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Gerrit Nieberg and Ben best in the CSI5* 1.60m Longines Grand Prix of Hamburg

Saturday, 20 May 2023
CSI5*/CSI4* Hamburg 2023

Photo © Gerrit Nieberg and Ben, winners of the CSI5* 1.60m Longines Grand Prix of Hamburg. Photo ©

Home hero Geritt Nieberg (GER) and the 12-year-old gelding Ben (Sylvain x Quincy Jones) took a popular victory in Saturday's CSI5* 1.60m Longines Grand Prix of Hamburg, with a full house enjoying top sport at the traditional venue at Klein Flottbek. 

Twelve of the 44 horse-and-rider combinations qualified for the Grand Prix managed to answer all the questions asked by course designer Frank Rothenberg (GER), who had set a big and tough track that included a huge oxer-oxer-upright triple combination at 4abc followed by five forward strides to an oxer and six short strides to a Liverpool vertical, a towering vertical-oxer combination at 7ab, a bended line on six strides from a skinny vertical at eight to the open water at nine, and a demanding last line with six long strides from a vertical to a maxed oxer as the last jump – which caught out quite a few. 

With seven German riders in the jump-off, alongside reigning Olympic champion Ben Maher (GBR), as well as 2022 World Cup Champion Martin Fuchs (SUI), it was bound to become another tough test. However, none of them could do anything about Gerrit Nieberg and Ben – last year's winners of the Rolex Grand Prix of Aachen. They cruised around the shortened track to stop the clock on 46.63 seconds. “Ben jumped really well today. I had a good feeling in the first round, so I knew I could take risk in the jump-off,” said a happy Nieberg. "The atmosphere here is really unique."

The second place went to Ben Maher with 10-year-old Dallas Vegas Batilly (Cap Kennedy x l'Arc de Triomphe*Bois Margot), with a time of 47.22. This was Maher’s third show after coming back from a shoulder injury, and his second five-star runner-up spot within a week. "I've been riding again for about three weeks and I'm very grateful to my team for keeping the horses in such good shape. I have been able to come back quickly and successfully,” Maher said.

The third place went to Michael Duffy (IRL) and Che Fantastica (Check In 2 x Pablo) who clocked a time of 50.64 seconds. “She is an unbelievable jumper, she knows places like this one here in Derby Park. It's only our second show together and we certainly need a little more time to get to know each other better, but I'm very happy with how things went here," Duffy said. 

Nicolas Pizzaro (MEX) and the wonderful Pia Contra (Conthargos x Chacco-Blue) finished fourth with the last double clear of the Grand Prix, followed by Philipp Weishaupt (GER) and Coby (Contagio x Escudo I) in fifth – the latter with the fastest time in the jump-off, but unfortunately on the expense of one rail down.

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