The most French of Colombians shone today at Grimaud! 46 starters, 12 going through to the jump-off and only one winner: René Lopez Lizarazo. The rider had plenty to be happy about today as the honours went to him in the big class of the day, the 1.50m CSI 4* Grand Prix. France’s Julien Epaillard’s excellent current form continues as he took the 1.45m CSI 2*Grand Prix.
René Lopez had a smile on his face this afternoon at Grimaud! Riding Stalognia, a 12 year old mare by Chacco-Blue, the Colombian who is based at the Haras des Grillons alongside his brother Carlos Lopez, won the day’s big class, the 1.50m CSI 4* Grand Prix. At the end of a jump-off contested by 12 riders, he took the lead, which had been held up until then by the Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat, by 40 hundredths of a second. “It’s a bit like being at home here thanks to the work of Sadri (Fegaier),” smiled the winner. “I saw Steve’s (Guerdat) round and knew that I’d have to pull out all the stops to be faster, but my mare is amazing, she responded and we succeeded. She’s still progressing at this height so this victory really confirms her potential. I felt in the first round that we had something to play for, she was very good and very much at ease during the round. She’ll do the Grand Prix on Sunday and in the meantime she’ll be hacked out and eat lots of carrots (laughs)!” He certainly gave the other competitors a hard time! Steve Guerdat with the chestnut Pb Maserati seemed to be well on his way to victory but had to be satisfied with second place. France’s Jean-Luc Mourier, winner of a class yesterday in the CSI 2* was 3rd with Kielekoo Van T Et L.