René Lopez, the boss at Grimaud! In front of 29 other competitors, the Colombian won the big class of the day, the 1.50m CSI 5* speed, with his excellent Stalognia. Julien Epaillard, once again left his mark in the CSI 2* by winning his 3rd consecutive class with Cheyenne d’Auge.
The first day of competition ended in Grimaud with the Colombian national anthem accompanying the sunset! Riding his grey mare, Stalognia, with whom he won the 1.45m CSI 4* Grand Prix the previous week (8th of October), René Lopez Lizarazo dominated again, this time in the 1.50m CSI 5* speed class. Ninth to go, the South American stopped the clock nearly a second faster, taking the lead which was previously held by France’s Simon Delestre. “Stalognia was fantastic, just like last week,” rejoiced the rider. “She’s in great form at the moment and I hope it continues. I’ve been riding her for about a year, she belongs to Bertrand Darier who’s my owner and sponsor. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank him, because without him, I wouldn’t be able to ride such quality horses. I’m delighted for him, for myself, and also for the entire team that surrounds me daily. We don’t know yet if we’ll leave her on this win for the weekend, or if she’ll jump again in a class on Saturday. We’re going to think about it. What is certain though, is that she won’t be starting the Grand Prix on Sunday. I’ll be entering Kheros, the second horse I’ve entered in the 5*.” Simon Delestre from the Lorraine region of France and his very good Chesall Zimequest finished 2nd, ahead of Ireland’s Mark McAuley, who was 3rd with O’Hara Els.