassi in a time that the German David Will (GER) improved on immediately riding Zaccorado Blue (VDL Zirocco Blue x Acorado) . However, their flawless performance in 37.50 seconds would be good enough for bronze honors.
Simon Delestre (FRA) gained a few hundredths with I Amelusina R 51 (Dexter R x Chin Chin) and thought he had victory in his pocket after having lowered the mark to 37.14 seconds and judging by his raised fist. But he had forgotten that Morocco had a hero.
The rest is Kebir’s own story: “I have no words… I dedicate this victory to the Moroccans and to His Majesty, whom I need so much to succeed in this sporting career. I won this Grand Prix fair and square, because in this jump-off, there were all the great riders like Luciana Diniz, Jérôme Guery, David Will and Simon Delestre. I am really proud, the horse gave me everything I asked him, it was maybe a bit suicidal, but he answered. I must thank all my staff, Marcel Rozier who knew how to communicate to me this desire to win. And I say a thousand thanks to Istanbull, I’m going to give him a vacation that he has richly deserved”. Do you know what? Kebir won this crazy race with 2 seconds and 53 hundredths over 300 meters. If that’s not a feat, under the pressure of his public?
And it is not without a little twinge of sorrow that we witnessed the final lap of honor of this magical circuit, and not only because it was Kebir who led it. But we will have to wait patiently for a year before finding the warmth of this welcome: Morocco will again receive the world of show jumping from October 5, 2023 (in Tetouan) to October 22 (in El Jadida), passing of course by the Moroccan CSIO from 13 to 16 in Rabat. And sport like this, we ask for more!
Final Results – €100,000 HRH The King Mohammed VI Grand Prix CSI 4*-W
1) Abdelkebir Ouaddar (MAR) & Istanbull V.H. Ooievaarshof – 0 / 0 – 34.61
2) Simon Delestre (FRA) & Amelusina R 51 – 0 / 0 – 37.14
3) David Will (GER) & Zaccorado Blue – 0 / 0 – 37.50
Source: Press Release (edited) by Pascal Renauldon for the Morocco Royal Tour
Photos: © Morocco Royal Tour / R&B Presse / Adèle Renauldon