Ales Opartrny became the first winner of the Emirates Airline Dubai Grand Prix FEI World Cup Qualifier from the Czech Republic as he guided Acovaro to win in 43.86s and top the field of 28 competitors on the closing day of competition. Ferenc Szentirmai of Ukraine was slightly behind in second in 44.20s aboard Quick Diamond. Third place was France’s Frederic David with a time of 46.60s on Baloussini. In winning, Opartrny earned Dh80,850 with the total prize money valued at Dh245,000. His mount, Acovaro, a 10yo, is not known for his speed but proved worthy of the test. Opartrny said: “I have been riding this horse for two and a half years.
He jumps well, but he is not the fastest of horses in the jump off. Today I am happy he was the fastest.” Szentirmai opened the competition with a third in the Emirates Airline Two Phase on Thursday before his runner-up performance in the Dubai Grand Prix. Frederic David was also a frequent visitor to the presentation podium as he secured two runnerup performances on Thursday in the Emirates Airline Two Phase and the Dubai Equestrian Club Welcome Stakes. Rounding out the top six places were: Abdullah Al Sharbatli, thrice winner of the event in fourth; Marion Hughes, fifth; and Francesco Turturiello of Italy, sixth.
The final day of the Dubai Show Jumping Championship opened with the Dh120,000 Longines Accumulator, a class won by 27yo David Will of Germany. Will, who began riding at the age of nine, had an exceptional weekend as he won the Emirates Airline Two Phase on Thursday and was runner-up in the Gulf News Dubai Cup Qualifier on Friday. Riding the 10yo Monodie H in each of the classes, Will finished in a time of 52.43s in the field of 30 contenders. Ireland’s Marion Hughes completed the course in 52.93s aboard Laith to take second. Hughes, an accomplished international performer was also third in the opening day’s Dubai Equestrian Club Welcome Stakes.
The UAE’s Abdullah Al Marri, who is based at the Emirates Equestrian Centre, secured third with AMS Catch Me in 53.58s. The Longines Accumulator is an event that allows competitors to choose the jumps they will attempt. Each of the fences cleared is worth a given amount of points based on difficulty. The winner is decided by the highest point total and fastest time.