Season 2014

Vienna

  • Vienna
  • 18-21 September 2014

Bengtsson poised to retake Championship lead from Beerbaum

Release date: 20/09/2014

(Photo: Stefano Grasso/LGCT)

Tonight’s Longines Global Champions Tour of Vienna Grand Prix presented by Icuras saw one of the toughest courses of the season from designer Frank Rotheberger. Championship Leader Ludger Beerbaum (GER) picked up four faults with his World Championship ride Chiara putting him out of podium contention, but high enough to make it through to the second round with the top 18. However Rolf-Göran Bengtsson (SWE), currently 2nd to Beerbaum on the ranking, jumped clear with his inexperienced mare Unita ASK putting him a great position to challenge for the overall lead. 

There are some big names through to the top 18 who could keep Bengtsson from collecting the points he needs to move up - Marcus Ehning (GER) with Plot Blue, Daniel Deusser (GER) with Cornet d'Amour, Maikel van der Vleuten (NED) with VDL Groep Sapphire B, Simon Delestre (FRA) with Qlassic Bois Margot and Pénélope Leprevost (FRA) with Vagabond de la Pomme. Winner of two classes yesterday, Denis Lynch with All Star 5 also jumped a bold clear and have already collected a fourth place earlier today, so the Irishman may well give the Championship contenders a run for their money.   

The first round course was describe as ‘not nice’ by one star rider. The placement of the fences was awkward, the distances were demanding and the lines were jagged. The time was also tight, meaning riders had to push when they might prefer to hold and cut corners where they would rather use the precious space available. The biggest test was the final line of the Longines combination on five long strides to a flimsy upright, similar to the line that sorted out the best from the rest in last night’s Gaston Glock’s Championat Vienna. 

With Championship leader Beerbaum and Chiara collecting an unfortunate four faults at one of the easier fences on the course, we will not see the star on his fourth podium of the season. But World No1 and defending Champion Scott Brash and Hello Sanctos made it around the course clean and could well be on their way to another top three finish to add to their record-breaking three Golds and one Bronze this season. 

Watch the second round live on GCT TV, Equidia Life, ClassHorseTV, Eurosport and beIN Sports 4.