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Anticipation builds for debut LGCT Grand Prix of Berlin presented by Sapinda

Release date: 29/07/2017

Photo: LGCT / Stefano Grasso

The world’s top riders will have all guns blazing today in the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Berlin Presented by Sapinda as they battle to overturn Harrie Smolders’ dominant ranking lead.

The Dutch star is on 247 points, a solid 57 points ahead of nearest rival Alberto Zorzi (ITA) who sits on 190 points. Zorzi is  facing down strong competition from two ferociously talented competitors.  Dutch champion Maikel van der Vleuten is only five points behind on 185 points with Christian Ahlmann (GER) hot on his heels on 180 points.

The narrow points difference at the top of the ranking of the world’s premier equestrian circuit sets the scene for a high octane Grand Prix in the Sommergarten in Germany dynamic capital city of Berlin which is making its debut on the Longines Global Champions Tour circuit.

Last weekend Smolders celebrated a double victory winning the LGCT Grand Prix in Chantilly and the team win with Hamburg Diamonds in the Global Champions League. The compact sand arena in Berlin presents an entirely new test for horses and riders in contrast to the big grass surface at the previous stage.

The championship is on its 11th leg out of 15 and the intensity of the race is really revving up. Today’s Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Berlin Presented by Sapinda will see riders battling for precious ranking points but also prize money of €300,000. Only 25 riders can qualify for the LGCT Grand Prix Presented of Berlin by Sapinda and with eight out of the world’s Top 10 at the LGCT Berlin the competition will be intense.

There have been early wins for Nayel Nassar and German rider Felix Hassmann, who delighted the home crowd yesterday.

The circuit heads to another dynamic global capital city next weekend for the debut Longines Global Champions Tour in London at the historic venue of Royal Hospital Chelsea.