Ireland takes the first victory at CSI 4* Abu Dhabi to beating the Portuguese Joao Marquilhas in the jump-off. Fourth place for US Alice Debany and participation of Maria Veronica Perez of Puerto Rico and Andres Peñalosa of Colombia. (Photo © alshiraastables.com)
The first class with points FEI Ranking points of the CSI 4* Al Shira’a International Horse Show in Abu Dhabi was won by Irish rider Michael Pender.
Adding 50 World Ranking points, the winner dominated the tiebreaker in time of 36.08 seconds with 8-year-old gelding HHS Hercules owned by Miguel Bravo & Clare Hughes. With this result, Pender will rise considerably in the World Ranking where he occupies the 1173 position, being this the best result of his career.
The jump-off had the participation of 23 classified, after beginning in the regular round a total of 38 pairs, which was a second competition due to the high number of runners-up.
For the second position the Portuguese Joao Marquilhas and the 9-year-old mare W Diva Rosa MFS owned by Al Asayl Showjumping would complete their route in 36.74 seconds, while the third place was occupied by the French Adeline Hecart with the 13-year-old mare Question D’Orval owned by Top Stallions Company in 36.84 seconds. The finished top five was completed by American Alice Debany in fourth place in 37.92 seconds with the 12-year-old mare Amareusa S and fifth Khaled Abdulaziz Al-Eid of Saudi Arabia in 39.58 seconds with the 12-year-old mare Valuta S.
The Puerto Rican Maria Victoria Perez who came from the second place in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last Sunday was the best by the Latino Ranking, but knocked down a pole in her regular round to take 26th place with a total of 4 fouls alongside the 11-year-old mare Quitana 11 and Colombian Andres Peñalosa ran with the same fate, but 7 seconds slower than Perez to be in the 31st position with the 11-year-old stallion Tintin de la Pomme.
By the Pan American Ranking also highlighted the American rider Annabel Joost in the seventh place.