La Baule, France –June 10, 2023 – It illustrates the clever balance between modernity and tradition at the heart of the Jumping International de La Baule CSIO 5*. A high point in La Baule for many decades, the €40,000 Region des Pays de la Loire Derby CSIO 5* got the thousands of spectators in the stands in the sunshine off their seats once again. With a two-minute-plus course and natural fences that are always spectacular -especially with a ford crossing- the event offers a very special flavour.
This Saturday an Irish rider was once again the strongest performer. After Denis Lynch (IRL) last year, Shane Breen (IRL) was this year’s winner on Screen. “I love competing in Derbies because I’ve done a lot of hunting courses and that helps us to learn to ride on all kinds of terrain and under all kinds of conditions”, said Breen, ranked 55 in the world. I particularly like the La Baule course, it’s very special because the crowd cheers all the riders on. I really wanted to win this Derby because I had finished second several times”.
He was just over a second ahead of France’s Julien Gonin (FRA) on Caprice de Guinfard. “I’ve been training my horse hard for several weeks”, Julien Gonin (FRA) explained. “The horse jumps 5-star Grands Prix, so the height is not a problem. It’s his first Derby but I have a big park with plenty of opportunities for training. Taking part in this event is a decision I took a long time ago, and I have trained hard for it. I am very proud of my horse”.
Well ahead by ten seconds at the last fence, Switzerland’s Romain Duguet’s (SUI) hopes were dashed when his horse, Bel Canto de Boguin, refused at the first ford crossing, earning his rider a four-point penalty and valuable seconds. Even so, he finished third. “It’s funny, before the start I told our trainer Thomas Fuchs (SUI) that my horse would have no problems with the water because as I live in Normandy I regularly train at the seaside”, said Duguet with a smile on his face. “Which just shows that you never really get to know your horses completely. Obviously, I’m a bit disappointed and frustrated, because we were well placed to win”.
Final Results – €40,000 Region des Pays de la Loire Derby CSIO 5*
1) Shane Breen (IRL) & Scarteen – 0 – 130.17
2) Julien Gonin (FRA) & Caprice de Guinfard – 0 – 131.68
3) Romain Duguet (SUI) & Bel Canto de Boguin – 4 – 130.98
Source: Press Release from Agence 15Love for Jumping Internacional de La Baule
Photos: © PSV Photo / Jean Morel