Global Champions Tour : second leg in Valencia (Spain)
For many of the top riders the road to the London Olympics has already started. A significant number of the horses at the GCT in Spain are well and truly locked into their preparations for the forthcoming 2012 Games.
The immaculate sand arena was described as “impressive” by riders as they walked the course.
GCT President Jan Tops said : “This location is naturally very beautiful and it is also very horse-friendly with nice big arenas, permanent stables and great facilities. The timekeeping with Longines and the organisation all gets better and better. It was nice to see some different names on the podium and on the ranking which makes it exciting going forward and I am sure everything will come down to the last moment this year.”
On friday, French rider Roger-Yves Bost delighted the crowds with stunningly quick round in the 1.50m class setting a time of 60.89 on his bay stallion Castle Forbes Vivaldo van Het.
After the prize giving lap of honour Roger-Yves said : “He is a very fast horse and I’m very pleased. We won a lot of classes at 1.50. I’m also pleased because I changed plans and decided to ride him in this class”. It was a repeat of his display of acceleration and daring riding at one of the opening classes at the first GCT of 2012 in Doha, Qatar, last month.
There was a strong turnout of Spanish riders in this second leg of the GCT in Valencia. Spanish show jumping star Sergio Alvarez Moya won the CSI5* 1,45 class on saturday morning on his bay mare, Kisby, in a time of 59.56. French rider Kevin Staut was second in 60.25 on Le Prestige de Hus, and Katharina Offel of the Ukraine came in third on Charlie in 60.73.
Great Britain and Ireland triumph in the Global Champions Tour of Spain
With the GCT Grand Prix counting towards Olympic qualifying the pressure was on a big field of top international riders to perform in the CSI 5* 1.60m class, which was full of some of the most talented speed riders.
On Saturday, Great Britain took centre stage at the Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Spain seizing the top two podium places after a thrilling jump off. Ben Maher clinched victory on Tripple X III jumping a fast clear in 41.35 with Michael Whitaker in second place on Viking in 42.17. Irish rider Denis Lynch came in third in a fast time of 40.91 despite clocking up four faults in the jump off.
Brazil’s Alvaro de Miranda and French rider Penelope Leprévost took fourth and fifth places. Only Ben Maher and Michael Whitaker jumped three clear rounds on the big, challenging courses designed by Frank Rothenberger.
The results of the second leg of the GCT 2012 series mean Edwina Tops-Alexander is still leading the GCT ranking followed by Denis Lynch and German rider Marco Kutscher. Edwina had a fence down in the second round of the Grand Prix on her star horse Cevo Itôt du Chateau, but due to her win at the opening show in Doha, Qatar, last month she is still the rider to beat this season.
On sunday, the last competition of the Global Champions Tour of Spain in 2012 was quite an exciting one, with a difficult triple combination in the course. Kevin Staut was first with a very fast start in the 1.50m class setting a time of 39.87 on Le Prestige St Lois de Hus. Billy Twomey on Tinka’s Serenade sped into the second place with a time of 40.49 and Maikel van der Vleuten ended third with a time of 40.67, just a fraction behind Billy Twomey.
Kevin Staut, riding Le Prestige de Lois again, dashed to victory with a clear round in 39.87. Billy Twomey sped into the second place with a time of 40.49 and Maikel van der Vleuten ended third with a time of 40.67, just a fraction behind Billy Twomey.
Japanese rider Taizo Sugitani -not very well known in the western european League- was fourth, and Kamal Abdullah Bahadam, from Saudi Arabia, was eighth, showing that equestrian sport is taking its place in the countries of the middle or far East.
Résults Grand Prix Valencia 1,50 m 2 rounds
- Le Prestige de Hus, Kevin Staut, FRA
- Tinka's Serenade, Billy Twomey, IRL
- Zacharov TN, Maikel van der Vleuten, NED
- Avenzio, Taizo Sugitani, JAP
- Rico, Eduardo Alvarez Aznar, SPA
- Eurocommerce Callahan, Gerco Schröder, NED
- Calvie, Luciana Diniz, POR
- Cezanne 30, Kamal Abdullah Bahamdan, SAU
- Souvenir, Philip Weishaupt, GER
- Easy Going, Cindy van der Straten Marie, BEL