14-16 August 2014
- 14-16 August 2014
A Championship storm is brewing in London
Release date: 01/01/1970
(Photo: Stefano Grasso/LGCT)
The Longines Global Champions Tour of London Grand Prix presented by Qatar got underway in beautiful sunshine this afternoon as packed stands enjoyed a rare coming together of the Top 18 show jumpers in the world at Horse Guards Parade Ground. There will likely be a shake up of the Championship Ranking here in the British capital, as the top two ranked riders Rolf-Goran Bengtsson (SWE) and Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS) did not make the cut for the next round.
The very first clear of the competition however came from 4th ranked Bassem Hassan Mohammed (QAT) and Victoria, who served as pathfinders for the rest of the star-studded 50-strong start list. Sweden’s Henrik von Eckermann, who currently sits 3rd on the Championship leaderboard, and Gotha FRH also put in a beautiful clear to put the rider well in contention for taking over the top spot from fellow Swede Bengtsson.
Twenty-two riders went through to the 2nd round, a testament to the incredible level of talent present here for the 11th round of the series. Uliano Vezzani’s course was a curling and twisty creation that rode much better than expected. The last fence in front of the vibrant VIP, the commemorative 1908 Olympic fence from London 2012, broke quite a few hearts - the front rail rolling gently off its cups for a number of big names.
The top two British riders, Ben Maher and Scott Brash, both had a steely glint in their eye as they jumped neat clear rounds and look to be the hot favourites. The Brits tend to rise to the occasion at home events and with a win this morning for Michael Whitaker, they seem to be on a roll. Brash has already won two LGCT Grand Prix this year in Cannes and Cascais, Estoril, and Maher is last year’s London winner - will we see another home rider win here again in London?