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Brash back on top in Doha with victory in 500,000 Euro Grand Prix

Sunday, 05 March 2017
CSI5* Al Shaqab 2017

Photo (c) Nanna Nieminen.
The winning trio. Photo (c) Nanna Nieminen.

The CSI5* event at Al Shaqab in Doha, Qatar, ended on Saturday night with the prestigious 500,000 Euro Grand Prix.

A strong field of 42 horse-and-rider combinations took part in this 1.60m Grand Prix, where the course was designed by Frank Rothenberger (GER). The first round proved tough, as only four combinations managed a clear round; Christian Ahlmann (GER) on the fantastic Taloubet Z (Galoubet A x Polydor), Pilar Lucrecia Gordon (ESP) on Galine La Cour Zichelhof (Major de La Cour x Ramiro), Omer Karaevli (TUR) on Roso Au Crosnier (Looping d'Elle x Odin de La Cense) and Scott Brash (GBR) on Hello Ursula XII (Ahorn x Papageno).

As the best 18 from the first round proceeded to the second round, Niels Bruynseels (BEL) on Gancia de Muze (Malito de Reve x Nimmerdor) carried with him only one time fault and Sheikh Ali Bin Khalid Al Thani (QAT) on First Devision (Andiamo x Perhaps vh Molenvondel) carried with him two time penalties, as did Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS) on California (L'Esprit x Libero H). 

Only the top four kept a clear score in the second round as well, making it into the jump-off. The majestic Al Shaqab arena, that in the past has suffered lightly from the lack of audience, had plenty of people present witnessing the action this time.

First out in the jump-off was Scott Brash on Ursula XII, who did a clear round, not risking too much and set the time to beat to 45,21 seconds. Second to go was Pilar Lucrecia Gordon on Galine La Cour Zichelhof - they blazed through the ring and were faster than Brash with their time of 44,46 seconds but had an unfortunate pole down. Third to go was Christian Ahlmann on Taloubet Z. The pair seemed on their way to a win, but a plank fell leaving them behind Cordon on the score board. Last to go was Omer Karaevli on Roso Au Crosnier who had the audience cheering on him as he went after Brash's time. The Turkish rider kept the fences intact, crossing the finish line in 45,98 seconds and placed as runner-up behind Brash. 

Brash took home an impressive first prize of 165,000 Euro and was very happy with his win: "I am delighted with today's result, my horse jumped amazing. I thought that already the first round was difficult, it was really big actually - and to have four in the jump-off in the end, it was surprising. But the facilities here are unbelievable, so you can't expect anything else than top sport."

Brash was happy with his horse: "I have been keen to take her outdoors, because she is an amazing outdoor horse. She has a huge stride and it is very useful in these big rings. This is a great start to the outdoor season and hopefully we can keep going well from here on." 

Earlier during the day the other five star class, a 1.45m Table C, went to Italy's Emanuele Gaudiano on Chalou (Chacco-Blue x Baloubet du Rouet) with a time of 60,34 seconds. Ibrahim Hani Bisharat (JOR) on Brown Sugar (Chacco-Blue x Farmer) placed second with a time of 60,61 seconds and the third place went to Maikel van der Vleuten (NED) on VDL Groep Quatro (Quaprice Boimargot Quincy x Caletto I) with a time of 60,94 seconds. 


Text and picture © World of Showjumping by Nanna Nieminen

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