Having recently obtained his qualification for this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio, the Moroccan rider Abdelkebir Ouaddar seems to have grown wings. Riding his faithful 12-yearold stallion Quickly de Kreisker, the world number 44 managed the pressure of the event right through to the last jump. Taking to the arena as the 16th and final couple in the jump-off, the Moroccan rider was the only one to cross the finish line in less than 37 seconds (36’’40). “My horse had already given me a wonderful gift by helping me qualify for the Olympic Games. Today, he gave me so much again by winning the Grand Prix Hermès, in front of this great public that gave me all their support! Today, I would like say a very special thanks to the French public and the King of Morocco, because it is thanks to him that I have the opportunity to do the most wonderful sport in the world. There were 16 riders who made it through to the jump-off, some really great riders! I’m just over the moon; this shows that my horse can do anything, and maybe even win a medal at the Olympic Games.” Abdelkebir Ouaddar is the first Moroccan rider to win a class at the Saut Hermès, and he finished ahead of some of the world’s top riders. Scott Brash, the world number 2 from Scotland was second on Hello Forever, more than two seconds behind Abdelkebir Ouaddar (38’’78). The German rider Christian Ahlmann came third on Epleaser van’t Heike. Pénélope Leprévost, the only French rider qualified for the jump-off, finished 11th on her mare Nice Stéphanie.
Photo: © FRÉDÉRIC CHÉHU / HERMÈS