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Cédric Hurel wins the Grand Prix Defender in the CSI 2* competition

4 November 2023

They were among the favourites for the event and they lived up to their billing. Cédric Hurel and his wonderful Fantasio Floreval Z won the Grand Prix Defender in the CSI 2* competition at the Longines Equita Lyon – Concours Hippique International. At the same time, the rider from Normandy won the title of 'best rider in the competition', and received a Cheval Liberté trailer as a prize.

Fifty participants started this Grand Prix with obstacles of 1.45 metres, in front of a full house in the international arena. The French course designer Grégory Bodo and his team created a course with 13 obstacles for 16 difficulties. And all ten of the French qualifiers managed to make it through to the jump-off! Some of them had been in great form since the start of the competition, meaning a great battle was on the cards. The young Equita Riders' Lalie Saclier and her superb J'Adore quickly set the tone with a clear round in 33"79. The time remained unbeaten, until Cédric Hurel took to the arena. In perfect harmony with his horse, he took every risk and managed to beat Lalie Saclier's time by just 4 hundredths of a second, without touching a single bar. As he raised his fist on the finish line, he knew his time would be difficult to beat. And the participants that followed were unable to match his performance.

« I felt fantastic today. Fantasio was still very fresh. He only jumped in the main event on Thursday, in which he took second place. On today's course, I was quite wary of the triple. So, I was careful on that, so as not to put push my horse too much, and he jumped it really well. As for the jump-off, I had a plan in mind. I knew I couldn't remove any strides after the double because I wanted to turn quickly after the vertical no. 16. I gained time there and also on the turn before the double. I'm delighted to have won in Lyon, because I really enjoy competing here. Fantasio always gives his all and has amazing technique. He's such an intelligent horse. You can't help but like him. I'm delighted because he's really good with me at the moment. After a bit of a low period, due to a physical problem that we've sorted out since September, we've now managed to put together a string of results. He was second in the CSI 3* in Saint-Tropez in October. Last week, I received 4 points for my mistake on the last obstacle in the Grand Prix 4* in Saint-Lô. Now, I'll be going to the CSI 4* in Rouen and I hope to get back into the CSI 5* », said the rider after the awards ceremony.

The 2022 French Pro 1 champion, Eden Leprévost Blinlebreton took third place with a clear round in 34"72 with Ascot des Ifs.

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