Ireland’s Denis Lynch and the 15-year-old stallion Rubens LS La Silla topped the first class, the Franco Tucci Speed, on the second day of Jumping Verona 2021 this afternoon.
Fifth-last to go in the field of 57 starters, the man who hails from Tipperary had plenty of time to assess Uliano Vezzani’s course and squeezed Frenchman Julien Anquetin out of pole position when just over a half-second quicker around the 12-fence track. It was however a particularly impressive runner-up placing for Anquetin’s gelding Z Ice Cube Z as the horse is only eight years old, yet showed maturity beyond his years when cruising through the finish in 62.10 seconds. Only 15 horse-and-rider combinations managed to return without penalties in this class,
It was Sameh El Dahan and the wonderful 17-year-old mare Suma’s Zorro who set the early target when clearing the line in 62.16, and at the end of the day that proved good enough for third spot.
After a long and successful career flying the flag of his home country of Egypt, the 36-year-old rider changed sports nationality last August and now competes for Great Britain. He has strong connections with Ireland too, as he has been based for the last decade with Joanne Sloan-Allen in Antrim while the great mare Suma’s Zorro was bred by Marily Power and Susan Lanigan-O’Keeffe in County Kilkenny, and with Suma’s Zorro he jumped into the limelight with a big win at Spruce Meadows in Canada in 2018.
Anquetin has been showing increasingly strong form and the 29-year-old rider finished eighth with Blood Diamond du Pont at the first leg of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Western European League in Oslo three weeks ago. He will start eighth in tomorrow’s Italian leg of the series.
In contrast however 45-year-old Lynch is a veteran of two World Championships, six FEI Jumping World Cup Finals and was a member of the gold-medal-winning Irish team at the European Championships in 2017. With his wealth of experience he calculated every stride along the way to stop the clock on 61.60 seconds to take the win today.
Italy’s Luca Marziani and Don’t Worry B finished fourth when clocking 62.30.
Ph. JV / M. Proli