Martin Fuchs got the final day of Jumping Verona off to a flying start with victory in this morning’s Selleria Equipe Accumulator partnering Viper Z.
The 31-year-old Swiss star who won team gold and individual silver at the FEI European Championships in 2021 before being crowned Longines FEI Jumping World Cup champion in 2022, produced a stunning round with the nine year-old gelding whose time of 42.59 seconds proved untouchable.
But leading the competition until Fuchs entered the arena was 20-year-old Mikolaj Baranski from Poland who was hugely impressive when slotting into runner-up spot with his nine-year-old gelding Juggle Baraka. Fuchs is ranked fourth in the world while Baranski sits in 699th place, so this was a huge result for the young Polish rider who is competing at his very first 5* event.
Like Fuchs, Baranski has produced his horse for a number of years and together the Polish pair posted significant wins at Arezzo in Italy and Zuidwolde in The Netherlands earlier this season.
Fuchs was delighted with Viper’s performance today. They arrived in Verona on great form following a win and two second placings at CSI5*-W Helsinki in Finland last month.
«This class on Sunday morning in Verona is always a very, very fast Accumulator with a lot of good and fast horses and riders. My horse is nine years old and has had many nice wins this year at big shows, so I knew I had a good chance. He’s very quick and he turns very well so the course suited us perfectly and I think he was fantastic! He’s a very nice horse, very easy to ride, very sweet and riding him is a pleasure!», Fuchs said of Viper Z who is owned by the Swiss rider’s long-time patron Luigi Baleri.