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The Longines Speed Challenge in Paris : a win for « Doda »

The speed experts had a field day on December 5th in the Longines Speed Challenge in Paris. Alvaro “Doda” de Miranda, jumping for Brazil, took all the risks with AD Nouvelle Europe Z, and despite the attempts of the other riders –including Christian Ahlamnn- none of them managed to beat him.

Created by EEM World in 2010, the Longines Speed Challenge takes place on identical courses during the three legs of the Masters Grand Slam, in Hong-Kong, Los Angeles and Paris.
As Juan-Carlos Capelli, Vice-President of Longines and Head of International Marketing points out, “In the Longines Speed Challenge, the riders fight it out to be the fastest.”
Each rider has his own technique: galloping fast, tight turns, using fewer strides in the lines- it depends on the horses.

Doda de Miranda and Christian Ahlmann
Alvaro « Doda » de Miranda (right) winner of the Longines Speed Challenge in Paris, and Christian Ahlmann, second. © Getty/MGSI

“The stands were jam packed, which is amazing for a Friday evening”, gushed Christophe Ameeuw, organiser of the Gucci Paris Masters. “Seeing these 7,000 people on their feet, cheering on all the riders and experiencing their round so enthusiastically, is extremely rewarding.”

Despite the fact that in Los Angeles, no rider managed to go faster than 60 seconds, this evening two of them accomplished this without making any mistakes. Alvaro “Doda” de Miranda, who is always very fast, took all the risks with AD Nouvelle Europe Z, and went into the lead. Christian Ahlmann tried very hard and came within a hair’s breadth of winning. “I must have lost some time between the beginning and the end”, he said tongue-in-cheek. He was nonetheless delighted with his second place and above all considered himself very lucky that after the pole on the last fence was lifted up, it fell back… on the safety cups !

But they were still some very talented riders to come and in particular the public’s favourite, Roger-Yves Bost, two-time winner of the Longines Speed Challenge in Paris in 2010 and 2012. Cheered on from the start to the end of his round, the current European champion, who is also one of the world’s fastest riders, made his intentions clear and his relatively young Sydney Une Prince, an eight year-old mare, performed a major feat by achieving the third fastest time.

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Published 12-12-2014

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