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Rolf-Göran Bengtsson: “It was an evening what you can dream of”

Saturday, 05 November 2016
CSI5* LGCT Doha 2016

Christian Ahlmann, Edwina Tops-Alexander and Rolf-Göran Bengtsson. Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.
Christian Ahlmann, Edwina Tops-Alexander and Rolf-Göran Bengtsson. Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.

After winning both the 2016 Longines Global Champions Tour-title and the LGCT Grand Prix of Doha, Rolf-Göran Bengtsson was close to speechless: “It was an evening what you can dream of, but that it should come through is almost not possible actually. My horse Casall Ask is just amazing, how he is still jumping at his age of 17. He likes it and he makes everything possible, and I am really really happy after being so close before.”

“I was in a lucky position to come here five points ahead of Edwina this time, and she was the one that needed some high placings today. If she would have been up there, I would really have had to hunt and it would have been a very stressful situation.”

About his incredible Casall Ask, Rolf said: “He is very fresh, sound and good – and still likes it. He can go in a small sand ring, or in a big grass ring - like in Hamburg ir Valkenswaard. He is so competitive in different rings. Then you have to be a bit lucky with how the jump-off course comes for you, but he can be really quick. What he has done is for me amazing.”

On whether of not Casall Ask will still be competing at the age of 18 next year, Rolf said:  “Like he jumps today, it is hard to stop. We will have a discussion within the team, but how I feel Casall Ask now it would be a shame to put him back in the box and say it’s over. On the other hand, you can not make it better than it was today. But, I have a great feeling and if we manage him good I think we can continue a bit more. How long, we have to see.”

Edwina Tops-Alexander had to settle with being second overall in the tour this year, and was slightly disappointed with herself:  “I am overall very happy, but disappointed with myself today. I decided to do one less on the line down to the double when I was in the ring, so I was a bit off the plan and paid for it heavily. My horse is in very good shape, maybe a bit too fresh and a bit excited today – but that is how it is and I should have stuck more to my plan. In any case, I am second because I did not deserve to win and Rolf absolutely did. He has had an amazing year, saved the horse especially for this final and it paid off.”

Christian Ahlmann, third on the overall ranking said:  “Today, I was really, really happy with Taloubet – he jumped two great rounds. I was really hoping for a little bit better than 7th out of seven in the jump-off. But, in any case I am really happy and pleased that I could save my third place overall. A big congratulation to Edwina and Rolf, and I agree 100 % with Jan that Rolf is the deserved champion this season.”

Founder of the Longines Global Champions Tour Jan Tops said: “I think Rolf is really the deserved champion of the year. I mean, the couple that is Casall Ask and him has been every time on the podium – and then going as a favorite at the end of the leg and win it, I think it is amazing. For a few years, it has been very close and I think that before the retirement of Casall Ask he really deserved this title. Also, how Rolf managed him the whole year. He did not take him to the Olympics, he did not take him to all those big events where he could have gone - I think he did the best for everything.”

As to the 2016 Longines Global Champions Tour season, Tops commented: “The tour is really established; you see the riders are secure - they know how to manage their horses the whole year around. Also with the league now, the riders are bringing their best horses - I think it has great potential. It’s great to see the development.”

Text © World of Showjumping // Picture © Jenny Abrahamsson

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