It was an amazing night in Doha, when Alvaro De Miranda and AD Asleigh Drossel Dan took home the win in the first leg of the Global Champions Tour.
There were 18 riders who made it to the second round, 17 of these were without faults – the last rider was Denis Lynch who had one time fault aboard All Inclusive NRW (by Arpeggio). The course for the second round was very demanding, and Frank Rothenberg asked a lot of questions from the riders and their horses. It was technical and big, and Rothenberg himself claimed the course was almost of Olympic format. It was the triple combination and the water jump that caused the most trouble; a lot of the riders had a fence down throughout the triple combination. Daniel Deusser and Untouchable 27 (by Hors la Loi II) were eliminated after the horse refused to jump at the water; a new fence in the second round. Ludger Beerbaum and the Baloubet du Rouet-stallion Chaman also got in trouble with the blue element; this time it was the last combination with a water tray which caused problems. After two stops at the first element it was game over for Beerbaum.
Only three riders managed to ride double clears. Doda and Drossel Dan were the first to do so; and with style. The pair has tuned in their partnership to something truly special; and this really shined through tonight. The Drosselklang-gelding jumped absolutely fantastic, giving every fence plenty of air. The next pair to deliver a double clear was Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and the forever-young Shutterfly (by Silvio I), who jumped amazing. Carlina (by Carvallo) and Pius Schwizer also worked their way through the course to cross the finish line with a clean sheet; securing the crowds a very exciting jump-off. It should also be mentioned that Denis Lynch and All Inclusive NRW, as well as Luciana Diniz on Lennox (by Lifestyle) rode two beautiful rounds to end up with one unlucky time fault each in the second round. It was good enough for fourth for Diniz, and fifth for Lynch. Gerco Schröder’s Eurocommerce New Orleans (by Colbert) and Jeroen Dubbeldam’s BMC van Grunsven Simon (by Mr. Blue) also jumped great rounds, but had to see one fence down.
The jump-off consisted of eight fences, and Doda and Drossel Dan was first to go. They rode a fast – but not crazy fast – round, getting a very good angel on fences five and six which gave an excellent time on 42.53. Meredith and Shutterfly chased their time, but had to see a fence fall at the vertical on the line out of the combination – leaving them with four faults and a time of 45.13. Pius set of on Carlina, but the b-element in the combination fell to the ground. Their time was good enough for second place though; on 43.45 they pushed Meredith to third.
“I’m very happy. No words can tell how happy I am. I want to say thank you to my team, my wife and my trainer. The win was very special for me; it was my first win in the Global Champions Tour,” said an emotional Alvaro De Miranda after his win. “It’s also good to start of the tour in a pole position,” the Brazilian rider smiled. "This is the best horse I have had in my life, and it makes our lives good to have him in our stables. He has all the talent in the world and if you ride him well he will go well," Doda said of Drossel Dan.
Of Shutterfly, Meredith said: "I was delighted as he is an eighteen year old and he jumped so well and I am very pleased with him. He is part of the family and it is a privilege to be able to ride such a horse. The second round was one of the hardest tracks that we have ever ridden. I appreciated Doda’s performance and the way he put pressure on us; it was fast run by Doda!"
For full results click here.
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