Following a three-horse jump-off under the flood lights in Monte-Carlo it was America’s Richard Spooner and the amazing Cristallo that won the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix. Going in as last to go in the jump-off, Spooner did what he had to and produced a controlled clear to leave William Funnell to second with one down and Edwina Tops-Alexander to third after she had a refusal.
The first round track was challenging enough, with the final vertical causing most problems. Seven riders produced clear rounds though; Australia's Amy Graham was the first to go clear on Bella Baloubet, before Juan Carlos Garcia rode the second clear about thirty horses later. Then followed clears from Richard Spooner, William Funnell, Edwina Tops-Alexander, Lauren Hough and Christina Liebherr.
Out of these clear riders, only three managed to deliver a second clear round. The first came from Edwina Tops-Alexander and the wonderful beautiful black stallion Guccio (Quick Star x Cantus) that jumped super in the tight ring in Monaco. William Funnell and Billy Congo (Vectha x Animo) also delivered another great performance after showing some very good results lately – the pair was fourth in London and second in Cannes. The last double clear came from Richard and the eccentric Cristallo (Caretino x Cristallo), and it was all set for an exciting jump-off.
Edwina Tops-Alexander was first to go in the jump off. She set off in a good pace, and Guccio jumped super until he slammed on the brakes on the Longines vertical towards the very end of the track. With time penalties added Edwina ended in seven faults. William Funnell was next in the ring for Great Britain. Unfortunately a rail on the same fence that caught Edwina fell to the ground, and William had to settle for four faults. The door was left wide open for Richard and Cristallo, and the sympathetic rider did was what required and produced a controlled clear round to take home the win.
Earlier in the day Mario Stevens won yet another class, the second of the weekend for him and Corlanda (Cordalme Z x Landcapitol).
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