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Christian Ahlmann and Mandato van de Neerheide triumph in Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Paris

Sunday, 25 June 2023
CSI5* LGCT Paris 2023

Photo © Longines Global Champions Tour. Christian Ahlmann and Mandato van de Neerheide, winners of the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Paris. Photo © Longines Global Champions Tour.


Edited press release from Longines Global Champions Tour


Christian Ahlmann and Mandato van de Neerheide (Emerald x Pommeau du Heup) secured the top spot in the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Paris presented by Ville de Paris, in the German rider's first LGCT Grand Prix back after sustaining an injury earlier in the season in Mexico.

The Grand Prix concluded with an exhilarating jump-off leaving the spectators on the edge of their seats from start to finish, as seven horse-and-rider combinations gave it their all.

First in the ring for the jump-off, home hero Roger Yves Bost and his grey Cassius Clay VDV Z (Calvino Z x Wolfgang) tore around the course from the beginning. Throwing down the gauntlet to the rest of the pack the pair set the standard in 38.53 seconds. 

In his return to the tour after injury, Christian Ahlmann gave full gas the whole way around on Mandato van de Neerheide – crossing the finish line to a standing ovation as he punched the air and pointed to his horse stopping the clock in 38.09 seconds.

The last hope for France in the jump-off, Penelope Leprevost was looking to match her daughter's performance taking the win in a 1* class on Saturday morning. Riding Bingo del Tondou (Vigo D Arsouilles Stx x Querlybet Hero), Leprevost was clear in 39.37 seconds after she pulled off a super tight rollback after the combination, and slotted into third place behind Ahlmann and Bosty. Mexico's Fernando Martinez Sommer and High Five (Glasgow vh Merelsnest x Corland) finished fourth with the last double clear of the class, followed by USA's Jessica Springsteen and Don Juan vd Donkhoeve (Bamako de Muze x Heartbreaker) in fifth with four faults in the jump-off. 

Photo © Longines Global Champions Tour. A happy winner in Paris: Christian Ahlmann. Photo © Longines Global Champions Tour.

With Ahlmann’s last appearance at the Longines Global Champions Tour in Mexico City this April resulting in him breaking his arm, he spoke to GCTV of his feeling after the win: “It is difficult to explain, the last time I left the Global Tour it was a little different, with one arm in the wrong direction… I am really, really happy to be back in the sport. This is the first time I am back in the ‘real sport’, let’s say, and to finish it with a win here, it’s unbelievable.”

Speaking about the level of competition in today’s jump-off he added: “I think all of them were very, very dangerous – we have the best of the world here with more or less the best horses they have right now – they can do everything they ask for on the right day, and luckily today was my day.”

As the eighth rider to collect their ticket to the exclusive Longines Global Champions Tour Super Grand Prix in Prague later this year, Ahlmann smiled: “This is one of the main goals of the whole season – to be part of the Super Grand Prix, it's always a big fight. Everyone wants to be in it and only the winner can qualify and I am more than happy to be part of it.”

In an interesting turn of events, there was not much movement in the 2023 Championship standings at the halfway stage of the season. Maikel van der Vleuten stays on top with 175 points, Malin Baryard-Johnsson sits in second place just 15 points behind while Christian Kukuk closes the gap moving up to third on 159.2 points. Simon Delestre jumps into fourth place on 138 points while Edwina Tops-Alexander sits in 5th on 135 points.

The tour now heads straight to Monaco from 29 June-1 July for the 9th leg of the 2023 season!


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