The second day of competition at the Longines Global Champions Tour of Hamburg saw Peder Fredricson (SWE) and H&M All In storm to victory in the Mercedes-Benz CSI5* class. Fredricson finished 0.22 seconds ahead of his nearest competitor Luciana Diniz (POR) and her grey Vertigo du Desert, with third place going to home turf rider Andre Thieme (GER) with Crazy Girl V, much to the local spectators’ delight.
With first prize in the jump-off class being a brand New Mercedes-Benz, all of the starting 46 combinations were pushing hard to try and add this to their string of horsepower. Frank Rothenberger put together another technical course at the Derby-Park Arena, the 1.50m fences were placed precisely round the arena giving the international field plenty of options and a couple of tricky related distances.
Pathfinder Karina Johannpeter (BRA) riding Casper 150 fell short of the time allowed despite jumping clear putting them out of contention for the win. The first clear followed shortly after from Irishman Mark McAuley (IRL) and Miebello who made it look effortless.
Local hero Ludger Beerbaum (GER) had the fully packed grandstands on their feet as he entered the arena on Casello however today it was not meant to be and they finished with 5 faults in the first round. Emanuele Gaudiano (ITA) and Harrie Smolders (NED) then cruised round the track and brought the total of clear rounds up to three but as the rain started to fall so did the poles.
Young talent Bertram Allen (IRL) and his famous grey mare Molly Malone V would have been a duo to watch in the jump-off but an unlucky four faults meant they also wouldn’t return. Margie Goldstein-Engle (USA) riding Royce was aiming to go one better than her second place in the earlier class today. She was on track the whole way round but crossed the finish line just half a second over the time allowed, denying her a place in the jump-off.
Current LGCT Ranking leader Pieter Devos (BEL) was looking for a strong result in today’s big class but he was a little far off the last fence causing Apart to tap the back rail and put four faults on the score board. Christian Ahlmann’s (GER) big bay horse Ciao Conni ST didn’t like fence number four – an imposing wall – and the pair were eliminated after two consecutive refusals.
Dutchman Marc Houtzager (NED) steered Sterrehof’s Dante clear in a time of 83.74 seconds adding themselves to the jump-off line-up. He would be joined by Andre Thieme (GER) with Crazy Girl V, Jennifer Gates (USA) with Pumped Up Kicks, Swedish sensation Peder Fredricson with H&M All In, Shane Breen (IRL) with his big grey stallion Colmar, Luciana Diniz (POR) with Vertigo du Desert, local rider Janne-F. Meyer-Zimmermann (GER) with Buettner’s Minimax, last year’s LGCT Championship winner Ben Maher (GBR) with Concona and Bart Bles (NED) with Gran Canyon van HD.
One of the fastest clear rounds came from the one and only German legend Marcus Ehning (GER) riding the beautiful Funky Fred, the crowd went wild when he crossed the finish with 0 faults on the scoreboard and it was clear he would have plenty of support in the jump-off.
So it would be a 13-rider turbo charge from nine different nations, and it was set to be an exciting race to the finish with a brand new car and 59,000 euros to play for.
Mark Mcauley (IRL) drew the unenviable task of first to go, setting off at a flat out gallop pushing for the win. He moved Miebello swiftly round but couldn’t quite stretch far enough to the second part of double causing it to fall along with the final Mercedes-Benz upright leaving him on eight faults and in a time of 46.91 seconds.
Speed demon Emanuele Gaudiano (ITA) is known for his tight jump-off turns and he didn’t disappoint today. He jumped Kingston van het Eikenhof over fence three on a diagonal placing him in the perfect position to be able to cut inside the flowers to fence four. After looking like he was on track to land on top he also had the second part of the double down meaning he finished the fastest of all eight 4 faulters.
It was obvious Harrie Smolders (NED) was here to win with Cas 2. He set out at a gallop from before the start line but turned too tight back to the Longines oxer and didn’t get the stride he had planned for, bringing down all the poles in the obstacle. For the second half of the course he started to steady up and Cas 2 came over the finish line in 49.12 seconds.
Marc Houtzager (NED) choose to guide Sterrehof’s Dante on a wider line to the Longines oxer but kept the pace up meaning he was still in touch with the time. This didn’t last for long as the front rail of fence five came tumbling down and the pair finished in 5th place overall.
The crowed cheered as Andre Thieme (GER) entered the arena in hope to produce the first clear round in the jump-off. His plan from the start was a smooth steady clear and it paid off. He picked up the first double clear and put the pressure on the following nine riders to come.
After some top tips from trainer Harrie Smolders who had already ridden the jump-off course, Jennifer Gates (USA) knew exactly what she had to do with Pumped Up Kicks. She was foot-perfect to every fence but the first part of the bogey fence – the double – rolled and she picked up 9th place.
Peder Fredricson (SWE) was in it to win it from the start. He didn’t take a pull anywhere and easily cruised H&M All In round in 46.34 seconds keeping all the fences up and taking over the lead. There were still six very competitive combinations to attempt the full up 1.50m course so Peder wasn’t safe yet.
Irishman Shane Breen (IRL) was saving his big grey stallion for the classes later on in the week as he looked to be going for a steady clear. Unfortunately he got a little deep to the brown Idee Kaffee fence and finished with a total of four.
Luciana Diniz (POR) had the perfect partnership with her grey Vertigo du Desert round the jump-off course. She flew over the last fence with a smile on her face just two tenths of a second slower than Peder, finishing in a well earned second place.
Janne-F. Meyer-Zimmermann (GER) the second out of three Germans in the jump-off had the same fence down as Shane Breen after her horse Buttoner’s Minimax just touched it with the left front toe.
British Ben Maher (GBR) was attacking the course from the start. He landed slightly out to the left on Concona after the second fence meaning he had a wider turn than he had planned to the Longines oxer. Maher put the gas pedal on to try and keep up with the time but this cost him and they had the black Global Champions upright down, pushing him to 8th overall.
Germany’s last hope for a home win Marcus Ehning (GER) took a stride out between fence three and four and he was 0.93 faster than Peder at the half way mark. But both the Idee Kaffee oxer and second part of the double fell meaning it wasn’t going to be a home win today.
Last to go Bart Bles (NED) made his tight turn back to the Longines oxer look easy. The crowd were holding their breath as he was faster than Peder at the half way point but like Ehning he couldn’t keep all the fences up, pushing him down the score board to just outside of the top five.
So the win would go to Peder Fredricson (SWE) with H&M All In, to drove off in delight with his new Mercedes-Benz. Tomorrow the CSI5* competition continues before the two biggest classes of the week on Saturday – the GCL Hamburg final and the LGCT Grand Prix of Hamburg.