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Unforgettable LGCT night in Doha for Rolf-Göran Bengtsson and Casall Ask

Saturday, 05 November 2016
CSI5* LGCT Doha 2016

Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.
A happy Rolf-Göran Bengtsson realises he has won the LGCT Grand Prix of Doha with Casall Ask. Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.

On a night to remember, Rolf-Göran Bengtsson (SWE) not only won the 2016 Longines Global Champions Tour-title – he also went to the top in the LGCT Grand Prix of Doha after three amazing rounds with the incredible Casall Ask (Caretino x Lavall II).

It was Marco Kutscher (GER) that kicked off the first round of the LGCT Grand Prix of Doha – also the final of the season – with Clenur (Carinue x Fernando), and made the 1.60m track set by Uliano Vezzani look easy when delivering a clear round straight away.

But, it turned out to be much harder than it looked. As the first round came to a close, there were nine clear rounds, two riders with a single time penalty and seven riders with four faults qualified for the second round. The first round could almost be mixed up with a German championship; nine out of the 18 riders qualified for the second round were flying the German flag, and six of them carried a clean sheet through.

However, the battle for the 2016 LGCT-title would always be between Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS) and Rolf-Göran Bengtsson – with Rolf heading to Doha with a five-point advantage. So, when Edwina finished the first round with eight faults experiencing a surprising exit from the LGCT final it was already clear that Rolf would be declared the overall winner of the 2016 season as well as 294 500 Euro richer.

But, as it would turn out – Rolf’s winning appetite was not finished there.  

Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.
The top three in the LGCT Grand Prix of Doha. Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.

The riders with four faults started off the second round, and as many as four of them – Ludger Beerbaum (GER), Jos Verlooy (BEL), Harrie Smolders (NED) and Marcus Ehning (GER) – cleared the course putting some pressure on the ones to come.

Bassem Hassan Mohammed (QAT) had quite a dramatic first round riding Dejavu (Heartbreaker x Ramiro), with the gelding twisting over the fourth fence almost pushing Bassem out of the saddle. Miraculously, the Qatari rider got back in the saddle and continued to jump 5, 6a and b as well as no. 7 without stirrups. The fences were cleared, but he had to add a time fault to the score. In the second round Bassem stayed in the saddle, but unfortunately had to see the second fence fall.

Lorenzo de Luca (ITA) was the second rider with one-time fault riding Ensor de Litrange LXII (Nabab de Reve x Mr Blue), and after being clear in the second round he took over the lead. That didn’t last for long though as Laura Kraut (USA) straight away delivered a double clear with Zeremonie (Cero x Quick Star) and just after Marco Kutscher – who had four faults – Janne-Friederike Meyer (GER) with Goja (Wandor van de Mispelaere x Palestro vd Begijnakker) made sure the audience would get a jump-off.

Andreas Kreuzer (GER) started off perfect with Calvilot (Calvaro Z x Quilot), but two fences fell at the end of the course. The following riders Daniel Deusser (GER), Simon Delestre (FRA), Christian Ahlmann (GER), Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (GER) and Rolf-Göran Bengtsson (SWE) all went clear and provided the crowds an exciting seven horse jump-off. 

Rolf-Göran Bengtsson with Casall Ask. Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.
Rolf-Göran Bengtsson with Casall Ask. Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.

Laura Kraut and Zeremonie delivered a great jump-off that in the end would lead them to the fourth position. Janne-Friederike Meyer and Goja literally flew over the fences, but a falling pole on the last fence stopped them from a top placing.

Daniel Deusser and the huge striding First Class van Eeckelghem (Balou du Rouet x Feinschnitt I van de Richter) stopped the clocks at 36.84 seconds, which was slightly slower than Janne’s time but being clear the German pair took over the lead. Also Simon Delestre cleared the course the third time around with his relatively new ride Chadino (Chacco-Blue x Narew xx), and stopped the clock at 41.04 seconds slotting in behind Deusser and Kraut – eventually finishing fifth.

Christian Ahlmann (GER) and his speedy Taloubet Z (Galoubet A x Polydor) went all in as usual, but with the b-element of the combination down and being a bit slower than Meyer –  the couple ended last in the jump-off.

With two left to go, Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and Fibonacci (For Feeling x VDL Corlando) were next in the ring. The two went full speed from start to finish with Fibonacci jumping his heart out – and almost Meredith out of the saddle over the last fence. Stopping the clock at 37.26 seconds, Meredith went in just behind Daniel who was still in the lead.

Rolf was still hungry though, and definitely wanted to win the class as well. The 17-year-old Casall Ask seem to be in the form of his life and together the two showed everyone how it is supposed to be done – finishing the course in 36.44 seconds and claiming their third LGCT Grand Prix win of the season to make their night in Doha not only hugely successful but totally unforgettable.


Text and pictures by Jenny Abrahamsson for © World of Showjumping

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