24-26 June 2016
- 24-26 June 2016
Spectacular World Class Sport at dazzling opening day of LGCT Monaco
Release date: 25/06/2016
Photo: LGCT / Stefano Grasso
Irish star Bertram Allen and his brilliant 12 year old grey mare Molly Malone V took the precedented Prix Massimo Dutti trophy this afternoon after a thirteen rider jump-off had the Monaco crowds on the edge of the seat during the fast paced round. The formidable combination took top honours in the 1.50/1.55m class, jumping double clear in an impressive 34.56s as the sun started its descent over the Port Hercule harbour.
The Monaco society was out in force for the first day of show jumping, with the event becoming a leading fixture in the Principality’s social calendar and was watched on by Prince Albert II of Monaco. As dusk fell Princess Caroline of Hannover joined her daughter Charlotte Casiraghi for the evening’s Longines Pro-Am competition, which saw an all-Monegasque based podium following the exciting team relay competition. Global business leaders, sports stars including Mika Häkkinen, Swedish model, actress, and TV personality, Victoria Silvstedt, and socialites mingled at the floodlit arena alongside a dazzling fleet of super yachts.
A top class field of 37 horses and riders took centre stage for the afternoon’s Prix Massimo Dutti feature class in the small sand arena, nestled between the Formula 1 pit lane and super yachts birthed nearby. Olympic medallist Rolf-Göran Bengtsson (SWE) and his stunning grey stallion Clarimo ASK were one of the early pace setters, earning their place in the jump off after the tough and tight demanding course took its toll on the top riders. Last event’s Grand Prix winners, Scott Brash (GBR) and Hello Forever were another combination to make up the thirteen riders through, with the 14 year old chestnut gelding leaping his way effortlessly through the course, and were the first to go clear.
Georgina Bloomberg (USA) put in her second stunning round of the day, this time with Caleno 3 to join those in the jump-off. She was joined by compatriot Audrey Coulter (USA) and Alex, Jane Richard Philips (SUI) and Zekina Z, Piergiorgio Bucci (ITA) with Casallo Z and Emanuele Gaudiano (ITA) with the big striding Caspar 232.
First to go into the jump-off Scott Brash (GBR) and Hello Forever caught and unlucky pole, with the new challenge a test for the best. Bertram Allen (IRL) was the first to raise the bar, literally, throwing down the gaunlet for the rest of the field as he galloped to the fences with Molly Malone V. A brilliant turn to the full height vertical at number three saved valuable seconds, and the pair stopped the clocks at 34.56s. The ever speedy David Will (GER) and Cento du Rouet looked to be close to Bertram’s heels, with the pair finishing on the exact same time last event in Cannes. But he was just pipped to the post, finishing just two tenths of a second behind in 34.74s.
One of the final riders to go was Jerome Guery (BEL) and Alicante, another dangerously fast combination who saw double success in the LGCT Chantilly speed classes earlier this month. Jerome and Alicante gave it there all, and came excruciatingly close to Bertram’s time, crossing the line in 34.64s. The top three finished within a whisker of each other, with fourth place man Pieter Devos and Apart almost two seconds behind them. Switzerland’s Christina Liebherr and L.B. Eagle Eye took fifth position and Katharina Offel (GER) with Umeunig round out the top six after a fascinating first day of competition in Monte Carlo.
The first class of the three day feast of show jumping kicked off in style with young talent Jos Verlooy (BEL) and Farfelu de la Pomme winning the CSI5* 1.45m Prix Fédération Equestre de la Principauté de Monaco.
Jos rode an exceptionally competitive round, and was fast from the first to the second fence in the speed phase. Guiding the 11 year old chestnut mare to perfection, Jos made a superb turn, keeping up the gallop all the way to the line and finishing in an impressive 25.67s to take top honours.
Georgina Bloomberg (USA) was the first to set the pace with her stunning 11 year old dark bay gelding Balou, jumping a beautiful clear in the two phase class and throwing down the gauntlet for the rest of the world class field. Hot on her heels was Pius Schwizer (SUI) with PSG Future, an experienced combination, who just pipped the American to third place by two tenths of a second, crossing the line in 27.48s. Second place went to Turkey's Ömer Karaevli who rode his ten year old bay gelding Cortani to finish less than half a second behind Jos, finishing the two phase competition speed section in 26.07s.
Long-time leader Georgina finished fourth with Balou overall - only fractions of a second adrift, illustrating how competitive the opening class was. Italy’s Piergiorgio Bucci and Chiba Chiba took fifth place overall, with young Dutch rider Lisa Nooren (NED) and VDL Groep Centora de Wallyro riding a fantastic clear to finish in 6th. Jane Richard Philips (SUI) took 7th with the bay 13 year old gelding Pablo de Virton.
The final class of the day was the Longines Pro-Am Cup. Founded by Charlotte Casiraghi in 2010, the Longines Pro-Am Cup this year saw two amateur riders compete in a relay race, with the professional rider taking on the role of team leader. Charlotte herself competed, riding for the charity AMADE, Association mondiale des amis de l’enfance, founded by the Princess Grace of Monaco in 1963. The winners of the event were the team Monaco Aces, with Inigo Lopez de la Osa Escribano and Inigo Lopez de la Osa Franco storming the class to the delight of the watching crowds. Guided by Global Champions League riders Daniel Bluman (COL) and Schuyler Riley (USA), the competition bodes well for the League home team ahead of their competition on Sunday.
Tomorrow will see the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Monaco take place at 18:30 local time and the Global Champions League team competition taking place on Sunday 26th June at 13:15.