Laura Renwick / Rembrandt Blue (Pixel events)
Only the 17 most daring riders had decided to tackle the mythic Tropicana Derby, designed by Jean-François Morand and his team over 1 060 meters sprinkled with more than 25 efforts, namely twice the distance of a regular course, an exercise reserved to the best experts in the world!
Besides an intense effort to maintain for almost six minutes and the difficult combination of mobile and natural fences (banks, water jump) to clear, the challenge of the day consisted in being the fastest to clinch victory.
In full possession of his experience and talent, the British rider Laura Renwick, who holds the record of international victories in 2014, signed the fastest clear round (159″26) with her faithful partner Rembrandt Blue. “My horse was only taking part in a Derby for the second time the first time was in Falsterbö three weeks ago, he jumped fantastic.”
Laura is followed by the Belgian rider Grégory Wathelet, riding for the occasion Eldorado Van Het Vijverhof, who gets one more time to the podium with a clear round in a time of 160″24. Ecstatic about his first experience in Dinard, the rider paid tribute to this show he prefers to some others held on small sand arenas. “The atmosphere is fantastic; the public was there from Friday morning onwards. For us it is as important as the prize money; it is very motivating.” Very happy about his horse, in spite of a short hesitation in front of the water, Gregory said that it was easier for him to be at the end of the list, but that he should have gone a little faster form the beginning of the course to beat Laura. Striking performance to the credit of the French rider Mathieu Billot, who places 3rd, with a clear round in 162″72 associated to Regain d’Helby, ambassador of the regional breeding from Brittany. “I was on the beginning of the list; I thought the course would be more difficult, and my main target was to clear. I came to Dinard especially for the Derby. My horse is a specialist; he already won in Drammen a month ago.”
Congratulations to the Venezuelan rider Andres Rodriguez, who clinched silver medal last week at the Pan American Games. He signs here one of the four clear rounds of the competition with his mare Fifty Fifty and places 4th.