Tétouan, Morocco – October 06, 2023 – Things got serious on Friday at the 2023 Morocco Royal Tour with the running of the €26,200 Prix de La Marche Verte CSI 4*-W, a qualifier for Sunday’s World Cup Grand Prix CSI 4*-W. It was also the first class in Tetouan to count towards the FEI Longines World Ranking. A good deal for France’s Simon Delestre (FRA), who endorses his place in the top 10.
Thirty-nine riders were on the starting grid, but only two of them – including the team bronze medalist at the last European Championships, Austrian Katharina Rhomberg (AUT), who unfortunately had a small problem of understanding with Colestus Cambridge – thus being unable to take part in Sunday’s Grand Prix. Thirty-seven riders will be taking part, including, of course, the day’s winner, France’s Simon Delestre (FRA) with a mare, Olga van de Kruishoeve, owned by a Moroccan owner and whom he is happily “discovering” as he progresses towards the top level:
“I’ve only been riding her for a short time, this is only the third show we’ve done together, and I’ve got a very good feeling about this mare and it was interesting to see today how she would perform playing for the victory and she jumped remarkably well, I’m discovering her a little more each time. She has great potential and we’re counting on her for the future. Her behavior today was exemplary and bodes well for the future of our shared adventure”.
Simon Delestre will be riding Olga on Sunday in the Grand Prix, as well as in El Jadida. It’s not the first time that the French rider has taken advantage of the Morocco Royal Tour‘s perfect technical conditions to launch his young Grand Prix horses into the big time: “But there are many other reasons that bring me back to Morocco every year. We have a lot of ties there, as my father was national trainer for four years, contributing to the team’s qualification for the Tokyo Olympic Games. It was a period that enabled us to discover Morocco and the Moroccan people, with whom we have a lot in common. Apart from this aspect, I always make it a rule to choose the best competitions for my horses, and in this respect the MRT is a fantastic circuit, bringing together all the best it has to offer from a technical point of view. Of course, there’s the emotional side, but for me, the most important thing is the quality of the competition”.
On Saturday, the highlight of the 4* day will be the Prix de Dakhla, a 1.50 m Grand Prix-type class with jump-off… which Simon Delestre (FRA) won last year with Tinka’s Hero Z.
Final Results – €26,200 Prix de la Marche Verte CSI 4*-W
1) Simon Delestre (FRA) & Olga van de Kruishoeve – 0 – 64.41
2) Giulia Martinengo Marquet & (ITA) & Scuderia 1918 Quick And Easy 3 – 0 – 65.21
3) Jeanne Sadran (FRA) & Kosmo Van Hof Ter Boone – 0 – 65.96
Source: Press Release (edited) from Agence R&B Presse for Morocco Royal Tour
Photo: © R&B Presse / Adèle Renauldon