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Speechless Kukuk wins Longines Global Champions Tour of Rome as Maher & Ahlmann go head to head in championship race

Sunday, 04 September 2022
CSI5* LGCT Rome 2022

Photo © Longines Global Champions Tour. Germany's Christian Kukuk took the first Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix win of his career in Rome. Photo © Longines Global Champions Tour.

 

Edited press release from Longines Global Champions Tour

 


 

The Longines Global Champions Tour of Rome was a game changer for the 2022 LGCT championship race. 

In a thrilling finish to the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Rome, Christian Kukuk and his impressive stallion Mumbai (Diamant de Semilly x Nabab de Reve) finished on top of the podium and earned a golden ticket to the LGCT Super Grand Prix this November at the GC Prague Playoffs.

With a blistering time of 42.68 seconds, Kukuk finished ahead of two-time LGCT Champion Ben Maher on Faltic HB (Baltic VDL x Concorde) who posted an impressive jump-off round in 43.35 seconds. Rounding off the podium was the winner of the LGCT Grand Prix of Paris, Marlon Zanotelli on Like a Diamond van het Schaeck (Diamant de Semilly x Bamako de Muze) in a time of 43.62 seconds – showing just how close it was. 

Another chapter of the Longines Global Champions Tour was written in Rome with an exhilarating jump-off with 12 of the 34 starters qualifying for the second round. With an unbelievably close jump-off, all eight double clear riders were within 2.88 seconds of each other, giving the crowd a nail-biting finish to an epic day of top sport in one of the most iconic locations in the world. Circus Maximus, in the heart of ancient Rome yet again plays host to the Longines Global Champions Tour of Rome, with horses again in the incredible historical location for the second time in over 2000 years.

Commenting on his win, Kukuk said: "It means everything to me. I have put enormous effort into this sport and all the horses, especially Mumbai, over the last 10 years, since I started at Ludger’s and I always dreamt about winning one of these (Longines) Global Champions Tour Grand Prix’s. I am so so happy in this moment, I really cannot believe it. I can’t find the words and I am also a little bit shaky, but it’s just amazing. I just realised that the breeder of Mumbai is here and it is her birthday – I mean I think the day was just made for us."

Photo © Longines Global Champions Tour. "It means everything to me. I have put enormous effort into this sport and all the horses, especially Mumbai over the last 10 years, since I started at Ludger’s," Kukuk said after his win in Rome. Photo © Longines Global Champions Tour.

Smiling as he found out he also secured his place in the elite LGCT Super Grand Prix Kukuk said: "My groom has always said – ‘I want to win one of these Grand Prix and I want to be in Prague for the Super Grand Prix’, and I said I will try my best and today it worked out for us. It means a lot to us. Every year I always love to come to Rome, you always have the feeling that the people really enjoy our sport here – they’re really with the riders and with the rounds – you can feel the emotions it’s just such a beautiful event."

Ben Maher’s silver medal in Rome has catapulted him closer to Christian Ahlmann (238 points) who now only has a 6-point lead in the edge-of-your-seat LGCT championship battle. Heading into the last two stages of the season, Pieter Devos is still in contention with 221 points so it is all to play for in New York (23 - 25 September) and the Final in Riyadh (21 - 23 October). 

 


 

 


 



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