Bermuda’s Annabelle Collins made an impressive start aboard her 10-year-old Spanish bred stallion, Joyero VG. Scoring 73.995, Collin’s set the bar by taking an early lead, notching up marks with her difficult floor plan and achieving a personal best for her freestyle.
However, Maria Caetano riding Coroado made the biggest impression before the break. Following on from their ninth-place finish in the Grand Prix, Caetano’s score of 77.655 was another personal best for the day and put her into the lead before the top seven would attempt to the contest it.
Despite a home advantage and standing ovations from the crowd, Spanish riders Alejandro Asencio Mendez, Juan Antonio Jimenez and Juan Matute Guimon fell short of Collins’ lead.
However, Spain’s Claudio Castilla Ruiz rose to the occasion to put on the performance of the evening. Making his first World Cup appearance of the season aboard the chestnut Alcaide, Castilla made his mark on the centre line one handed and to the delight of the home crowd became the new leader with just two left to go.
Dutch rider, Hans Peter Minderhoud and the 14-year-old grey stallion, Zanardi could do no better than fourth with their score of 76.110. With British rider Richard Davison having to retire his 14-year-old gelding, Bubblingh, only Ferrer-Salat could challenge Castilla’s lead.
Ferrer, a four-time Olympian, and 17-year-old chestnut gelding, Delgado, showed their experience, performing an effortless test to come out clear winners.
“Delgado is very fresh lately and willing to perform - he’s very much with me still and I’m very proud of him!” Ferrer-Salat said.