GCT Valkenswaard (NED): GCT ranking tightens as Ludger beats show jumping superstars at his “favourite show”Aug 19th, 2012 | By bk | Category: INTERNATIONAL NEWS
19 Aug 2012
The GCT ranking board has tightened dramatically after the Valkenswaard Grand Prix as Ludger Beerbaum celebrated a decisive win at his “favourite show of the year”.
The 2012 series is now more tense than ever with reigning champion Edwina Tops-Alexander still holding on to her overall lead, but with world class riders mounting serious challenges with three events to go.
Ludger rode three masterful clear rounds on Chaman in the GCT Grand Prix sponsored by VDL Groep. Rolf-Göran Bengtsson had already set a tough target in the sweltering heat with a beautiful round on Carusso La Silla in 43.43. The normally quiet Swede even whooped with delight as he cleared the final VDL fence after executing smooth but tight turns in the early part of the course. Richard Spooner, dubbed ‘Master of the Faster’, on his champion ride Cristallo found a way to shave off more than a second and finished in 42.05 – adding to the huge success of the USA riders in Valkenswaard this weekend.
Ludger coolly rode into the ring in front of the packed grandstands and VIP suite and by the final double was still slightly behind. But he accelerated into the upright that followed and flew over the Jaeger-LeCoultre oxer and the final fence to win in 41.32.
As the GCT series moves to Lausanne in Switzerland (14-16 September) the leader board is promising a thrilling finale in November. Christian Ahlmann, Marco Kutscher and Philipp Weishaupt have also climbed the ranking following good performances in today’s Grand Prix.
GCT Valkenswaard took place only 2 weeks after the amazing Olympic show jumping and when it came to the jump off, it was a story about three superstars of the sport striving for victory at a top quality event.
This is what the champion riders had to say at the press conference after the Grand Prix:
Ludger Beerbaum (GER)
This is one of my favourite shows in the world. I am really happy to win here today. I really enjoyed it. Superb facilities and I have always been lucky here. It is a real horsemanship show so to compete and win here is great.
Asked about the heat: Horses have no problem with the heat. The warm up area was in the shade so it could not be better.
On Uliano Vezzani’s Grand Prix course: I think the courses were fair and technically straightforward. I think Uliano was probably quite nice to day with the time but you had to go a little bit in the first round.
Richard Spooner (USA)
On missing out on victory by half a second: Ludger was just better than me.
On Cristallo: I have had a lot of years with Cristallo and every year I have tried to find a horse better than him and I can’t do it.
Rolf-Göran Bengtsson (SWE)
On Carusso La Silla: This is one of the home bred horses so I am really pleased with my performance. To be in front here you have to have a fantastic first round jumping and to go forward everywhere and every turn. So I am lucky to be 3rd.
Jan Tops GCT President
It is good to hear someone like Ludger who has been all over the world being so positive about the event here. It is the 19th year (in Valkenswaard) and we try to be consistent. And that is the GCT brand to have a long-term vision. This year our podium is fantastic, three great riders who can win anywhere in the world. Three great champions and now it is very close and very tense and I think the season will go right to the last minute.
Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS)
On the 2012 GCT championship: It is certainly looking more exciting. I have not picked up points at the last two events but there are three more to go. We have had great sport today, really fantastic. I felt my horse (Cevo Itôt du Chateau) put in maximum effort, but I made a mistake. I am happy I am hanging in there.
Olivier Laurian, Managing Director Jaeger-LeCoultre, GCT official partner
We have had a great show with amazing facilities. We had a fantastic finale with the jump off, such a small gap between first and second and the podium today is three of the best riders in the world.
|GCT Grand Prix of Valkenswaard presented by VDL GroepTABLE A: 2 ROUNDS – Time 2nd Round – One Jump-Off|
|3.||Carusso LS La Silla||Rolf-Göran Bengtsson||SWE||0/0||43.43|
|4.||Cornet Obolensky||Marco Kutscher||GER||0/4||41.83|
|10.||Coriana van Klapscheut||Eric Lamaze||CAN||4||75.83|
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