What a suspense it was! Not to mention the atmosphere in hall 66 of Lyon Eurexpo. Once more, the GPA Equita Masters held a few surprises for the audience. Tonight’s surprise was of Spanish origin: an outsider named Sergio Alvarez Moya. Fifteen riders representing seven different nations were competing against each other in this class with two rounds.
After the first round, 10 couples were still in the game, hoping for a final victory: the Germans Marcus Ehning and Marco Kutscher, the Australian Edwina Alexander, the Irish Jessica Kuerten and Denis Lynch, the Swedish rider Rolf Goran Bengtsson, the Olympic champion Eric Lamaze, the Spanish Pilar Cordon and Sergio Alvarez, and last but not least the world’s number 1: Kevin Staut.
If there had been a speculation list of who was going to win, Alvarez probably would have been on the bottom of it – and yet he won! “I only found out yesterday that I could participate in this class and it’s always an enormous satisfaction to compete against the leaders of the world rankings”, confided the winner, currently placed 59th in the Rolex FEI world ranking. “I want to dedicate this victory to my friend Francisco Moura, who passed away last week and for whom we had a commemoration just before the class”, added the 25-year-old Spaniard.
The Spanish rider played his trump riding the black gelding Wisconsin, a powerful son of Darco, for a triumph after an amazing second round. Sergio Alvarez Moya galloped to the last fence with a stride less than the others: “I knew that I had to take all risks if I wanted to win this class. I am lucky to ride such a brave horse, “concluded Sergio Alvarez Moya.
After those moving Masters, the French endurance and jumping teams – both silver medallists in Lexington – received a vibrant recognition from 5.500 spectators in hall 66.
Tomorrow, the third European stage of the FEI Rolex World Cup will be the highlight of the day. Forty riders, among which we’ll also find Pénélope Leprévost, Patrice Delaveau, Olivier Guillon, Kevin Staut and Marie Pellegrin from the French team, will compete in this hunt for World Cup points that will lead to Leipzig next spring. The French riders have serious ambitions in this World Cup that is momentarily dominated by the German world champions. This explosive battle starts on Sunday at 2.30pm.
For results visit: http://results.sportcg.net/lyon
Photo: Sergio Alvarez Moya - Copyright PSV Morel