Release date: 25/06/2011
Prince Albert and Princess Caroline present the Monaco Pro-Am Trophy to winner Stever Guerdat and Florence Bord.
Royalty, high style and thrilling sport came together in the Monaco Pro-Am Cup tonight as the Principality triumphed in more ways than one.
Charlotte Casiraghi, who created the concept for the exciting event, and her Gucci team mate Edwina Alexander came second after the Monaco Equestrian Federation team beat them to first prize.
The Pro-Am event is in its second year and is one of the highlights of the Global Champions Tour event in Monaco.
The winners Swiss rider Steve Guerdat (left) and amateur rider Florence Bord both rode clear rounds with Steve putting in a super fast performance in a time of 32.54, throwing down the gauntlet to the rest of the teams.
Prince Albert and his fiancée Charlene Wittstock broke off from their busy schedule ahead of their marriage next weekend, to join the spectators in the floodlit arena.
Charlotte’s mother Princess Caroline, also joined the royal party to watch her daughter compete on her horse Troy.
Before the event Charlotte said: “It is a great chance for professional and amateur riders to compete together as a team and of course it is a fun event and very exciting."
Seventeen teams, including some of the world’s leading professional riders, were individually sponsored by a range of international businesses who got thoroughly involved in the event – including walking the course with their riders.
All the teams wore chic red and white polo shirts and the fences were all decked out in the red and white theme.
In another unique twist to the Pro-Am concept, each team had signature music that was played as they competed for victory in the arena.
Florence Bord (right) winning Amateur rider
Seven fences don’t seem that many in the challenging world of top-level show jumping challenges, but the riders all had to follow the rules of this unique class very closely.
Each fence was made up of two fences side by side. On the left was at the height of 1.35m and on the right stands a joker fence, more substantial in height. Two seconds are added to the team’s timed score if a fence is knocked down.
The amateur riders were first on course over the 1.35m track and was not ridden against the clock. Once the amateurs had completed the course the judge rang the bell for the pro’s to start. It was their job to ride the same 1.35m course against the clock and on the last fence they compulsorily had to take the joker fence.
Now there was a twist to the ride for the professionals. If the paired amateur riders had a fence down, then it was compulsory for them to also jump the joker fence at the element where the fence was felled.
In the event that the amateur does not complete the course then 14 seconds was added to the professional’s time (2 seconds for each fence). The pro could then take the smaller 1.35 m track but must take the final fence joker. 4 seconds was added if the joker fence went down.
And the contest had the spectators on the edge of their seats.
Team Federation Equestre de la Principaute de Monaco wona time of 32.54 to lay down the gauntlet to those to follow.
Team Gucci with Charlotte Casiraghi and Australian Edwina Alexander came very close at 32.74 with Team Hotel 3 Rois/Bellevue, with Flaminia Straumann in the amateur spot and pro Denis Lynch, were just beaten into third place having concluded their rounds in a time of 32.87.
photo credit; Stefano Grasso/GCT