Mathy and Aster: another Belgian combination wins in San Patrignano
In front of a large audience (about 3000 people which had gathered in the afternoon in San Patrignano to attend day two of the show) the young Belgian rider Francois Mathy Jr., who last year had dominated the 4th edition of this show, gained on Aster - the McDonald Prix: an accumulator class, extremely fast and technical. Mathy, who yesterday had declared he felt in good form and capable to achieve good results, went before the Swiss top rider Willi Melliger, currently 2nd in the world rankings, riding the grey gelding Annaconda II. On the third place Robert Smith, fresh winner of the days opening competition, riding his nine-year-old Senator Athos du Vallot.
Fourth came the first rider wearing Italian colours: the young Roberto Cristofoletti, on Lohengrin di Villa Emilia, one of the latest promising outcomes of Italian breeding. The young Italian rider went so far as leaving behind top riders such as the American champion Peter Wylde, Emile Hendrix, technical advisor of the show, the home rider, the Spanish Fernando Fourcade, riding on a horse bred in San Patrignano stud. Mathy declared: My horse got used to the new course ground and jumped much better than yesterday. I am very happy that Aster improved so much and I am satisfied how he tackled a course suitable to his technical qualities.
San Patrignano, July 21, 2001