Luca Maria Moneta gave Italy the first victory in this CSI2*/4* A Coruña, by raising the Marqués de Riscal Trophy after an excellent performance aboard Neptune Brecourt.
He did so in a test involving well-known names, among them the national riders Manuel Fernández Saro, Sergio Alvarez Moya or Gerardo Menéndez, and the international ones Federico Fernández (Mexico), Samantha McIntosh (New Zealand) or Eric van der Vleuten. The Italian topped them all in a very quick round in which he nearly clocked under 55 seconds (he broke the beam in 55.01). This was a high bar that only Pedro Veniss (55.23 seconds) had almost reached just five rounds before, on the mare Anaya Ste Hermelle. The third position of the podium was for the Spanish Paola Amilibia, who finished second in the national ranking, on Chac Balou N with a time of 57.46 seconds.
The horse that led Luca Maria Moneta to victory, Neptune Brecourt - the rider affectionately calls him "Nepi" - is an exemplary 18-year-old French gelding with which he has performed various 5* tests, also in World Cup. Moneta is a regular rider in big competitions. He is 52 years old and relatively less veteran than others of his same age: it was not until he was 30 years old when he began to participate in major awards, after long training as an equestrian instructor. Since then, he has been a member of the Italian national team in numerous Nation Cups, as well as in European and World Championships.
‘The horse has run super well and I am very happy. I want to thank the Ortega family for this event. Hospitality is like nowhere else, I'm looking forward to coming to the winter edition’, said a satisfied Moneta after raising his prize.
The second-placed, the Brazilian Pedro Veniss, was on the Casas Novas podium for his second time. Yesterday, he was third in the Eurostars Trophy, the 1.50-metre event of the 4* test, aboard Sun Flower du Theil, behind his compatriot Marlon Mondolo. As for Paola Amilibia, she finally managed to get on the podium yesterday, after being ninth in the Eurostars Trophy on this same 12-year-old horse. The Catalonian rider was the first one to be crowned absolute Spanish winner in more than half a century. In fact, she performs this afternoon’s test of the programme aboard Gaudí, the horse with which she achieved that milestone: the Longines Trophy, with 1.50 metre oxers and which will be decided by means of winning winner (round).
It will be the moment of greatest anticipation today in Arteixo’s stands, both for the quality of the participants, among whom great riders of the international equestrian sports will perform again with their best horses, and for the scale, in which the best classified (particularly 25% and, in any case, all zeros) of the first track put themselves a risk in a fast-paced final round.