The sensational Spanish partnership of Severo Jesus Jurado Lopez and the 10-year-old gelding Lorenzo were convincing winners of today’s first leg of the FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2016/2017 Western European League at Odense in Denmark. Throwing down a score of 82.060 they pinned Sweden’s seven-time Olympian Tinne Vilhelmson Silfven into runner-up spot with Paridon Magi, while another of the strong Swedish contingent, Rose Mathisen, steered Zuidenwind into third.
“Lorenzo is coming back after his holidays”, explained the 28-year-old Spaniard who made a huge impact when finishing fifth at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games with the horse who only competed in his first international Grand Prix last February. “At the moment he may not be as sharp as he was earlier in the season but he is coming along nicely. He coped very well with the atmosphere and he enjoyed the applause of the crowd!” said the rider who is based in the North of Denmark and works as a trainer at Helgstrand Dressage.
From the starting field of 15 horse-and-rider combinations he was always favourite to win after topping yesterday’s Grand Prix in which Mathisen was runner-up, and once again today, as Lorenzo made his World Cup debut, he turned on the showmanship that set the spectators alight. “I think a freestyle somehow should reflect the personality of the rider, and I very much like guitar music so Santana was an easy choice for me” he said, talking of his musical score.
He took the lead with just four left to go, and Mathisen slotted in behind him when she followed him into the ring to post 76.705 with her 12-year-old stallion. “This was not only Zuidenwind’s first World Cup but also his first international indoor Grand Prix so I am very happy with him” said the 57-year-old rider who originated from Norway but now competes under the Swedish flag.
However she was immediately overtaken for runner-up spot by 49-year-old Vilhelmson Silfven who was delighted when posting a mark of 79.555 with Paridon Magi.
“He was really super and got his best score ever today. I was a tiny bit behind the music but caught up” she said.
Jurado Lopez said he will continue to chase down qualifying points “because we are hoping to get to the Final”. The FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2016/2017 Final will take place in Omaha, Nebraska (USA) next March and the second leg of the Western European League qualifying series will take place next week, in Lyon, France.
Photo: Annette Boe Ostergaard/FEI