Frenchman Julien Epaillard dominated the first class of the CSI5* Valence, surpassing at home the Irish Michael Duffy and the British Laura Renwick. (Photo © Jessica Rodrigues)
Frenchman Julien Epaillard dominated the €28,000 Prix Mercedes-Benz securing the first home victory of the CSI5* Valence.
Under the course design of Italian Uliano Vezzani a total of 49 pairs animated the two phases, but none faster than Julien Epaillard with the 11-year-old stallion Safari D Auge (Diamond of Semilly), recording a time of 28.68 seconds.
With the result Julien Epaillard took 50 World Ranking Points and obtained a lead of 1.28 seconds over Irish rider Michael Duffy, who presented with the 12-year-old stallion Millfield Ultymate (Ulysses M2s x Condios), being these two riders the only ones that lowered the barrier of the 30 seconds.
For third place British rider Laura Renwick finished in 30.41 seconds with the 9-year-old gelding Dominant H (Heartbreaker x Indorado), followed in fourth place by country man Ben Maher with the 14-year-old stallion Tic Tac (Clinton X Darco) and fifth place for Frenchman Harold Boisset with the 11-year-old mare Quolita Z (Quasimodo Z x Ramiro) in 31.38 seconds.
For the Latino Ranking they were able to score points and finish consecutively the Colombian rider Rene López in seventh place with the 11-year-old gelding Big Brother (Untouchable x Great Corrado) in time of 31.81 seconds. Brazilian rider Yuri Mansur recorded a time of 32.68 seconds in eighth place with the 11-year-old mare Babylotte (Dollar du Murier x Concorde), while the ninth place was Colombian Santiago Díaz Ortega with the 10-year-old stallion Chaccilot ( Chacco-Blue x Granulit) in 32.69 seconds.
Two of the main figures and members of the Pan American Ranking also managed to score points with four-time Canadian Olympic medalist Eric Lamaze next to 10-year-old gelding Chesney (Indoctro x Kannan) finishing in 12th place and US Olympic medalist and world number 1 Kent Farrington was 15th with the 8-year-old gelding Baltic Star (Bacardi x Chalan).
Out of the points were the Latinos Dayro Arroyave and Carlos Lopez, both from Colombia, being the first in 27th position and the second retired. Also by Pan American Ranking US Reed Kessler in 24th, US Beezie Madden was 33rd and Canadian Kara Chad in 35th.