Lorenzo de Luca won the Agria Lifetime Equine Snowflake Stakes
Italy shines bright at the London International Horse Show
The Agria Lifetime Equine Snowflake Stakes saw Lorenzo de Luca take the victory. 28 competitors lined-up for the class, which was held over two rounds with the top 10 from round one going through to a jump-off. Great Britain’s Harry Charles was the first to jump clear as second to go, however he then faced an anxious wait to see whether he had done enough to make it into the top 10. Ultimately, 11 riders jumped the first round clear, meaning Charles’ British teammade, Scott Brash, as the slowest of the clears, did not progress to the jump-off despite a faultless performance.
The riders returned to jump in reverse order of merit from the first round, with the fastest clear round, de Luca, having the advantage of going last. The second round proved challenging, with many accruing faults in their attempt to set the time to beat. The first to jump clear over the shortened course was Britain’s Matt Sampson, continuing his impressive form at the Show. Riding Ebolensky – his London Grand Prix winning-mount from 2022 – Sampson set a target of 42.31 seconds, with just two to go. Next into the arena, Belgium’s Olivier Philippaerts gave it his best shot, however with four faults was not able to challenge Sampson. It was left to de Luca, riding Violino Il Palazetto, as the only remaining rider able to take the title from Sampson. The Italian speed king made the tightest of turns to post with a time of 39.72 seconds – over two seconds faster than the Brit.
Speaking after the class de Luca said: “Violino Il Palazetto jumped amazingly. The course was really fast and I was lucky enough to go last so I headed into the arena knowing the time to beat. Matt Sampson played it a bit safe, so it made things slightly easier for me, but it was still a good win.“
Looking ahead to the rest of the week, de Luca continued: “Our goal for this weekend is to claim points in the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™, and to hopefully be in the top three. I will ride Cappuccino 194 in tomorrow’s competition as he has been jumping really well. For the London Grand Prix, I will ride Don Vito, who is also in great form. It is simply amazing and an honour to be competing at the London International Horse Show – the crowds are super supportive and knowledgeable on the sport.”
Lorenzo de Luca riding Violino Il Palazetto, winners of The The Agria Lifetime Equine Snowflake Stakes at London International Horse Show @LondonInternationalHorseShow/Peter Nixon | Press release London International Horse Show