CSIO4*-W Prix Maroc Telecom, Jessica Burke at the top

Jessica Burke in sella a Express Trend © Thomas Reiner


It was a fine day for Moroccan show jumping, with three victories… but the fourth, the most important class, the Prix Maroc Telecom, a Winning Round, went to Ireland’s Jessica Burke with a horse born in her country, whose fourth international victory this year.
Ireland’s Jessica Burke, who trains most of her horses herself, takes her fourth international victory of the year in Rabat with Express Trend ©Thomas Reiner

For the record, the rule of the Winning Round is that the first round qualifies the twelve best riders for this “winning round”, where the counters are reset to zero. This was just the thing for the Irish rider who had one down in the first round with her Irish horse Express Trend: “He’s a 13-year-old horse that I’ve been riding for 10 years. It’s the specialty of our stables, we train our own young horses. So I’ve known Express Trend since he was 10. We know each other by heart, and he’s a very efficient horse. The fence down in the first round was entirely my fault. Thank God, I benefited from that rule today”. In fact, the first six placed also benefited from this system, while the four clear rounds of the first round all went wrong in the decisive round! The law is tough, but it’s the law. And it allowed us to enjoy Jessica Burke’s smile.

Moroccan youth triumph in the Grand Prix 1*

The highly technical Uliano Vezzani-designed Grand Prix 1* course allowed only five of the forty-six competitors to make it through to the jump-off. Among them, the young Moroccan Jad Guerraoui (17) was the first to set off on this decisive round: “It doesn’t matter to me whether I’m first or last: when I set off in a jump-off, it’s not to beat the others, but quite simply to beat myself. Especially as there were only five of us, I might as well play double or nothing… either I’d win or, in the worst-case scenario, I’d finish fifth”.

Helped by his parents and the Royal Moroccan Federation of Equestrian Sports (FRMSE), Jad Guerraoui is one of the Kingdom’s equestrian hopefuls. He shone at last year’s FEI Youth Equestrian Games in Aachen, where he won two medals: team bronze and individual silver. So he’s runner-up in the U18 World Championship, but a junior with ambitions: “I’ve already competed in 2 and 3* classes, and here I’m also taking part in the 4* (he won the Prix 4* ANCFCC with Virtuoso des Flagues on Thursday -editor’s note). My aim is to become a professional rider. I’m supported by the FRMSE, but at the same time, I’m going to study business… you never know. But plan A is definitely an equestrian career”.

Concerning, Gloria de Kreisker, his mare, her affix is famous, especially in Morocco… and, by golly, her granddam, Briseis D’Helby (Laudanum xx) is none other than the dam of a certain Quickly of the same name! The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

A fine day for Morocco, in fact, as Jad Guerraoui’s victory followed on from another 1* win in the morning (Badr Khiati) and, above all, preceded the second Moroccan success of the week in 4*, that of Leina Benkhraba with Geisha des Sequoias in the accumulator. For the record, at the age of 22, Leina Benkhraba was the first Moroccan, Arab and African rider to take part in a World Equestrian Games, at the 2014 edition in Caen, Normandy.


CSIO4*-W – 1.50 m – Winning Round

23 starters and 12 classified

1) Jessica Burke, IRL – Express Trend 4-0/35.25
2) Emanuele Gaudiano, ITA – Chalou 1-0/35.7
3) Jennifer Hochstadter, LIE – Tinka’s Hero Z 4-0/37.46
4) Giulia Martinengo Marquet, ITA – Scuderia 1918 Quick And Easy 3 4-0/37.78
5) Antoine Ermann, FRA – Comic Star 0-0/40.10

CSI1* – 1.40 m with jump-off

46 starters and 12 classified

1) Jad Guerraoui, MAR – Gloria de Kreisker 0-0/43.83
2) Jennifer Hochstadter, LIE – Gloria des Joncs 0-0/46.42
3) Wael Trabelsi, TUN – Indorado.S 0-0/46.92
4) Dominique Zbinden, SUI – Othello Vom Eigen 0-8/45.99
5) Louise Sadran, FRA – Blue Magic du Borget 0-15/58.35

CSIO4*-W – 1.45 m – Accumulator

29 starters and 12 classified

1) Leina Benkhraba, MAR – Geisha des Sequoias 65/52.24
2) Charlotte Philippe, BEL – Godiva S 65/52.95
3) Adam Grzegorzewski, POL – Dark Fire 65/53.86
4) Jad Guerraoui, MAR – Virtuoso des Flagues 65/53.98
5) Katharina Rhomberg, AUT – Cody 113 65/54.02

Full results: https://online.equipe.com/shows/58793

Press release Morocco Royal Tour 2023 | Photo ©Thomas Reiner – Ireland’s Jessica Burke, who trains most of her horses herself, takes her fourth international victory of the year in Rabat with Express Trend

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