After three clear rounds, and the fastest time of the day in the jump-off Beezie Madden climbed to the top of the podium in Chantilly. Riding Cortes C (Randel Z x Darco) the American rider made sure to add yet another big win to her already long list of top results, taking home the the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix. And it didn’t come easy either, with eight other top riders joining her in the jump-off after they had jumped double clear rounds around Uliano Vezzani's two demanding tracks.
The jump-off was opened by Swiss rider Jane Richard Philips and Pablo de Virton (Andiamo x Kashmir van Schuttershof). After producing two amazing clear rounds to make it two the jump-off, the pair yet again went clear to cross the finish line on a time of 44.86 seconds – eventually finishing fifth. Roger-Yves Bost had the chance to make it a home win on the only nine year old Qoud'Coeur de la Loge (Ideal de la Loge x Fana del la Loge), but that was not to be as the G.R.O.W vertical was lowered and hit the ground.
Then it was time for Christian Ahlmann and Codex One (Contendro I x Glueckspilz) who already have a GCT Grand Prix win under the belt this season, winning in Hamburg. The German rider – who is ready for the Europeans in August – left no chance untaken and produced a fantastic clear at a time of 43.08 seconds to take the lead.
One of the big favorites of the class – Nick Skelton and Big Star (Quick Star x Nimmerdor) had to see a pole fall early on, and the British rider saw his chances of a top result disappear. Home rider Jerome Hurel was very unlucky to have a bad fall off Ohm de Ponthual (Voltaire x Calypso d'Herbiers), but luckily he left the ring on foot.
Next to give it a go was Britain’s Scott Brash on Hello Sanctos (Quasimodo vd Molendreef x Nabab de Reve). The pair produced a super round, to slot into second behind Christian on a time of 43.79 seconds. Ludger Beerbaum and the wonderful 9 year old Zinedine (Guidam x Heartbreaker) were also triple clear, but although they gave it a real effort they could not match the times from Christian and Scott – crossing the finish line at a time of 44.05 seconds eventually finishing fourth.
As second last to go, reining World Cup champion Beezie Madden made sure to give her competitors a real run for their money. With the incredible time of 41.58 seconds Beezie pushed Christian down to second and Scott down to third. Alvaro de Miranda was last to go on AD Rahmannshof's Bogeno (Baloubet du Rouet x Elanville) were last to go – and although the two had by far the fastest time of the day at 39.82 seconds a pole fell and the top prize stayed with Madden. "It was a fantastic jump off and I had to go out. My horse was fantastic. He makes big jumps seem little. I love a big field like this, great atmosphere with the public and top riders. I turned it on from 1 - 2 and my horse was fantastic to run to the last like that," Beezie said after her win.
Although not in the jump-off, Harrie Smolders’s performance on the extremely promising 9 year old Jackson Hole (Quite Easy x Robin Z) must be mentioned; this couple have been competing together for just a little over a month and ended up with just two time penalties in total. This horse is really one to watch for the future.
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