After riding three fantastic rounds on Codex One (Contendro x Glückspilz) Christian Ahlmann ended up winning the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix in Hamburg. Saturday's Grand Prix - the second leg of the tour - had 44 riders and horses lined up to compete for the win in the huge grass arena in Hamburg. The first round track designed by Frank Rothenberger consisted of 13 fences and 16 jumps, which included a triple combination at 11abc, followed by an open water to a final combination at 13ab. Only eight riders managed to produce clear rounds, as it was the final combination with a vertical - oxer that caused most problems.
The eighteen best riders from the first round came back for the second round. Clear rounders Katharina Offel, Janne-Friederike Meyer, Daniel Deusser, Roger-Yves Bost, Christian Ahlmann, Hans-Dieter Dreher, Gerco Schröder and Pius Schwizer were joined by the fastest four faulters from the first round.
The second round track was a bit shorter, and went over eleven fences with one triple combination and one combination. The combination at 8 ab with an oxer - vertical was very close to the huge Hamburg crowds, causing some horses loosing their concentration and having a pole down. Amongst those who were unlucky were Maikel van der Vleuten with VDL Groep Verdi (Quidam de Revel x Landgraf I) who got the a-element down, as well as Gerco Schröder with London (Nabab de Reve x Chin Chin). Gregory Wathelet with Desteny van het Dennehof (Andiamo x Buurgraaf) was also one that got in trouble here, and the Belgian rider had to make a circle before jumping the combination.
Daniel Deusser and Stephex Stables' Cornet D'Amour (Cornet Obolensky x Damiani) were the first of the clear rounders to leave the second round without faults. The home rider was then joined by Bosty and the stallion Nippon d'Elle (Sherif d'Elle x Narcos II), before Christian and Marion Jauss' Codex One also jumped another clear. The three boys got company by two very well riding girls though; Kathi on the lovely Pour Le Poussage (Polytraum x Ladalco) and Janne on Cellagon Lambrasco (Libero H x Coriolan). These five double clear riders then went on to battle it out in the jump-off.
The jump-off track started of with a vertical, before a long gallop took the riders to the two next fences. A left turn then followed to an oxer, and then a gallop to the b and c element of the triple combination from the second round. Then came a short right turn to a vertical, before it was time for the final two fences. The jump-off included a lot of galloping for the horses, so all the riders gave full speed.
Janne-Friederike Meyer on Cellagon Lambrasco was first to go and set a good standard with a clear round in 52,65 seconds. Daniel Deusser and the beautiful Cornet d'Amour were next, and the German rider did a great short turn to the third last fence and let the stallion stretch out to end up on a time of 50,25 - taking over the lead. Next out was Bosty on Nippon d'Elle, and even though it didn't look that fast the French rider shaved some time off on Janne's and took over the runner-up position.
Then it was time for Christian Ahlmann and Codex One. The world's number one really let the stallion go, and took some big risks both when it came to speed and short turns - but it paid off and he was the only rider that crossed the finish line under 50 seconds with a time as good as 49,33 seconds. Katharina Offel was last to go with GCT-debutant Pour le Poussage. After two fantastic rounds the gelding was a bit tired, and two poles fell on their way to the finish line. This meant it was double German on top, while Bosty ended third.
There were some horses that really stood out today even though they didn't ended on top. VDL Bubalu (Baloubet du Rouet x Nimmerdor) jumped amazing in the first round, but was prevented from jumping the second round by the very last fence. Another Dutch horse that stood out was Sterrehof's Opium (Polydor x Bormio) that ended 19th and just outside the second round. Bassem Hassan Mohammed's ride Victoria (Tangelo van de Zuuthoeve x Cordano) looked really good in both rounds and Fandango (Last Liberty 988 x Krocket 651) - another GCT-debutant - ridden by William Whitaker showed that he will be one to look out for in the future. Philipp Weishaupt's Cog Rouge (Couleur Rubin x Lefevre) was also a joy to watch jumping today.
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