To the joy of the Egyptian showjumping rider Karim El Zoghby (45) he won the Outdoor Gelderland Grand Prix riding his 12-year-old NRPS-bred gelding Zandigo (Zento x Concreto, breeder A.G. Vissers, owner K. Luyckx). “My system to develope a faster canter with Zandigo during the last weeks has worked. I am more competitive now!”, El Zoghby happily said.
Five pairs competed in the jump off. Irish rider Daniel Coyle trained by Jeroen Dubbeldam made an impressive start with Ivory TCS (Falaise de Muze x Ukato, breeder T and L. Collins) clear in 38,59. El Zoghby was too surprised even to secure a faster time of 38,33. “Zandigo normally shouldn't be a winner at all. He is a little special to ride and always asks for a lot of space and time in front of the fences. However his jumping power and big canter are a plus. Since I ask for a little more speed during the recent weeks, he starts to accept this, with this win as a result. Amazing! I always say each horse is a new challenge for a rider. You have to learn how to get the best out of each of your horses. Now Zandigo makes me a better rider. I’m planning to ride him at the WEG in Herning," El-Zoghby concluded. Herning will be the fifth WEG for El-Zoghby, who also competed at three Olympic Games.
More Jeroen Dubbeldam-influence was shown by the winner of the 1m45 medium tour when Annelies Vorsselmans riding Acuero (Acorado x Catoki, breeder Gundi Engfer) surprised herself with a turn of speed that exceed her own expectations. “Normally I’m not that fast, now I was," the partner of Dubbeldam smiled.
Jeroen Dubbeldam was grounded at Outdoor Gelderland due to shoulder surgery which will keep him out of the saddle for another six months. Due to a broken foot, Peruvian rider Alonso Valez Prado's horse, Acuero, now is now being trained by Vorsselmans. “As I am riding more jump off’s now, I have more rhythm which gives me the guts not to ride only for safety,” she smiled.
There was more Jeroen Dubbeldam influence when his pupil Lucas Porter riding C Hunter (Cassini II x Corland, breeder Danny Nijs) finished as the runner up.
Claartje van Andel