07 Dezember '23
New Grand Prix victory for Simolo de la Roque Z
© Hervé Bonnaud
The Luxembourgish rider Victor Bettendorf has had another top weekend with his 11-year-old grey gelding Simolo de la Roque Z, the son of Spartacus TN and Casall ASK who was bred in France by Alexandrine Hecart of Haras de la Roque. After the successful duo won the CSI3* GP of Vilamoura no fewer than three times last year, the list of Grand Prix victories was expanded again last weekend with a win in the CSI2* GP of Oliva!
Bettendorf and Simolo de la Roque Z started their show on Thursday with a 4th place during the 1.40m class and delivered a fantastic performance twice in the following days! On Friday they shared the victory in the 1.45m Longines Ranking class, which was also a qualifier for the CSI2* GP. In a class against the clock they finished in 64.88 seconds, narrowly outclassing the competition. But the absolute highlight of the weekend came on Sunday during the CSI2* GP. After a flawless basic round, Bettendorf and Simolo de la Roque Z were among the 11 combinations that managed to qualify for the jump-off. They rushed to the finish in 36.07 seconds, which put them more than a full second ahead of the competition.
Victor Bettendorf: “He is a very competitive horse and has won a few Grand Prix classes here already, he has won a lot of 1.45m and 1.50m classes. I can always count on him; it is a nice feeling having him on the truck when I go to a show. I saw many mistakes on the two last fences, so I went a little bit more outside for the penultimate fence and had one stride less on the last line and I think that is the distance where I won. It was a bit my idea, and I am happy that it worked out as it did.”
Who was also placed during this CSI2* GP was the Spanish rider Ismael Garcia Roque with the 8-year-old chestnut gelding Brazilia Dk Z, a son of By Ceira d'Ick and Argentinus who was bred by EARL Haras d'Ick and with whom Garcia Roque already finished 6th during the 1.45m class on Thursday and 10th during the 1.45m class on Friday. Garcia Roque and Brazilia Dk Z run into 4 penalties in the jump-off this time and this performance gave them a 9th place in the rankings.
During the 1.45m class on Friday there was also a top 5 ranking for the Dutch rider Doron Kuipers with the 10-year-old stallion I Am Codex Z, a son of Codex One Z and Calvaro Z who was bred in the Netherlands by Martinus van de Bruggen. Kuipers and I Am Codex Z also kept all the poles in the cups and this was good for 4th place in the rankings.
Another combination that attracted attention was the Norwegian rider Pål Flam with the 8-year-old mare Dana des Bruyeres Z, a daughter of Diamant de Semilly and Baloubet du Rouet who was bred by Charles Lemaire. After a 4th place during the 1.30m class on Thursday and a 5th place during the 1.35m class on Friday, the duo again achieved a 4th place during the 1.40m class on Sunday.
Finally, there were also a few Zangersheide horses that managed to achieve a 2nd place under the Spanish sun. For example, during the 1.35m class on Saturday there was a 2nd place for the Belgian rider Bart Clarys with the 12-year-old gelding Touchant Van T&L Z (Toulon x Nabab de Rêve – B: NV T&L) and a day earlier it were the Spanish rider Carlos Borho Giron with the 11-year-old mare Esprit de l'Esprit Z (Elvis Ter Putte x Quantum – B: Nico Esprit) and his compatriot Borja Bidon Daurella with the 12-year-old stallion Coach Cornet Z (Cornet Obolensky x Caretino – B: Hugo Versnick) who achieved a place of honor. For Borho Giron and Espret de l'Esprit Z, this was also in a 1.35m class, while Bidon Daurelle and Coach Cornet Z achieved a 2nd place during a 1.40m class.