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Global Champions Tour : Edwina Alexander-Tops wins the Grand Prix

The first leg of the new 2012 GCT in Doha ended on Saturday night with Edwina Tops-Alexander's impressive win in the Grand Prix, riding her show jumping superstar Cevo Itot du Château.

On Friday and Saturday, Sergio Alvarez Moya had pulled off a dramatic double winning.

Leading Spanish rider Sergio Alvarez Moya outpaced the field with a clear round in 62.09 on his bay gelding Abab van het Molenhof. Brazilian Alvaro de Miranda came in second on 63.66 on Rahmannshof’s Bogeno. Alvaro, also known as "Doda", praised Sergio for beating him to first place and said: “It’s between friends.” Pius Schwizer, of Switzerland, was third on 63.87 with French rider Simon Delestre, fourth on 64.11.

Riders at the GCT Doha 2012
Riders at the GCT Doha 2012. Sitting in the middle, Jan Tops who founded the GCT. © Sportphot/GCT

Some of the big stars of the sport of show jumping like Kevin Staut, Christian Ahlmann and Ludger Beerbaum all ended up with faults or time faults. Top Qatari rider H.H.Sheikh Ali Al Thani rode clear on his new stallion Whitaker proving he was ready to perform strongly in front of his home crowd in the coming Grand Prix.

Sergio Alvarez Moya
Spanish rider Sergio Alvarez Moya won two big classes of the CSI 5* in Doha with his wife's bai stallion Abab van het Molenhof, a Belgian Warmblood horse. © Sportphot/GCT

On Saturday, Sergio Alvarez Moya pulled off a dramatic second win, just as Roger-Yves Bost had achieved at the beginning of the event. He was riding his wife Marta’s 12-year-old bay stallion Abab van het Molenhof. Sergio never let up on the pace finishing in 36.72 and beating the early time set by Dutchman Harrie Smolders of 37.47. Germany’s Marco Kutscher came fourth on 38.67 on Quatell with veteran rider Ludger Beerbaum fifth on 38.95.

Athina Onassis de Miranda, patroness of the GCT, finished sixth on her grey mare Uceline in a display of increasing confidence at the top level.

Sergio said after his emphatic win: “I am having a lucky show.” Asked if his success was down to the impressive Abab or his recent marriage to Marta, Sergio said: “I hope it is being married, then I will win every show!

Edwina wins the Grand Prix

Edwina Tops-Alexander set the 2012 Global Champions Tour alight winning the opening leg on her show jumping superstar Cevo Itot du Château, a son of famous french stallion Le Tot de Semilly, and grandson of great sire Grand Veneur.

Edwina Tops-Alexander
Happy Edwina Tops-Alexander, who just won the Grand Prix in Doha on Saturday night, riding, Cevo Itot du Château, a french-bred horse. © Sportphot/GCT

Edwina was first to go in the jump off and admitted she did not believe her time of 40.99 was fast enough to win.
But it was a story of split second timing in the jump off as second place Marco Kutscher of Germany, third place Pius Schwizer and fourth place Billy Twomey all finished within a hair’s breadth of each other on 41.24, 41.32 and 41.44 respectively.

Winners of the Grand Prix in Doha
Winners of the Grand Prix in Doha : Edwina Tops-Alexander, Marco Kutscher (2de) et Pius Schwizer (3rd).
© Sportphot/GCT

Edwina, the world’s No1 female rider speaking at the post-event press conference, said: “Itot is in great shape. It is his first outdoor show this year. He is 16 years old but he feels fresh and I have had a wonderful show."
Edwina also praised Italian course designer Uliano Vezzani as “one of the best in the world” and said his courses had delivered top level competition in Doha.

"Absolutely top sport"

GCT President Jan Tops -who is Edwina's husband- summed up the jump off and the three days of show jumping in Doha and said: “The jump off results are amazing, half a second between 1 and 4. This is absolutely top sport, great precision, deft riding.

Qatar Equestrian Federation President Hamad bin Abdulrahman Al-Attiyah said at the press conference: “Co-operation with GCT is developing nicely and we are in discussions to see how we can go forward together.

H.H. Sheikh Ali bin Khaled
H.H. Sheikh Ali bin Khaled Al Thani, leading Qatari rider, on his super horse Whitaker. © Sportphot/GCT

Leading Qatari rider Sheikh Ali bin Khaled just missed out on the jump off after his super horse Whitaker had the last fence down. In an interview before the Grand Prix, Sheikh Al Thani said: “It is a pleasure for us to have this GCT in Qatar. It is good to start here with the young horse and then we will see about the rest of the year. It is the first time he jumped this Grand Prix. He is just nine this year but I have been impressed so far. In terms of the sport here in Qatar, six riders are doing the 5* now and others want to get there. We have some good riders and that is good for the future.

GCT Doha 2012 Press conference after Grand Prix
GCT Doha 2012 Press conference after Grand Prix. From left to right : Pius Schwizer, Marco Kutscher, Jan Tops, Mr. Hamad bin Abdulrahman Al-Attiyah, Edwina Tops-Alexander, Mr. Charles Villoz. © Sportphot/GCT

Longines is GCT timekeeping partner for Doha and three other events this year. Charles Villoz, vice-president sales for Longines, said the global brand’s long history of involvement in equestrian sport made for a fitting partnership with GCT.

There was plenty of praise about Doha from Edwina who said : “I find it really interesting coming to a different culture. There is massive growth here and it is fantastic to have Arab riders involved and very strong in our sport of show jumping.
Marco Kutcher said: “I have seen the Qatari riders getting better and better and that is good for our sport.
And for Swiss rider Pius it was all about the weather. He said the sunshine was enough to make him think about relocating to Qatar !

The Global Champions Tour moves to Valencia in Spain next month for the second leg of the 2012 season.

Results of Grand Prix of Qatar
Two rouds with one jump-off

  1. Cevo Itot du Château, Edwina Tops-Alexander, AUS
  2. Cornet Obolensky, Marco Kutscher, GER
  3. Verdi III, Pius Schwizer, SUI
  4. Tinka's Serenade, Billy Twomey, IRL
  5. VDL Groep Verdi, Maikel van der Vleuten, NED
  6. Pot Blue, Marcus Ehning, GER
  7. Codex One, Christian Ahlmann, GER
  8. BMC Utascha SFN, Jeroen Dubbeldam, NED
  9. Amarok, Vladimir Tuganov, RUS
  10. Euphony Cadjanine Z, Gergory Wathelet, BEL
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Article publié le 11-04-2012

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