Kendra Claricia Brinkop scooped the honours in the opening competition at CSI5*-W Jumping Verona 2023, the Prestige Two-Phase, with the smoothest of smooth rides aboard Stephex Stables’ lovely 11-year-old grey mare, Ma Belle. The German pair breezed across the finish line in 32.83 seconds when 18th to go of the 50 starters and couldn’t be caught.
There were plenty of Italian combinations in the chase, and runner-up spot went to Alberto Zorzi and another 11-year-old grey mare Stakalite who broke the beam in 33.52 seconds, while Germany was in the line-up again when Hans Dieter Dreher slotted into third with yet another grey mare, the nine-year-old Jiniki who posted a strong time of 33.72.
Fourth spot went to Italy’s Guido Grimaldi who punched the air with delight when clear in 34.42 with Messi 7, and the next two places went to his compatriot Giulia Martinengo Marquet (Scuderia 1918 Calle Deluxe) and Belgium’s Olivier Philippaerts (Poppemeike Jw van de Moerhoeve).
Jumping Verona 2023 takes place in the context of the world-famous Fieracavalli, a horse fair like no other that gathers huge numbers of spectators and fans from around the globe and which this year celebrates its 125th anniversary.
A total of 60 riders from 22 nations are lining out this weekend, with the feature event, the Italian leg of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ 2023/2024 Western European League, taking place next Sunday afternoon, 12 November.
Brinkop is very happy to return to Verona this year. «I have good memories here, two years ago I was second in the World Cup qualifier – it was my first time in Verona so I wanted to come back of course and I think I had a great start with that win here today! I brought two horses who could jump the Grand Prix this time so which one I will ride will depend a bit how I feel after I have jumped them today», she explained.
Ma Belle was previously ridden by Belgium’s Zoe Conter, and Brinkop took up the ride about a year ago. Together they have made another very nice partnership, and today’s win was secured by the harmony between horse and rider who never looked under any pressure when posting the winning time over Uliano Vezzani’s 12-fence track.
They picked up a second and third-place finish at CSI5*-W Lyon (France) last weekend so they are clearly on form. «The mare is very nice to ride and she has a lot of experience and knows her job. I’m looking forward to the rest of the weekend now!», Brinkop said.