|Riding for Belgium for only a few weeks now, Abdel Said marked the last day of the Hubside Jumping Grimaud – Golfe de St Tropez by taking the 1.60m CSI 5* Hubside.Store Grand Prix. Accompanied by his Selle Français Bandit Savoie, he won after a fiercely contested jump-off worthy of the biggest sporting events.
In the warm-up arena next to the arena at the foot of the beautiful village of Grimaud, Abdel Saïd was unendingly congratulated by all the riders present here in the Var. At 32 years old, riding his Selle Français Bandit Savoie, he has just had one of the biggest and best victories of his career. A great way to celebrate his recent change of nationality. Egyptian by birth, Abdel Saïd has only been riding for Belgium for a few weeks.
In the company of the World’s best and under the Mediterranean sun, the afternoon’s sport was looking good at Grimaud. 31 riders and their horses defending no less than 12 nations were on the starting list of the CSI 5* – 1.60m Hubside.Store Grand Prix this Sunday. Spanish course designer, Javier Trenor Paz, had reserved a technically tough course for them with 13 obstacles,16 jumping efforts and a time allowed of 84 seconds.
The two combinations, a treble as n°5 and the double of verticals as n°9 proved to the determining elements of this round. Many riders such as France’s Philippe Rozier, riding Le Coultre de Muze, Edward Levy and Rebecca LS, Belgium’s Constant Van Paesschen with Isidoor van de Helle and Great Britain’s Harry Charles with his Olympic ride, Romeo 88, all faulted here.
The first clear round wasn’t until Frenchman Bruno Garez with his stallion United Sunheup entered the ring. In 82.58sec, the pair found the right tempo and put the pressure on the other competitors. He was then followed by the Colombian René Lopez Lizarazo and Kheros Van ‘T Hoogeinde, and then the Italian, Piergiorgio Bucci and Casago. Abdel Said (BEL), Mark McAuley (IRL), Pedro Veniss (BRE) and Michael Duffy (IRL) also jumped a perfect first round.