CSI5*-W Verona: Italy’s Bologni and Moneta take first two slots

CSI5*-W Verona: Italy’s Bologni and Moneta take first two slots

Filippo Bologni / Quidich de la Chavee. Photo (c) Stefano Grasso

It was an Italian double-act at CSI5* Jumping Verona today where 23-year-old Filippo Bologni galloped to victory ahead of 49-year-old Luca Moneta as the action got underway with the Lauren Perrier Two-Phase competition.

Starting 27th of the 41 competitors, Bologni blew away the opposition with a scorching round from his 13-year-old chestnut stallion, Quidich de la Chavee, that stopped the clock on 32.56 seconds to the delight of the home crowd. And Moneta followed immediately with a brilliant run from his eight-year-old mare Ambra that proved the closest threat. Third place went to Spain’s Eduardo Alvarez Aznar with Fidux while Penelope Leprevost, a member of the gold-medal-winning French team at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, slotted into fourth with Ilena de Mariposa.

Moneta was really pleased with his horse’s runner-up result. “She is very sensitive and when I came into the arena I could see that she was afraid of the filler under the fence at 10. But she was so brave and jumped it anyway – I like this mare a lot!” he said.

Bologni meanwhile was surrounded by young fans after posting this first important victory. “It’s the fifth time I’m competing here at Jumping Verona but this is the first time I have won!” said the young man who wears the uniform of the Italian army, the Carabinieri. “This uniform makes me very proud and also I hope I am doing my father proud. He is Arnaldo Bologni who has jumped many times for Italy in World Championships and Olympic Games!”

While most of the other riders have arrived at the Italian fixture with a number of horses, Bologni has just one. He still hopes to produce some more impressive results over the coming days. “Unfortunately my other horse I have for the big classes in not in good shape so I have to give him a few weeks off to rest. So I only have my stallion, but we started well today and I’m hoping to do more good things over the next few days in the speed classes!”, he said.

ANOTHER ITALIAN VICTORY AS MONETA AND NEPI WIN KASK SPEED COMPETITION

It’s two-out-of-two for Team Italia at Jumping Verona today after a brilliant win for Luca Moneta and his precious partner Neptune Brecourt in the Kask 1.50m Speed event.

The 49-year-old rider had to settle for runner-up spot behind shooting star, 23-year-old Filippo Bologni, in the opening competition of the day, but Moneta proved untouchable for pole position second time out as his 16-year-old gelding cruised home to pin Switzerland’s Jane Richard-Philips and Izmir van de Baeyenne into second place ahead of Italy’s Massimiliano Ferrario and Loro Piana Rigoletto della Flo who lined up in third.

Luca Moneta / Neptune Brecourt

Moneta’s natural horsemanship skills set him apart from the rest. “I only asked Nepi to go as fast as he liked, and that was faster than everyone else today!” said the rider who was nicknamed “The Carrot Man” when competing at the world-famous London International Horse Show at Olympia some years ago. He likes to reward his horses by giving them carrots as treats, sometimes in the middle of a competition, and the London crowd just loved it.

“When I went into the arena today I just showed Nepi the fences and then he just got on with the job!” joked the rider whose time of 58.38 seconds was more than five seconds quicker than his nearest rival. That’s not just winning, it’s winning by a lot. “And he loved every minute of it, he always loves the crowd here in Verona, I knew he was happy the moment we started!” Moneta added.

He’s thinking ahead to the rest of the weekend and say his other ride, Connery, is his top horse. “I don’t ask Nepi to do too much anymore. He has taught me everything, he owes me nothing but I owe him a lot. He was injured a couple of years ago and I promised him I would never ask him to do big things again so now we just enjoy ourselves” said the Italian horseman.

BELGIUM’S BRUYNSEELS GALLOPS THEM ALL INTO THE GROUND IN THRILLING PRESTIGE JUMP-OFF

There’s fast, faster and then really fast, but Belgium’s Niels Bruynseels was almost in warp mode when galloping to win the big class of the first day, the Prestige Jump-Off competition, at Jumping Verona 2017 tonight. When you are taking on opponents like the super-speedy Australian Edwina Tops-Alexander and her lightning-quick mare California, Spain’s Sergio Alvarez Moya with G&C Arrayan, The Netherlands’ Marc Houtzager with Sterrehof’s Calimero and German giant Christian Ahlmann with Colorit in the race against the clock then you know you know you can’t hang around.

Niels Bruynseels / Zacramento

But it was Sweden’s Douglas Lindelow, first of the 11 to qualify for the jump-off, who was the man that Bruynseels had to beat after setting an incredible target time of 35.55 seconds with Zacramento. Italian course designer, Uliano Vezzani, gave them a tough enough test in the first round, with the turn to the penultimate obstacle taking a significant toll on the top-class field of 42 starters, and the jump-off track was another as it questioned accuracy and judgement all the way.

The long run down to the final fence proved the undoing of many who left that on the ground, and as a result some others were a little cautious on the approach. But not Bruynseels. He completely trusted his 11-year-old mare Gancia de Muze to just keep galloping and to clear it without hesitation. And she did it with such force and determination that she stopped the clock a full two seconds faster than Lindelow’s gelding to give the 33-year-old Belgian his first major result of the week.

Bruynseels has a bit of a way with the ladies. “Yes I have two brilliant mares right now with my top horse Cas de Liberte and with Gancia too!” he said. Gancia however is apparently a bit “special”. “She has a character and I respect that, and that’s why she always tries to win for me! She doesn’t like dressage so it’s really easy for me during the week, I don’t have to flat her so often (ride her on the flat), she likes to to go for a walk outside and go on the lunge, and I respect that. At the show she doesn’t need to jump much in the warm-up, maybe six or seven jumps with her and then she goes in the ring and always tries to do her best”, said the man whose recent successes have rocketed up to 17th place on the Longines world rankings list.

Full results HERE

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