It was Rolf-Göran Bengtsson and Casall la Silla (Caretino x Lavall I) who took home today’s third leg of the Global Champions Tour in Hamburg. Only four riders were clear after the first round, and in the end just three of the starting field of 48 made it to the jump-off – Ludger Beerbaum on Chaman (Baloubet de Rouet x I Love You), Janne Friedrike Meyer on Cellagon Lambrasco (Achill-Libero H) and Rolf-Göran Bengtsson on Casall la Silla.
The first round of the GCT in Hamburg was a demanding one, only four riders stayed clear; Ludger, Janne and Rolf – in addition to Alvaro de Miranda who rode a lovely round on AD Asleigh Drossel Dan (Drosselklang II x Ashleigh Brigadier). Another four riders managed to keep the fences up but had one time fault each in their effort to stay clear; Judy-Ann Melchior on Cha Cha Z (Carthago Z x Beach Boy), Thomas Voss on Carinjo 9 (Cascavelle x Landgraf I), Andreas Kreuzer on Chacco-Blue (Chambertin x Contender) and Denis Lynch on All Inclusive NRW (Arpeggio x Phantom).
Faults were spread evenly out over the thirteen fence course, but the triple combination and the vertical following it on a related distance – as well as the combination at 11a and b followed by a wall with square planks on top – were well represented among the fences that fell. Harrie Smolders, Marcus Ehning and Sergio Alvares Moya were among the many riders who had faults on one or more of these fences.
The second round was equally hard, with new challenges like a line from an oxer at fence eight followed by a related distance to the water – and then a new line to two white verticals. Still, several of the riders produced clear rounds; Sergio Alvares Moya and his lovely stallion Action-Breaker (Heartbreaker x Lys de Darmen) were clear, as was Michael Whitaker on GIG Amai (Nonstop x Bacara), Marco Kutscher on Cash (Carthago x Laval II), Edwina Alexander on Itot du Chateau (Le Tot de Semilly x Galoubet A), Pablo Barrios on G&C Quick Star 11 (Quick Star x Grannus), Gerco Schröder on the impressive Eurocommerce London (Nabab de Reve) and Shane Breen on Carmena Z (Carthago Z x Irco Mena).
The jump-off was bound to be fast, as Meyer was the last to go in on her super-quick thirteen year old gelding. The course opened for tight turns, but also for several gallops. Ludger Beeerbaum and Chaman opened the show; they were real fast – but had a few lucky poles as the stallion tapped the poles at the fourth and the sixth fence. Ludger didn’t take it all out on the last stretch to the final oxer though, and it was all open when the clocked stopped at 47.93.
Rolf and Casall then entered the ring, and pushed for the win right from the start. The Swedish rider took a really tight turn to fifth fence – an oxer – and raced towards every vertical without blinking. To the last oxer Rolf really let Casall stretch his legs, and when the pair crossed the finish line on 46.97 the pressure was on for Janne Friedrikke Meyer.
Cellagon Lambrasco is naturally quick, and Meyer picked up a high pace from the beginning. Unfortunately the German rider had to see the poles on the second fence fall to the ground, and when one more followed she decided to retire. Victory belonged to Sweden, and Rolf could celebrate his win with pouring champagne on the two other riders.
“For me and the horse owners – the Holsteiner Verband and Alfonso Romo – it is a big on honor to have a stallion winning here today. It is always nice to win here. It is a fantastic place, and many people watching,” Rolf said after his win. Rolf is currently number seven in the GCT ranking, and stated that there were more shows to come and that he definitely would try to get some more points.
Alvaro de Miranda is still on top of the GCT leader board, and said “When coming in to this season I knew I had a very good horse and I knew that if I rode well we could be at top at the end of the season. We had a good start in Doha, and the horse has been jumping really good – the fault today was mine.” On his horse Ashleigh Drossel Dan he said; “He’s such an easy horse, he does everything for his rider.”
For full results click here.
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