CPEDI Deauville 2018: Great start for the french CPEDI !

The 8th International Para-equestrian Dressage Show at Deauville kicked off at 9am on Friday the 6th of April with the Grade IV Team Test – the Normandy Region Trophy. An opening day of competition that saw a visit during the second half of the afternoon by the French Minister of Sport, Madame Laura Flessel.

After being shown around and discovering the venue she met with school children from Primary schools in Deauville, before bringing her visit to a close by watching  the Grade II Team Test, Deauville Town Trophy.  Great publicity for the only international para-equestrian dressage competition in France and a moment of exchange greatly appreciated by the French riders.
 
Grade IV: The ball opens with the La Marseillaise !
The largest class of the day saw 14 horse/rider combinations taking the start, this opening class crowned Frenchman José Letartre. Partnering Swing Royal*ENE-HN, a 15 year-old Hanoverian gelding, his ride since the beginning of 2016, he was the only rider to score over 70%, obtaining 70.725%. « I want to congratulate my horse, Swing Royal, who was really great, confided a smiling José Letartre. Deauville is the first big show of the season and furthermore it’s in France, so on home ground. It’s super to have had the Marseillaise as the first national anthem played here at this show which is always very well organised by the Handi Equi’ Compet association. It’s an important moment for us as it’s part of the selection process for the World Equestrian Games being held at  Tryon, in the United States. It’s the first day et I hope to confirm my performance tomorrow and Sunday ! The rider and trainer of Swing Royal Sébastien Goyheneix, of the  Ecole Nationale d’Equitation is going to be pleased. We achieved our objective ! »
The duo who represented France at the last Paralympic Games at Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) in 2016, finished in front of the Belgian Manon Claeys on San Dior (69.700%).  Heather Bennett representing Great Britain completed the line-up on the first podium at this 2018 CPEDI riding Zavailantika (69.675%).

Grade V: Sophie Wells unbeatable ?
 Paralympic, World and European Champion, Team GB member Sophie Wells again dominated a class here in Deauville.  Winner of the Grade V Freestyle with C Fatal Attraction in 2017, just like in 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013 in what was at that time the Grade IV, the multi-medallist is certainly on the right track to repeat the exploit this year. She won the Grade V Team test, the Augé-Dascier Champagne Trophy, by nearly 10 points!
« My objective today was to successfully find the right balance between harmony and impulsion because my horse can become slightly tense when I ask him for more energy, explained Sophie Wells. I think I came close to it, even if we still have a few adjustments to make. But he was relaxed in the arena, and for the start of a show that’s a good thing. It’s been a good day, and the CPEDI of Deauville is an excellent opportunity to measure our progress ! »
Belgian Ciska Vermeulen climbed onto the second step of the podium with Rohmeo (66.930%). On a score of 65.953%, the third place went to Australian Amelia White riding Lotus.

Grade I: SOPHIE CHRISTIANSEN, a triumphal start


Just like her compatriot Sophie Wells in Grade V, Sophie Christiansen, double Paralympic Champion, World and European Champion, ensured that God Save The Queen was heard in the hall at the Pôle International du Cheval of Deauville. Competing on her new ride : Amazing Romance, a 9 year-old gelding who was taking part in his first international outing. 
With a score of 73.286%, the promising duo made their presence felt with a large lead in the Grade I Team Test, the Town of Villers-sur-mer Trophy. Frenchman Thibault Stoclin climbed onto the second step of the podium on his Rio de Janeiro Paralympic Games horse, Uniek*HDC with 65.857%. The leading trio was completed by the Hong Kongese Pui Ting Natasha Tse with Baxo (65.179%).

GRADE III : The Netherlands in the race
Led by Demi Vermeulen, the Netherlands claimed their first victory of the week-end here at Deauvile in the Grade III Team Test – The Saint-Arnoult Town Trophy. Associated with her 11 year old KWPN mare, Ciska II, the pair performed a test rewarded with their best ever score at this level, 72.676%. The only partnership to score over 70%, the pair led in front of Belgian Barbara Minneci on Stuart (69.853%) and Tin Chi Timothy Tsang riding Jockey Club Cethegus M (Hong-Kong) who scored 62,971%. “I was really pleased with my test today, confided Demi Vermeulen. It’s the first time that I’ve come to Deauville with Ciska. I’m really proud of her. My objective was to perform well for the team and to improve my performances in International competitions with this mare. We’ve made an excellent start to the season. I really enjoy coming here. The CPEDI of Deauville is a lovely competition with numerous volunteers always ready to help us”.

Grade II : The battle has started
A member of the team that won the Nations Cup here in Normandy last year, it was thanks to Suzanna Hext representing Great Britain, that the sound of the British National Anthem was heard for the third time today. Like last year, she was piloting LJT Engaards Solitaire, a 13 year-old gelding. Before last to go, and awarded 71.127%, she just managed to slip ahead of Dutch team member Nicole Den Dulk, the bronze medallist at the last World Equestrian Games, with Wallace NOP, who scored 71.395%. Eagerly awaited for his return to competition, the multi-medallist Lee Pearson, completed this podium, also with a test scoring over 71% (71.182%). In the saddle on his Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) Paralympic Games horse Zion.

Saturday the 7th April, sees the riders competing in the Individual Championship test : A day and a tests that will decide the winner amongst the teams entered in the Nations Cup. The winner is decided by adding the  best three scores in each team following the Team test on Friday and the Individual Championship on Saturday. Who will, or will anyone triumph over Great Britain, who have remained unbeaten since 2012.


 

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