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Gilles Thomas and Luna van het Dennehof win the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Shanghai

Sunday, 05 May 2024
CSI5* LGCT Shanghai 2024

Photo © LGCT. Belgium's Gilles Thomas and Luna van het Dennehof won the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Shanghai at Shanghai Juss International Equestrian Centre. Photo © LGCT.


Edited press release from Longines Global Champions Tour



For the third time this season, the Belgian national anthem rang out in the Longines Global Champions Tour arena as first-to-go Gilles Thomas (BEL) and Luna van het Dennehof (Prince van de Wolfsakker x Quidam de Revel) won the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Shanghai at Shanghai Juss International Equestrian Centre. 

Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS) and Fellow Castlefield (Je T'Aime Flamenoc x Twister), the only other double clear of the day, secured second place, while LGCT Grand Prix of Miami Beach-winner Michael Duffy (IRL) took to the podium in third place with Cantano 32 (Cachassini x Weinberg) with the fastest time – however the last fence fell with a gasp echoing around the arena. Angelica Augustsson Zanotelli (SWE) and Kalinka van de Nachtegaele (Epleaser van'T Heike x Cicero Z) finished fourth ahead of Kim Emmen (NED) and Inflame Go (Namelus R x Carthino Z) in fifth. 

An emotional Gilles Thomas, who won a lion's share of the €600,000 prize money on offer, said: "The Longines Global Champions Tour was always something that when you are a child you were watching on TV, I only have dreamed of this moment and now twice on the podium – one second and now my first LGCT Grand Prix win, twice on Luna – she is just such a fantastic mare."

In an electric jump-off, first-to-go Thomas and Luna van het Dennehof rocketed home as the fastest of seven top-class combinations who had qualified from 32 starters in the fourth event of the LGCT-season. Thomas has also bagged a debut Golden Ticket to this year’s LGCT Super Grand Prix at the GC Playoffs in Riyadh in November: "It is great to qualify so early in the year so I can plan my season around it. It is a class everyone wants to be in, I couldn't be happier."

Photo © LGCT. The podium in the LGCT Grand Prix of Shanghai 2024: Edwina Tops-Alexander, Gilles Thomas and Michael Duffy. Photo © LGCT.

Singing the praises of her fellow GCL teammate, the second placed Edwina Tops-Alexander complimented the young rider on his win and his presence in the industry, saying: "I think the world of Gilles, I honestly think he is the best young rider and up and coming rider in the world today. He has so much talent, he is super cool in the head, he is such a team player and I think he has a massive future and this has just boosted it even more."

When questioned just how special it is to return to Shanghai, Tops-Alexander said: "It has just been an unbelievable week, the public has been unbelievably supportive, they’re really into it, and there is so much emotion going on. To be here for the first time in this incredible venue, I think everyone is excited to come back next year. Not only is it fantastic for the sport over here in China, it’s amazing to be around so many kids in riding clothes and I hope that as professional riders we can inspire them and try to build up awareness here and let’s hope that some of them can be riding on this level one day soon!"

After the fourth stage of the season, Eduardo Alvarez Aznar (ESP) leads the LGCT championship going into his home event of Madrid in two weeks time on 97 points. Max Kühner (AUT) stays in second place on 92 points, while the fastest in four faults in today’s first round meant Julien Anquetin (FRA) climbs to third on 81 points. Michael Duffy (IRL) sits in fourth with 77.14 points and Andreas Schou (DEN) keeps in the race with 68 points in fifth. 






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