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Back-to-back wins for Katrin Eckermann in Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Miami Beach

Sunday, 16 April 2023
CSI5* LGCT Miami Beach 2023

Photo © LGCT Winners of the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Miami Beach for a second year in a row; Katrin Eckermann and Cala Mandia. Photo © LGCT.


Edited press release from Longines Global Champions Tour



As the sun shone down on a packed Miami Beach, the much-anticipated Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix got underway on Saturday. Taking the victory for the second year in a row were Katrin Eckermann and her 10-year-old Cala Mandia (Capistrano x Valentino), who with their win collected their ticket for the Longines Global Champions Tour Super Grand Prix. 

Speaking after the win, with tears in her eyes, Katrin said: "What can I say, I did it again and I have no words... Being here on the beach, with top horse sport I am thrilled. After a tricky start [to the week] for all, with the weather, a big thank you to the whole Global Champions team, and to Jan Tops, all conditions were really perfect in the end."

The Grand Prix was a true spectacle with some of the world's best equestrians delivering awe-inspiring performances. Fans were on the edge of their seats as they watched riders and horses execute the challenging course with skill, precision, and speed. 

A technical course was jumped by 40 horse-and-rider combinations. A tough yet fair track set by Global Champions’ course builder Ulliano Vezzani saw riders such as Devos, Baryard-Johnsson, Ahlmann, Ward, Von Eckermann and Farrington failing to qualify for the jump-off.

Khaled Almobty stole the show in round one, taking to the arena in his first ever Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix. As sixth out, Almobty and his relatively new mount Equine America Spacecake (Stakkatol x Kannan) posted the first clear round. David Will, the trainer of Almobty also joined the jump-off, as did Eduardo Alvarez Aznar – who was still tasting the champagne following the GCL win with Madrid In Motion – alongside Abdel Saïd, Katrin Eckermann, Margie Goldstein-Engle and Maikel van der Vleuten. 

Photo © LGCT On the podium in Miami: Katrin Eckermann, Eduardo Alvarez Aznar and Maikel van der Vleuten. Photo © LGCT.

In the jump-off, Abdel Saïd and Bonne Amie (A Big Boy x Landfriese), Khaled Almobty on Equine America Spacecake and David Will riding My Prins van Dorperheide (Zilverstar T x Winningmood) all had a gut wrenching single pole fall, putting them straight out of contention. 

As the first of the clear rounds in the jump-off, Eduardo Alvarez Aznar and Bentley de Sury (Sunday de Riverland x Calvaro) threw the crowd into cheer with a tight and fast round in 41.22 seconds. The duo left the question on everyone’s lips, had they done enough to keep a grasp on the win?

Katrin Eckermann and Cala Mandia were next out, and as 2022’s LGCT Miami Beach Grand Prix winners the two were crowd favourites. Posting a time almost an entire second faster than Aznar, in 40.26 seconds, the pair went into the lead with just two remaining. 

Margie Goldstein-Engle and Dicas pulled off an impressive clear round in 44.74 seconds, but as last to go Maikel van der Vleuten and Beauville Z N.O.P. (Bustique x Jumpy des Fontaines) squeezed onto the podium with the third best time; 41.35 seconds. 

Van der Vleuten now holds the Championship lead on 63 points. Only a single point behind is Malin Baryard-Johnsson, while Hans-Dieter Dreher sits in third on 54 points heading into Mexico. 

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