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Cyberhorse 2008
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Global Champions Tour of Brazil

After the first two days of the show had been abandoned when the worst rain for the season in 48 years hit Rio de Janeiro, The Global Champions Tour bounced back in true carnival style. After 24 hours of work by a pack of workers including organiser Alvaro de Miranda, the show was able to resume today. It shows how little the journey had tired the horses and the excellence of the other arrangements for their care, that despite a missing out on any sort of  warm up class in the previous days, that so many jumped so well over such a big track. And with Rio bidding for the 2016 Olympics their ability to rise to the challenge of getting this show off the ground can do their chances of winning no harm.  

That  said, Uliano Verzzani first round course produced eight clear rounds and eleven on four faults from 41 starters which meant that the slowest of those did not make the  18 horse second round cut. Unfortunately for her, that person was Estoril runner up Clarissa Crotta.  

In the second round only five managed  clears and of the five still on zero at the end of the round Eric Lamaze on his Olympic Gold medallist Hickstead was the favourite to win. But also there to beat were Marco Kutcher with Cornet Obolensky, Estoril winners Leopold van Asten and VDL Groep Santana, Judy Ann Melchior with Levisto Z and the last to go would be Italian speed merchant Gianni Govoni on Joyau D' Opal. The German was first to go but his time of  time of  37.70 was always going to be beaten although his rivals had to leave all the fences intact. Judy Ann tried hard but was already down on the clock when she knocked a brick out of the wall. Leopold was slightly mindful of his mare's relative inexperience but only just failed to better the leader with 37.51.  

That left two to go. Eric Lamaze set Hickstead on fire because even to an Olympic hero 95'000Euro was not to be sneezed at and he was over a second faster, mainly because of a daring turn into the wall. However Gianni is rapidly getting a reputation as the master of faster, and he took a stride out between first and second and another out to the last and his horse responded to everything asked of it. A winner of a small GCT class in Arezzo, the 12 year old Selle Francais gelding flew through the finish over half a second better off than his Canadian rival. 36.15 gave Gianni his biggest career win to date and provided him a chance of making the Doha Final. “I have never finished better than 20th in a GCT Grand Prix so I had not enough points to even have a chance but now I do.” This feat is all the more remarkable as Gianni has only three top level horses. “So if you are asking me if I will stick with him for the next round in Valkenswaard, well, I haven't got much choice about it, Love Affair will not be suited by that ring and my other horse is having a break after San Patrignano, so I have to!”    

Patrick McEntee is still leading the rankings  but Edwina Alexander has moved into second with a ninth place here on Itot de Chateau and Meredith Michaels Beerbaum is still third.    There will be more from Rio tomorrow with three ranking classes still to play for including the Embratal Masters again worth 95,000Euro to the winner. 



Gelding\Chestnut\1997\Diamant de Semilly x Kouglof II\
G. Govoni, R. Casiroli, I. Raisi 
230HICKSTEAD - kwpn
Stallion\Brown\1996\Hamlet x Ekostein\
Torrey Pines Stable 
Stallion\Grey\1999\Clinton x Heartbreaker\
V. Nychyporenko 
Mare\Grey\1999\Mr.Blue x H. Alme Z\
Stoeterij Duysel's Hof 
55LEVISTO Z - holst
Stallion\Grey\1997\Leandro x Carolus I\
Stoeterij Zangersheide 
Mare\Bay\1999\Nabab de Reve x Chin Chin\
A.M Kies 
9500 50.53 


Eric Lamaze- “I put in seven strides to the second and I knew I might have lost a bit on the turns as Hickstead doesn't find those so easy and he does spend a fair bit of time in the air so I did think the time could be beaten. I would also like to say how much I have been impressed with the way Doda (Miranda) and his team have made such an effort with everything. We are used to riding in the rain but we riders don't often put ourselves in the organisers shoe's and they have had terrible problems unforeseen due to the weather and done wonders. They need congratulations.”  

Judy Ann Melchior- “My horse has just come back from a little break and he was amazing to day but obviously I would have liked to be higher placed! But you know what, I am still learning and I just don't have the experience yet to beat guys like this against the clock.”

Eric Lamaze and Hickstead

Gianni Govoni and Joyau D'Opal

Judy-Ann Melchior and Levisto Z

Marco Kutscher and Cornet Obolensky

 Photos by Lulu Kyriacou

Cyberhorse 2009 Lulu Kyriacou



18 October 2018  
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