World no. one and 2013 LGCT champion Scott Brash won the Longines Global Champions Tour of London Grand Prix presented by Qatar in spectacular fashion in front of a rapturous home crowd who would have raised the roof of Horse Guards Parade Ground if there had been one. From the very beginning, Brash was hailed as the one to beat and he never faltered aboard Hello Sanctos (Quasimodo v. Molendreef x Nabab de Reve) – that currently is ranked as the best horse in the world.
Second place went to Ludger Beerbaum and Zinedine (Guidam x Heartbreaker) who executed three lovely rounds - the only other treble double clear of the class. At the press conference after the prize giving Beerbaum said that he was thrilled with the horse, as 2nd place was the maximum he could have hoped for against Brash and his 2012 Olympic team gold medal winning partner.
Third went to Madrid Grand Prix winners Maikel van der Vleuten and VDL Groep Verdi TN N.O.P. (Quidam de Revel x Landgraf) that lowered a rail in the four-horse jump-off. Katie Dinan and Nougat du Vallet (Scherif d'Elle x Saphir d'Elle) were the fourth combination to go forward to the final round, but in a race to catch Brash, a tight turn resulted in horse and rider parting company - the talented young rider was unhurt and happy to claim 4th.
Uliano Vezzani's first round course was a curling and twisty creation that rode much better than expected. The last fence in front of the vibrant VIP, the commemorative 1908 Olympic fence from London 2012, broke quite a few hearts - the front rail rolling gently off its cups for a number of big names. The second round was a tough ride with technical, angled distances running the length of the arena. Last year's winning combination, Ben Maher and Cella (Cento x Chin Chin), was caught out by an awkward turn from the Longines combination to the GCT Oxer, collecting four faults in the second round.
The overall ranking now sees two Swedes 1st and 2nd as round 12 in Lausanne is coming up. Rolf-Göran Bengtsson is in the lead, and Henrik von Eckermann rank two with Edwina Tops-Alexander as rank three on the same points as Eckermann but with less podium finishes, however the chasing pack are gaining momentum while Beerbaum and Brash charge up to within pouncing distance of the leaders.
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