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Marcus Ehning and Stargold shine in the CSI5* 1.60m Commercial Bank CHI Al Shaqab Grand Prix presented by Longines

Saturday, 26 February 2022
CHI Al Shaqab 2022

Photo © CHI Al Shaqab Germany's Marcus Ehning and Stargold won the Commercial Bank CHI Al Shaqab Grand Prix presented by Longines 2022 in Doha on Saturday. Photo © CHI Al Shaqab.

The Commercial Bank CHI Al Shaqab presented by Longines 2022 concluded on Saturday with the CSI5* 1.60m Grand Prix and it was Germany's Marcus Ehning on Stargold that took home the win after an exciting night of top sport. 

The 18 best horse-and-rider combinations from the field of 41 moved on to the second round, and all were on a score of zero: John Whitaker (GBR) on Unick du Francport (Zandor x Helios de la Cour II), Jur Vrieling (NED) on Long John Silver 3 (Lasino x Corrado I), Hans-Dieter Dreher (GER) on Elysium (VDL Zirocco Blue x Coronado), Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi (UAE) on Chacolu (Chaccomo x Baloubet du Rouet), Christian Ahlmann (GER) on Dominator 2000 Z (Diamant de Semilly x Cassini I), Martin Fuchs (SUI) on Leone Jei (Baltic VDL x Corland), Fernando Martinez Sommer (MEX) on Cor Bakker (Colandro x Quattro), Harrie Smolders (NED) on Bingo du Parc (Mylord Carthago x Diamant de Semilly), Maikel van der Vleuten (NED) on Beauville Z (Bustique x Jumpy des Fontaines) and Pieter Devos (BEL) on MoM's Toupie de la Roque (Kannan x Nabab de Reve) were joined by Gerrit Nieberg (GER) on Ben (Sylvain x Quincy Jones), Scott Brash (GBR) on Hello Jefferson (Cooper van de Heffinck x Irco Mena), Marlon Modolo Zanotelli (BRA) on VDL Edgar (Arezzo VDL x Marlon), Kevin Staut (FRA) on Visconti du Telman (Toulon x Dollar du Murier), Simon Delestre (FRA) on Tinka's Hero Z (Tinka's Boy x Caretino), Marcus Ehning (GER) on Stargold (Stakkato Gold x Lord Weingard), Evelina Tovek (SWE) on Winnetou de la Hamente Z (Winningmood x Socrate de Chivre) and Henrik von Eckermann (SWE) on King Edward (Edward 28 x Feo). 

Starting in reverse order in the second round, it was Jur Vrieling on Long John Silver 3 that produced the first double clear of the evening and he was soon joined by Harrie Smolders on Bingo du Parc that secured a jump-off, while Maikel van der Vleuten on Beauville Z made it three for the Dutch. Finally, the Dutch trio were joined by Marcus Ehning on Stargold, Evelina Tovek on Winnetou de la Hamente Z and Henrik von Eckermann on King Edward – making it a jump-off of six. 

With a time of 38.5 seconds, Smolders was the first to produce a third clear round but he was soon overtaken by Van der Vleuten who stopped the clock on 36.73. But then came Ehning, who rode an incredible round on Stargold, crossing the finish line in 33.98. While Tovek and Von Eckermann followed, a pole on the floor left Von Eckermann to fifth while Tovek slotted into runner-up position behind Ehning with a clear round in 36.51 seconds pushing Van der Vleuten to third and Smolders to fourth.

"I still can't believe it, the way he jumped these rounds was incredible," the happy winner commented afterwards. "I could not really see the other ones, but I know I have a really fast horse and on the last three jumps he was really incredible, I think I won it there," Ehning said about his jump-off. 

“Stargold is a very fast horse, but I knew from the way it was going that this is something that only happens maybe once in every 20 years, and it was one of the best jump-offs in my career," Ehning continued. "I’m really, really proud of my horse. And I really love this show. I have been here every year, and every year I look forward to coming back. The facilities for the horses are amazing.”

Earlier during the day, Simon Delestre (FRA) on Dexter Fontenis Z (Diarado x Voltaire) won the second CSI5* class, a 1.50m against the clock. Peder Fredricson (SWE) on Hansson WL (Hip Hop x Iowa) took the runner-up position, while Philipp Schulze Topphoff (GER) on Clemens de la Lande (Comme Il Faut x For Pleasure) placed third, Hans-Dieter Dreher (GER) on Vestmall Des Cotis (Baloubet du Rouet x Landor S) fourth and Denis Lynch (IRL) on Cornets Iberio (Cornet Obolensky x Charlottenshof's Iberio) fifth. 

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