On Saturday afternoon it was time for the jumping horses´ big endurance test; Gigantprint Falsterbo Derby. The course, which is the same every year, is 1,200 meters long over 20 fences, of which about half of them are natural fences.
24 riders from as much as 13 nations came to start, which is unique for Falsterbo, compared to other big Derby´s. The Derby course not only consists of spectacular 1,50 fences, but also elements that are less familiar to a showjumping horse, like jumping out from the grass course only to get back in down a very steep bank and then to jump a considerably high fence only one stride after coming down
back on the grass.
After the first round, despite all the difficulties, we saw five riders finishing with 0 penalties. First out in the second round was Jur Vrieling, Netherlands- Zavall Vdl who immeditately put pressure on the competitors by pulling off a round free from faults with a very fast time. He was still at the lead when the last starting rider; Jens Fredricson- Avon entered the course. The audience held their breath, but unfortunately a pole fell and Jens finished at 4th place.
Jur Vreiling has won the Falsterbo Derby once before – 2009 – then with the horse Nerina.
– I am really happy with Zavall, said Jur. This was his first Derby and I was curious about how he would handle it. Zavall acted like he had done nothing but jumping Derby´s before. We will definately come back to defend the title next year!
– It wasn´t idealistic to go out last today; said Jens Fredricsson. After the first round, Avon only got 2 minutes rest before I had to sit up back on him. He would have needed at least ten minutes to take a breather. This was not the reason for the pole falling though, we came to close to the fence. The placement are not the most important, but the performance, which I am really really happy with – he is totally relaxed and really loves jumping!
Finishing 2nd in the Gigaprint Falsterbo Derby was Olivier Philippaerts, Belgium- Carlito C and on 3rd place was captain Michael Kelly, Ireland- Mo Chroi.