Pieter Devos and Espoir ©Filippo Gabutti.
First jump-off class of the CSI 5* Longines Athina Onassis Horse Show, the Prix Premiumares, goes to Belgium’s Pieter Devos and his gelding Espoir. On the technical course designed by the Italian Uliano Vezzani, nine pairs out of forty-six starters signed a perfect first round. First clear round, first double clear round of the class, the British Alexandra Thornton on Charielle will quickly be caught up by Devos; neither Eric van der Vleuten (Djoost Again), nor the American Kent Farrington (Austria 2), nor the French Kevin Staut (Viking d’la Rousserie) will manage to dethrone Devos, despite their double clear-rounds.
“I am very happy. My horse jumped perfectly today. I had a very good feeling and a victory is always good! Espoir is naturally very fast and I think I gained almost three seconds over Alexandra Thornton’s time at the end of the course. At first, and as I could see that there were faults on this jump-off, I decided to secure the score, and then I gradually accelerated. I was afraid of Kent, who really finished a few hundredths behind me, but in the end, he keeps behind (laughs). Obviously, this victory gives confidence for tomorrow’s Grand Prix, even if I will ride another horse and it will be even bigger in terms of sport,” explained the winner, while the Brabançonne had just resounded.
JULIETTE FEYTOUT PEREZ
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