The second day of competition at the Longines Global Champions Tour of Hamburg saw a home turf win for David Will (GER) after the young German rider pulled out a stellar round with Deluxe Ilton, much to the local spectators’ delight.
Will finished exactly one second ahead of his nearest competitor Sergio Alvarez Moya (ESP) and Luchino, with third going to the experienced Jur Vrieling (NED) and Davall – as temperatures rose in Germany ahead of Saturday’s GCL Hamburg final and Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Hamburg.
Frank Rothenberger put together another technical course at the Derby-Park Klein Flottbeck arena, the 1.50m fences set at thoughtful distances and giving plenty of options to the international field. A long treble required plenty of control and concentration, with the light orange and white poles coming up thick and fast before a white plank to follow.
Two of the early pathfinders, and two popular names within show jumping, fell short of the time allowed (79s) – Ludger Beerbaum (GER) with Casello and Luciana Diniz (POR) with Camargo 2 were caught out, each picking up an agonising fault and out of contention for the win.
First to go clear and within the time was Belgian talent Constant Van Paesschen (BEL) with Compadre van de Helle, the pair flying effortlessly around the grass arena, with the black gelding bouncing over the imposing fences and making short work of the expansive arena with his huge stride.
However poles soon fell all over the arena, including a couple of big names caught out at the first such as Rolf-Göran Bengtsson (SWE) with Crunch who later retired after a refusal at the Mercedes-Benz oxer, and Henrik von Eckermann (SWE) with Cantinero. The final line featured a big oxer in before a delicate vertical which could be taken at either four or five strides, and picked off a few of the world’s best including World Number 1 Harrie Smolders (NED) and Zinius.
Home hero Janne-Freiderike Meyer-Zimmermann (GER) with Buettner’s Minimax entered the arena to the crowd’s applause, looking for a strong result in today’s big class on home turf. Germany’s leading lady timed it to perfection, stopping the clock in 78.99s, one hundredths of a second inside and sealing her place in the jump-off.
She would be joined by Christian Ahlmann (GER) with Clintrexo Z, Karel Cox (BEL) with Evert, David Will (GER) with Deluxe Ilton, Jur Vrieling (NED) with Davall, Sergio Alvarez Moya (ESP) with Luchino, Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS) with Inca Boy van’t Vianahof, Christian Kukuk (GER) with Lacasino, Gregory Wathelet (BEL) with MJT Nevados S, Gerco Schroder (NED) with Glock’s Cognac Champblanc.
So it would be 11-rider jump-off, and with €61.000 euros in prize money it would be a hot race to the finish.
Constant van Paesschen (BEL) drew the unenviable task of first to go, setting off at a gallop and clearly shooting for the win. The young star moved Compadre van de Helle but couldn’t catch the stride they wanted to the skinny rail set along the grandstand, having it down but stopping the clock in an impressive 42.80s.
Jur Vrieling (NED) and Davall opted for a steady clear, managing the course to finish in 49.49s – considerably slower than van Paesschen and leaving the door open for the field to come. Quick off the mark, Sergio Alvarez Moya (ESP) and the 9 year old Luchino flew around to better the time to beat to 45.71s.
The crowd cheered as David Will (GER) and Deluxe Ilton knocked a second off Moya’s time, the 10 year old bay gelding putting in a brave try after a stumble following the oxer. With the crowd hoping for a home win, Christian Ahlmann (GER) and Clintrexo Z blazed around the arena, the crowd gasping at every daring turn. The duo were up on time, and looking strong to take over the lead, but the grey horse just unfolded a little quick behind on the final fence, clipping the pole much to the crowd’s disappointment.
A refusal for Janne-F. Meyer-Zimmermann (GER) and Buettner’s Minimax meant her compatriot Will would stay on the top spot, and a valiant effort from Karel Cox (BEL) but a pole down, edged the young German closer to a win.
The last of the German riders to go, Christian Kukuk (GER) set off at a gallop through the starting gates, but the pressure from Will was too much, and they too collected four faults and were ruled out of contention.
Gregory Wathelet (BEL) shifted the competition up a gear as the LGCT Grand Prix of Shanghai winner powered around the course with MJT Nevados S. Cutting out strides and shaving milliseconds off corners, Wathelet was up on the time and flew around the final corner to the last fence. But MJT Nevados S took a hold, missing his stride and crashed through the obstacle, dropping them out of the top three but stopping the clock fastest of all in 41.70s.
With just one rider left to go, local spectators held their breath in hope for a win on home turf. Gerco Schroder (NED) and slower-moving Glock’s Cognac Champblanc knew it would be a tough one to beat, but the Dutch rider and his grey gelding gave it their all and were unlucky to have a pole down in the double.
So the win would go to David Will (GER), the rider standing proudly as the National Anthem played out before raising his hat in celebration on a galloping lap of honour, much to the delight of the crowd. The result was the prefect prelude to tomorrow’s GCL Hamburg final and the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Hamburg, which kick off at 12:15 and 15:45 respectively.