Kevin Staut polished off a fantastic victory in the Global Champions Tour of Monaco in one of the most unpredictable Grand Prix of the 2012 series so far. The champion French rider triumphed on the Belgian bred gelding Reveur de Hurtebise, even though horse and rider have only been a combination for two months. He was last to go in the jump off and the former European champion took full advantage by producing the fastest clear. Watched by His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco, the Grand Prix produced great sporting drama and plenty of upsets with the best in the world being toppled by impressive newcomers to the GCT. Third place rider Abdelkebir Ouaddar was the sensation of the night beating the best in the world in his GCT debut.
In the breathtaking setting of Port Hercule in Monte-Carlo, the world’s most expensive show jumping horses performed alongside some of the most expensive yachts in the world. James Bond actor Sir Roger Moore was also among the VIPs in the stunning hospitality suites lining the beautiful arena. Kevin Staut’s win capped off a tremendous three days of competition in sweltering temperatures when horses and riders were tested to the full by course designers Uliano Vezzani and Luc Musette, who teamed up for the 5* classes.
Kevin was quick to the Prince’s Palace jump on his 11-year-old Belgian-bred gelding and finished clear in 37.51. Hans-Dieter Dreher of Germany was the only other rider to jump three clear rounds in the jump off and his polished performance on Embassy II put him in second place on the podium in 38.16. Third place rider Abdelkebir Ouaddar became an overnight show jumping star riding Porche du Fruitier for His Highness King Mohammed VI of Morocco. Abdelkebir will be a name to remember after tonight after he jumped like a superstar with two clears and then one fence down in the jump off to finish on 37.13. The Moroccan rider’s achievement also underlined the truly global nature of GCT.
HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, a keen supporter of the GCT, presented the prizes to the jubilant winning riders and was accompanied by his niece Charlotte Casiraghi, Honorary President of GCT Monaco and one of the regular riders on the amateur tour. Members of the Royal Family of Saudi Arabia and Qatar were present during the day as distinguished guests of GCT President Jan Tops to support their national riders. Leading Saudi rider Kamal Bahamdan produced two superb rounds on his bay mare Noblesse des Tess. Kamal led the field for a while with only one time fault and showed he will be a great asset to his national team at the forthcoming Olympic Games in London. Edwina Tops-Alexander, finished in seventh place on four faults on her famous gelding Cevo Itot du Chateau and remains top of the GCT ranking so far in the 2012 series.
Crowds lined the public route alongside the arena to get a glimpse of the show jumping stars and some of the glamour and royalty at the event. In one of the most unpredictable Grand Prix in GCT history, many of the highest ranked riders in the world fell victim to the centre vertical in the triple combination in the first round including Pius Schwizer, Laura Kraut and Scott Brash and Denis Lynch. It made the successes of Moroccan rider Abdelkebir and Christina Liebherr of Switzerland, a relative unknown on the GCT circuit, even more impressive. In the second round Irish rider Denis Lynch, on his powerful stallion All Star, jumped clear but with four faults in the first round he was out of the jump off.
Source: Press release from Global Champions Tour
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