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$400,000 Longines Grand Prix of Hong Kong to Christian Ahlmann

Sunday, 12 February 2017
CSI5* Longines Masters of Hong Kong 2017

Photo (c) Power Sport Images Christian Ahlmann and Caribis Z won the Longines Grand Prix of Hong Kong. Photo (c) Power Sport Images.

The Germans have been on fire at the Longines Masters of Hong Kong, and Sunday’s $400,000  Longines Grand Prix proved to be no exception with Christian Ahlmann stepping to the top of the podium followed by his compatriot Ludger Beerbaum.

Italian course designer Uliano Vezzani had put all the technicality and tricks he is capable of into his Longines Grand Prix track. The first round was tough, and in the end nine riders went clear joined by two on a time penalty and one on four faults for the twelve-rider second round. Round two was as technical as the first, and this time around the riders took all the risk for a shot at the first prize of $132,000.

Five of the twelve riders in round two again managed to jump clear rounds, but no one could catch up with Christian Ahlmann and the 10-year-old Zangersheide stallion Caribis Z (Caritano x Canabis Z) that stopped the clock at 37.94 seconds.

Christian Ahlmann even surprised himself with such a big win. “It’s unexpected,” he said afterwards. “Caribis Z is a very good horse, with great qualities, but he hasn’t jumped a lot of classed at this level.”

Ludger Beerbaum, who came in second in the Grand Prix on his experienced 14-year-old gelding Casello (Casall x Carolus I) commented: “I have a lot of respect for what Christian has done today. He made the trip with an inexperienced horse, perfectly knowing he wouldn’t be one of the favourites for the Longines Grand Prix. But I think we can all agree on the fact the he rode with accuracy, perfection, at his best level and that he fully deserves this victory.”

It was as close as one could get to an all-German podium, as third place went Max Kühner – a native German competing for Austria – today riding Cornet Kalua (Cornet Obolensky x Platin). Living legend John Whitaker finished fourth, and Lorenzo de Luca continued his excellent run of form to end fifth.

With his victory, Ahlmann succeeds his German colleague Marco Kutscher – Grand Prix winner of the 2016 edition of the Longines Hong Kong Masters. He will now also become the new contender for the €1 million Grand Slam Bonus which history will continue in Los Angeles. 


Source: Press release from R&B Presse // Picture © Power Sport Images

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