Sometimes, the result of a comparison is completely unexpected. This isn’t one of those times. In slightly ground-breaking news, SEAT has revealed that its 300-horsepower Leon Cupra has beaten a horse in a time trial.
The showdown between the competition show-jumping horse and a super-fast hot hatchback took place at Barcelona’s Royal Polo Club. This match-up consisted of two challenges – one about speed, and one about agility.
Both rider and driver made a couple of preparations before starting the race. Rider Virginia Graells patted her horse Calgary on the back, gave him a sugar cube to spur him on and checked the bridle and saddle. Her opponent, racing driver Jordi Gené, did a bit of tyre-kicking and started to find excuses to say in case he lost. He then shared his amazing ritual – that he always gets in the car with his right foot first. “I’ve been doing this since my very first competition,” he says. If you can get in a left-hand drive car in any other way, you're probably a contortionist...
The first challenge is a straight-up drag race. Calgary will gallop across the polo field while the Cupra goes across the sandy track. Although that might sound like an advantage to the horse, the Leon has 299 extra horsepower and the benefit of four-wheel drive. Result: the horse took 15 seconds to cover 100m, the car took 4.
Wait… 15 seconds? For a horse? I could run 100m in that time. And the Cupra supposedly hit 62mph in that distance. Hmm. The second challenge was an agility challenge – the horse having to jump over 12 obstacles, and the car having to drive around them. In this test, the results should be more evenly matched, because the horse should be better suited to the sandy ground. Horse: 57 seconds. Car: 31.43 seconds. A demolition.
Virginia Graells doesn’t seem too bothered about the loss. “Today I’m going to treat Calgary to a double helping of carrots and apples,” she said.