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Katrin Eckermann on top of the podium at the LGCT Grand Prix in Hamburg

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Winners in Hamburg; Katrin Eckermann and Firth of Lorne. Photo by Jenny Abrahamsson.After two fantastic clear rounds and a very fast jump-off Katrin Eckermann made it to the top of the podium at the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix in Hamburg. In front of the home crowd, Katrin and Firth of Lorne (For Pleasure x Stakkato) won ahead of world nr. two and one Ben Maher with Cella (Cento x Chin Chin) and Scott Brash with Hello Sanctos (Cuasimodo x Melendreef).

Normally 18 riders are qualified for the second round in the LGCT Grand Prix classes, but as both Nick Skelton on Big Star (Quick Star x Nimmerdor) and Lucy Davis on Barron (For Pleasure x Nabab de Reve) finished the first round with four faults on the same time 19 riders qualified. Nick Skelton opted not to ride the second round.

Runner-up was Ben Maher with Cella. In the first round it was the last line, and the time allowed, that caused most problems. The last line consisted of a triple combination (triple bar - vertical - oxer) with two short strides between the a- and the b-element and one longer stride to the c- element, followed by five strides to a vertical with water underneath. Several riders - including Nick Skelton, Laura Kraut and Henrik von Eckermann - where clear until the very last fence. In the end there were five riders with four faults, four riders with one time penalty and nine clears that qualified for the second round.

Third place went to Scott Brash with Hello Sanctos. In the second round Lucy Davis and Barron had to add another four faults to their score, while Edwina Tops-Alexander with Ego van Orti (Vigo d'Arsouilles x Darco) did a safe clear round and ended up with a total of four penelities. Henrik von Eckermann on Cantinero (Cento x Cash) finished the second round with eight faults, Daniel Deusser with the well jumping First Class van Eeckelghem (Balout du Rouet x Feinschnitt) made a fantastic clear round and Rolf-Göran Bengtsson with Casall Ask (Caretino x Lavall I) had the second last fence down.

Then it was time for the riders who brought one time penalty with them. Sören Pedersen and Tailormade Esperanza de Rebel (Rebel Z x Corofino) added another two time penalties and also Andre Thieme on Conthendrix (Contendro I x Cor de la Bryere) was clear on the fences, but got another time fault.

Athina Onassis de Mirande riding AD Camille Z got some problems in the triple combination landing on the back pole on the b-element, but instead of giving up they put in two strides instead of one and managed to clear the c-element. In the end Athina had to add six faults to her total score. It didn't go Saer Coulter's way either with two poles down in the second round riding Springtime (Indorado x Elmshorn).

Katrin Eckermann with Firth of Lorne over the first fence in the first round. Luciana Diniz with Fit for Fun (For Pleasure x Fabriano) repeated her clear round from the first round, as did Scott Brash with Hello Sanctos while Christian Ahlmann had to settle with four faults on Codex One (Contendro x Glueckspilz). Then it was time for clear rounds again with Katrin Eckermann, Ludger Beerbaum and Doda de Miranda all being clear. Marcus Ehning's 17 year old Plot Blue seem to be in the form of his lifetime, but this time the last fence unfortunately fell.

Gert Jan Bruggink with Vampire also had to see a pole fall while last rider Ben Maher with Cella qualified for the jump-off.

The jump-off turned out to be a real race against the clock, with all riders giving their best to be the fastest through the finish line. But it was Katrin Eckermann who did it and took home the prestigious class with the 10 year old chestnut stallion Firth of Lorne. Ben Maher and Cella ended second, Scott Brash with Hello Sanctos third, Ludger Beerbaum with Chaman (Baloubet du Rouet x I Love You) fourth while Luciana Diniz on Fit for Fun and Doda de Miranda on AD Uutje (Monaco x Calypso) ended fifth and sixth with four faults in the jump-off.

Click here for all the results.

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