Carlos Lopez wins Longines FEI World Cup Jumping qualifier leg in La Coruña

Carlos Lopez wins Longines FEI World Cup Jumping qualifier leg in La Coruña

12/12/2016 at 12:22Updated 12/12/2016 at 12:23

Colombia’s Carlos Lopez galloped to victory in the seventh leg of the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping 2016/2017 Western European League at La Coruña in Spain.

Ranked 166th on the Longines Jumping Rankings, the Colombian rider upstaged the favourites and many big names to claim a deserved victory on Admara. Jane Richard Philips from Switzerland nearly snatched victory from Lopez with a fine last-to-go clear round on Pablo de Virton, but the pair had to settle for the runner-up spot ahead of German legend Ludger Beerbaum and Casello in third.

The Ortega family’s Casas Novas Equestrian Centre, a new venue for the season, saw 40 riders from 18 countries come forward to challenge the 14 fence course set by Spain’s Santiago Varela.

The first-round course kept the numbers under control, and as the first of the 40 starters to go clear when twelfth to go, it was Lopez who led the way in the jump-off round against the clock as one of the seven horse-and-rider combinations.

Only four of those combinations jumped double-clear but as pathfinder it was Lopez’s time of 37.84 seconds which proved decisive.

Beerbaum initially coming closest when crossing the timers in 38.58 seconds, only to be overtaken by Richard Philips. As last-to-go, the Longines Ambassador gave it everything she had on Pablo de Virton with a great round, but despite going round the shortened course clear she was still 0.37 seconds off the target. It meant Lopez had secured victory to the obvious delight of the Colombian and his team.

Sweden’s Henrik von Ackermann was the only other competitor to achieve a clear round, with a time of 39.81 seconds on Mary Lou. The Netherlands’ Maikel van der Vleuten on VDL Groep Arera C did go slightly quicker but at the expense of one fence down.

Of the Spanish contenders in the jump-off, Gerardo Menendez Mieres also saw one fence down with Cassino DC in a time of 40.78 seconds, whilst Sergio Alvarez Moya suffered a disastrous round on Arrayan for after demolishing one fence finished by incurring 13 penalties in a time of 47.25 seconds.

By adding the maximum 20 points from La Coruna to the eight he collected at the fifth leg in Stuttgart, Germany last month, Lopez has moved into tenth place on the Western European leaderboard which continues to be headed by Frenchman Kevin Staut.

However the 51-year-old Colombian is unlikely to make it to the Longines 2017 Final in Omaha, Nebraska, USA in March next year. Speaking afterwards he said “We are still getting to know each other and it is not the main target for me and this horse”

After seven of the 13 legs completed in the Longines FEI World Cup Western European League, Staut remains in the lead of the series with 56 points, followed by two Swiss riders in the shape of Romain Duguet with 43 points and Steve Guerdat with 42 points.

The next leg of the Longines FEI World Cup Western European League takes place at London Olympia this Sunday, 18 December.

• The week-end of show jumping competitions in La Coruna also featured the Longines Grand Prix on Saturday night which was won by Ireland’s Billy Twomey and Diaghilev.

Eight of the 41 riders in the CSI5 star Grand Prix qualified for the jump-off with clear rounds, including Spain’s own Pilar Cordón and Manuel Fernández Saro.

In the jump-off Billy Twomey took full advantage of his position as last to go, shaving the time down to 38.38 seconds which was good enough for the win, the couple’s second five-star Grand Prix victory this season after also winning the prestigious Longines King George V Gold Cup earlier this summer.

Italy’s Alberto Zorzi and Fair Light van’t Heike, winners of the Longines FEI World Cup in Oslo, stopped the clock just a few tenths behind Twoemy at 38.64 seconds settling for the runner-up position.

The third place went to Austria’s Max Kühner with Cornet Kalua with a time of 40.28 seconds, with Spain’s Manuel Fernandez Saro earning fourth and taking home the Tyco Trophy.
Longines FEI World Cup Jumping 2016/2017 Western European League
Result: Round 7 – La Coruña, Spain

1. Admara 2 (Carlos Enrique Lopez Lizarazo) Colombia 0/0 faults 37.84 seconds
2. Pablo de Virton (Jane Richard Philips) Switzerland 0/0 38.21
3. Casello (Ludger Beerbaum) Germany 0/0 38.58
4. Mary Lou (Henrik von Ackermann) Sweden 0/0 39.81
5. VDL Groep Arera C (Maikel van der Vleuten) The Netherlands 0/4 38.18
6. Cassino DC (Gerardo Menendez Mieres) Spain 0/4 40.78
7. Arrayan (Sergio Alvarez Moya) Spain 0/13 47.25

Longines FEI World Cup Jumping 2016/2017 Western European League
Standings after Round 7 – La Coruña, Spain

1. Kevin Staut France 56 points
2. Romain Duguet Switzerland 43
3. Steve Guerdat Switzerland 42
4. Lorenzo de Luca Italy 42
5. Marcus Ehning Germany 37
6. Denis Lynch Ireland 34
7. Lauren Hough USA 33
8. Simon Delestre France 31
9. Martin Fuchs Switzerland 29
10. Carlos Lopez Colombia 28