Lorenzo de Luca opens Verona with a victory for Presence Bleue VDM: "The World Cup Grand Prix seems cursed"

Lorenzo de Luca opens Verona with a victory for Presence Bleue VDM: "The World Cup Grand Prix seems cursed"

After today's 'horse inspection' and 'warm-up,' Jumping Verona 2023 gets underway. Tomorrow, Friday the 10th, the first competitions of the CSI5*-W at Fieracavalli are scheduled in pavilion 8, culminating on Sunday with the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Grand Prix.

The day starts with three events: at 12:00, the Prize No. 1 presented by Prestige (special two-phase category, height 145 cm), followed at 14:15 by Prize No. 2 presented by Banca Passadore (timed category, height 150 cm). To close the day, at 16:30, Prize No. 3 presented by KASK (mixed category, height 155 cm) takes place, with a prize fund of 55,000 euros, making it the most significant event of the day, and a qualification for Sunday's Grand Prix.

Today, the Jumping Verona program began with the first national competitions: the Fieracavalli Grand Prix 125x125 (bronze; silver; gold) and the Italian Champions Tour presented by Regione Siciliana Assessorato Regionale Sport e Turismo.

The opening category of this highly anticipated circuit final, a timed event with obstacles at 1.45 meters, was won by Lorenzo De Luca riding Presence Bleue VDM. The 36-year-old rider from Puglia recently moved from England to Belgium, with Antwerp as his new operational base.

He, too, will attempt to break the spell of the Verona World Cup Grand Prix, which has never been won by Italians before: "It's a competition that we just can't seem to win; it's cursed. Hopefully, this time, there will be the perfect combination to win it. I will try with Cappuccino 194, who has been jumping very well lately. In Verona, I also have F One Usa, who finished second in a 3* Grand Prix two weeks ago in Opglabbeek, Belgium. But I won't rush him because he has recently returned to competition after a forced absence in the first half of the year. So, I'll have him compete in the 'big' events on Friday and Saturday."