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Marcus Ehning takes home the Longines GCT Grand Prix in Cannes

Saturday, 15 June 2013

The top three in Cannes! Photos by Jenny Abrahamsson.After three amazing rounds Marcus Ehning and Plot Blue (Mr. Blue x Pilot) ended on top of the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix in Cannes. William Funnel and Billy Congo (Vechta x Animo Elite) ended second and third place went to Maikel van der Vleuten with VDL Groep Verdi (Quidam de Revel x Landgraf).

Only eight riders were clear in the first round. In addition to them three riders with one time fault and the fastest riders at four faults went on to the second round. Philipp Weishaupt and Coupe de Coeur (Calido I x Lincoln) were first to go in the second round and delivered a clear round leaving this relatively new combination at four faults. Philipp's boss Ludger Beerbaum and Chaman (Baloubet du Rouet x I Love You) produced a good round, but had the last fence down.

The winners; Marcus Ehning and Plot Blue. Gerco Schröder and London were next to go. At the a-element in the combination, London (Nabab de Reve x Chin Chin) never took off and instead he jumped through the fence which made Gerco retire from the rest of the round. Then it was time for Denis Lynch and All Star (Argentinus x Alme). The Irish rider was clear and fast, taking over the lead. In-form-rider Patrice Delaveau and Orient Express HDC (Quick Star x Le Tot de Semilly) landed on the back rail of the seventh jump - a red oxer placed towards the entrance, before Scott Brash took over the lead with a fast clear round aboard Ursula XII (Ahorn x Papageno). Laura Kraut with Jubilee d'Ouilly (Palestro II x Graphit) - the fastest four falters from the first round - was also clear and slotted into third. 

Simon Delestre and Valentino Velvet (Indoctro x Burgggraaf) were first to go among the three riders on time faults. The French combination was clear finally placing them as number seven. Estoy Aqui de Muze HDC (Malito de Reves x Kashmir van't Schuttershof), with Kevin Staut in the saddle had three down, while Casall Ask (Caretino x Lavall I) and Rolf-Göran Bengtsson took over the lead with his one time fault from the first round.

Runner-up William Funnel on Billy Congo.Then it was time for the clear rounds from the first round. Athina Onassis de Miranda and AD Camille Z were first to go. Athina and Camille had an amazing round until the last fence where their rythm got lost and the fence fell. Christian Ahlmann and Codex One (Contendro I x Gluekspilz) also had to settle for four faults as the a-element of the combination fell.

Meredith Michaels Beerbaum and Bella Donna (Baldini II x Calido I) was the first double clear and then several clears followed with Marcus Ehning and Plot Blue, Jane Richard Philips with Pablo de Virton (Andiamo x Kashmir van't Schuttershof), William Funnell with Billy Congo and Maikel van der Vleuten with VDL Groep Verdi.

The five jump-off riders gave the audience good entertainment. Meredith and Bella Donna produced a speedy round in 39 seconds. Marcus and Plot Blue went for it and did an unbelievable turn to the second last fence before Plot Blue got to stretch down to the last fence crossing the finish line at an amazing 36,22 seconds. Jane could not match Marcus as she had to make longer turns aboard the big jumping Pablo de Virton. At 39,77 seconds she went in behind Marcus and Meredith.

William Funnel made it no secret that he wanted to be on the podium. He lost some time towards third fence, but it was still good enough for second as he crossed the finish line on 37,33 seconds. Last to go was Maikel riding VDL Groep Verdi. Maikel and Verdi secured third place after a good round at 37,47 seconds, just slightly behind William.

Click here for all the results.

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