Showjumping: Henk van de Pol wins aboard Looyman in first try at Al Shira’aa International Horse Show
Shane Breen completes double by winning both Young Horse class onboard Z Seven Canya Dance and Grand Prix-qualifying class on Can Ya Makan
Henk van de Pol’s first ride on Looyman Z turned out to be a winning one on Thursday.
Van de Pol rode two flawless rounds to claim the two-phase Table A on Day 2 of the Al Shira’aa International Horse Show at Al Forsan International Sports Resorts.
“The horse is owned by my brother and I had never ridden him before, and I’m very pleased with the way he did the job,” the Dutchman said after clocking 21.45 seconds.
Van de Pol, who beat Denmark's Tina Lund (21.82) aboard Payse Heutiere, said he only figured how quick Looyman - an eight-year-old bay gelding - was during the first round.
“It is a very fast horse so I didn’t need to do so much," he said.
Van de Pol will be jumping in the Middle East Round, which also includes competitions in Sharjah and Dubai over the next two weeks, and he hoped for more wins abroad Looyman.
“This horse is just starting off here but I can build him up for the next weeks," he added. "Maybe at the end of the trip he can do bigger class but not big Grand Prix [on Saturday] now."
Philipp Weishaupt of Germany on Belo Horizonte took the day’s second prize with clear rounds over the two phases in a time of 30.62 seconds.
Henrik von Eckermann, the Swedish world No 8, took second spot atop Artiste de l'Abbaye d'Aulne - 31.47 seconds from Khaled Abdulrahman Al Mobty of Saudi Arabia on Dona Evita.
Earlier, Shane Breen completed a double by winning both the Young Horse class onboard Z Seven Canya Dance and the Grand Prix-qualifying class on Can Ya Makan.
“Can Ya Makan felt great and was really jumping well,” the Irishman said. “I was lucky that a few of the fast ones went before me so I could watch their rounds.
“Between fences 1 and 2 they did 12 strides, and Canya Makan has a huge stride. So I tried to get 11 there and then push on for the rest. It worked."
Breen said it was great to get a win.
“I’m delighted to be here and thrilled to have won both the Young Horse class with Canye Dance and the big class,” he added.
Saudi Arabia’s Abdullah Sharbatly, the 2010 World Equestrian Games silver medallist, was the first to go on the second round, clocking 35.20 seconds on Woulon L.
Von Eckermann lowered that mark by less than a second on the 12-year-old dark bay gelding.
Cecille Hatteland of Denmark came close to knocking the Swede off the top with a round just .07 of a second slower on Alex.
Breen was next and he returned with a time of 33.28 seconds, seeing off an anxious moment for Syrian Kotayba Al Doygri on Queensland E to complete his round.
The latter, though, could only clock 33.57 and settle for the runner-up prize.
Updated: January 11, 2018 09:34 PM