San Patrignano CSI-A begins successfully for Italian colours
In an afternoon with a variable weather, scattered with showers of rain, the three-day event in San Patrignano opened with a double victory for Italian colours: Mario Verheyden on Zip placed first before Jerry Smit, who gained the second place on his Mackinley. Italian riders preceded for a few hundredth of a second the Olympic champion Jeroem Dubbeldam on Meat Loaf and the Belgian rider Joan Philippaerts on Verelst Camilo, placed fourth.
Verheyden is a fairly experienced rider in international competitions: he had his debut in Helsinki, at the Nations Cup, in 1996 and took part to the last three editions of Italian Championships, placing 8th in 2000 and 11th in 2001. On the second place, the top Italian rider: Jerry Smit. He was the first Italian rider to enter the FEI rankings among the top ten riders in the world and in 2000 he also won the highest prize ever paid in a jumping competitions: a billion and eight hundred millions Lit. offered in the international circuit Pulsar Crown. The home riders went before the Sydney Olympic golden medal Jeroem Dubbeldam. This class, Tiffany & Co. Prize, the first of the event, was a timed category, reserved to young horses, future protagonists in the competitions ring all over the world.
San Patrignano, July 20, 2001