Two Winning Smiles

Friday, December 4, 2015
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Benjamin Castildi and Carlito d'Es win the 1* class Invitational Trophy

Benjamin Castildi and Carlito d'Es win the 1* class Invitational Trophy (Photo: ©Sportfot)

Winning at Paris is truly magic! Whether you're a small-screen star or a rider used to climbing onto the podium, the feeling is the same. And today, both Benjamin Castaldi and Barbara Hurel wore the same beaming smile on their faces.

Winner this morning of the first part of the 1m15 Prix Big Bang & Olufsen, Benjamin Castildi, riding his new horse Carlito d'Es, with whom he rode his very first round right here in Paris, was extremely happy and proud to achieve the weekend's first French victory and his very first victory at this level. Suffice to say that he was floating on cloud nine. The training that he has undergone over the last few months with his new trainer Nicolas Bost has paid off and he is now on a winning streak.

"I'm so very lucky to be able to keep my horses in the Bost family's stables! It's fantastic and extremely motivating!" Bosty and his wife Cyrille, friendly supporters, were delighted with his performance, “everyone dreams about winning in Paris, even us”, exclaimed the 2013 European Champion, “Benjamin has an amazing amount of energy, and he always wants to win."

Barbara Hurel was also focused on the podium as she won the 1m25 Prix Bang & Olufsen event. Teamed up with Orchidée de Cirka, this couple have been well-tuned now for several years, with over half a dozen victories and numerous top places this year alone. "Although this is the first time that I've competed in such an important competition”, she explained, “I'm really thrilled." Yesterday, her mare was a bit uptight due to the six star atmosphere that resides over the great Parisian hall – the lights, the screens and the music.

Today, she seems to have settled down nicely. Determined on winning, the couple, perfectly in tune with one another, negotiated a succession of difficult turns without once slowing down. The French rider’s r seemed hard to beat, and she actually won with more than three seconds to spare. Since winning at Paris leaves a taste of a wishful comeback, she hopes to make a repeat performance on Sunday.

Next to come is the Prestige Trophy, two thrilling events: the Prix Marcolini, a 1m35 accumulator event with a 1m50 joker fence, then the Prix Institut Esthederm, a 1m45 Grand Prix with a jump-off.

All results of the class are available here