Photo: LGCT / Stefano Grasso
It was a brilliant opening round of world class action as Great Britain’s Laura Renwick and her stunning eight year old gelding MHS Washington took the CSI5* 1.45m Volvo Trophy. The pair beat an impressive field of 57 international riders in the two phase competition, jumping clear in an impressive 29.46s in the second part of the round. Hot on her heels was America’s Laura Kraut who rode the beautiful Andretti S to second in 29.95s, just tenths off the British Laura’s time. With both riders competing for the Global Champions League team, the Rome Gladiators, anticipation is mounting ahead of Sunday’s team competition.
The two created an impressive gap to the remaining clear riders, with third place rider Andreas Kreuzer (GER) and Baloukira crossing the line in 33.97s, four seconds behind. The course was a fair test for many of the world’s top horses and riders, giving the first class combinations their first taste of the expansive grass arena ahead of the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Madrid. Utilising the full space, riders galloped between fences, however some carefully placed verticals and tight cut back turns gave the riders something to think about.
Other notable performances saw John Whitaker and his famous stallion Argento finish in 5th, with the pair leading for most of the way. Bassem Hassan Mohammed (QAT) and Argelith Squid performed well, as did home rider Eduardo Álvarez Aznar (ESP) and Rokfeller de Pleville Bois Margot, Abdullah Al Sharbatly and Tobalio and young star Jos Verlooy (BEL) with Caracas.