Emanuele Gaudiano (ITA) took a sensational win following a daring jump-off in the main CSI5* feature class of the first day at the Longines Global Champions Tour of Monaco. With royal and sporting celebrities amongst the prestigious guests in attendance on the first day of show jumping in the beautiful Port Hercule, the seventh leg of the tour got underway on the Cote d'Azur.
HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco was welcomed to the event by Longines Global Champions Tour President and Founder Jan Tops, and watched his niece, Charlotte Casiraghi competing in the beautiful open sand arena nestled between the super yachts and city backdrop. The Royal Party greeted several guests including the Finnish Formula 1 World Champion Mika Häkkinen, who was also visiting the show. Also in attendance was Princess Caroline of Hannover, Charlotte's mother, who joined HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco to watch the action as the first day of the Longines Global Champions Tour of Monaco took place.
Switzerland's Beat Mändli took the first CSI5* title of the weekend in spectacular style during the Prix de la Federation Equestre de la Prinicpaute de Monaco, riding a stunning round with the beautiful Zander to go double clear in the 1,45m two phase competition and coming home in 26.89s. Maikel van der Vleuten (NED) took a strong second place with VDL Groep Quatro, and Jessica Springsteen (USA) came home in third with her bay 12 year old mare Davendy S, just tenths of a second off Maikel's time.
As the evening progressed the second of the CSI5* classes took place under the balmy early dusk of the Monégasque setting. Spectators lined the streets alongside the arena as the stars of show jumping took centre stage once more to compete in the 1,50m / 1.55m Prix Massimo Dutti and with 44 combinations taking part from 19 different countries, there was everything to play for in this stage of the competition.
After an intense first round, 16 combinations went through to the jump-off, and after a pause for a spectacular fireworks display across the Port Hercule, the riders walked the course ahead of the final round of the evening. Riding against the clock, one of the first to set the early pace was John Whitaker (GBR) with his famous stallion Argento, riding clear once more in 32.37seconds. His compatriot Scott Brash (GBR) soon bettered his time with the quick and careful Hello Annie in 31.58s, and he was soon followed by Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS) and Heidi du Ruisseau Z who came just tenths of a second off Scott's time, finishing third in 31.66s.
Emanuele Gaudiano (ITA) was the second to last rider to go and delivered a beautifully quick and accurate round with his 10 year old bay gelding Admara 2 to come home in 31.50s, finishing just eight hundredths of a second ahead of Scott Brash. He took the title, with Scott in second place and Edwina Tops-Alexander finishing the top three.
Source: Press release from LGCT
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