The opening week of our Z-Tour 2022 is over! Despite the fact that the weather conditions in recent days may not always have been optimal, we were able to enjoy a lot of beautiful sport at different levels for four days. The 6- and 7-year-old horses again gained a lot of experience, the U25 riders showed their talent in a mutual competition and then there was the two-star competition in which many top riders gave the best of themselves.
During the final day yesterday, we were naturally looking forward to the various Grand Prix's, with the CSI2* Grand Prix as the absolute highlight. Sixty-three combinations appeared at the start in this 1.45m main class and twelve of them managed to clear the basic round of course designer Bernard Mathy and his team and so qualified for the jump-off. In the end it was Constant van Paesschen who became the winner with the 9-year-old mare Diaz du Thot (Ready Boy des Forets 'Hn' x Diams du Grasset). As eighth starter in the ring, Van Paesschen and Diaz du Thot cantered to a finish time of 37.75 seconds, ending thus more than one and a half seconds ahead of the rest of the competitors.
Second place went to Norwegian lady rider Victoria Gulliksen with her 12-year-old Zangersheide mare Belle Fayvinia Z (Baloubet du Rouet x Raphae - B: H.J. Knegt). Gulliksen and Belle Fayvinia Z had set the tone as the second starter with a clear jump-off in 39.36 seconds, but in the end they clearly had to acknowledge their superiority in van Paesschen and Diaz du Thot. The Japanese rider Eiken Sato was good for a third place in the ranking. He also noted a clear round in the jump-off with his 15-year-old gelding Chacanno Jra (Chacco Blue x Kannan), crossing the finish line in 39.74 seconds.
Sofia Westborg stays ahead of two Belgian riders
In addition to the Grand Prix, there were of course also a few other two-star classes on the program during the final day. Before the start of the Grand Prix for example, the Swedish lady rider Sofia Westborg managed to write a 1.45m class on her list of honors with the 12-year-old mare F Termie R12 (Lasino x Rubert R.). Westborg, who also won the 1.30m class on Thursday, finished in 24.44 seconds in this two-phase special class and thus beat the competition.
With this performance, Westborg managed to keep two Belgian riders from winning. Second place went to Jordy van Massenhove with the 13-year-old mare Caleya (Calido I x Lancer II). Van Massenhove also managed to keep it clear in both the first and the second phase, but he stopped the clock in 24.87 seconds. Third place went to Dries Dekkers with the 15-year-old gelding Hippos van de Rostal (d'Ukase x Cantus), the winners of the 1.35m class on Friday. Dekkers and Hippos van de Rostal crossed the finish line in 25.52 seconds and thus completed the podium.
Joao Victor Castro beats Johan-Sebastian Gulliksen
At the Almé Z Arena, the final day started just before noon with a 1.40m class in which the Brazilian rider João Victor Castro became the winner with the 10-year-old mare Helga 54 (Clarimo x Concorde). Castro rushed in the second phase to a finish time of 26.98 seconds, and thus finishing more than a full second ahead of the competition.
The Norwegian rider Johan-Sebastian Gulliksen finished second here. The winner of the 1.45m high Longines Ranking class on Saturday appeared in the ring with the 8-year-old gelding Mylord Myles (Mylord Carthago*HN x Corofino II) with whom he set a time of 28.26 seconds. Christian Ahlmann followed in third place with the 9-year-old gelding Nijinsky de Kalvarie (Elvis Ter Putte x For Pleasure). As the third combination in the ring they also managed to ensure a clear round in a time of 29.32 seconds.
Joseph Clayton wins morning class
However, the first two-star class that was on the program yesterday on the final day was a 1.35m high speed class. The victory went to the British rider Joseph Clayton with the 10-year-old mare Jalanna (Jalil x Fabriano), with whom he also finished seventh in the 1.35m class on Friday. Clayton and Jalanna appeared in the ring as the penultimate combination and managed to secure a victory with a clear round in 58.82 seconds
The Dutch rider Piet Raijmakers Jr. and the 10-year-old mare Haya (Berlin x Quidam de Rêvel) took second place in the ranking here. With a finish time of 59.05 seconds, Raijmakers Jr. and Haya were on their way to victory until Clayton and Jalanna appeared in the ring. Finally, third place went to the Swedish rider Joel Torstenson with the 10-year-old Zangersheide stallion Neuchatel Z (Non Stop x Goodtimes). They managed to reach the finish in 60.86 seconds.
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