Standing ovation for Edwina Tops-Alexander
The winners of the individual LGCT Grand Prix have competed for the first time in history of the Global Champions against each other. On Saturday evening in the O2 arena, these 16 riders have measured their forces in the two-round Super Grand Prix competition, in which Edvina Tops-Alexander took the victory.
The Super Grand Prix was a two-round competition as showjumping of the highest possible difficulty with fences of 160 cm. Only two riders have gone through the first round without any mistakes: Harrie Smolders with his 14-year old gelding Zinius as well as the Australian rider Edwina Tops-Alexander aboard an 11-year old mare California. An Irish rider Shane Breen was on the third position with one penalty for an exceeded time.
The next 5 riders had one knock-down from the first round, which promised a very exciting battle in the second round. This assumption was confirmed and we have witnessed many changes in the placings in the second round. One of the favourites was Harrie Smolders, who unfortunately did not finish the second round due to his horse’s fall.
The last rider of the second round to enter the arena was the fault-less Australian rider Edwina Tops-Alexander, who had the advantage of knowing the other riders‘ performances so far. A German rider Ludger Beerbaum was on the top position at that moment with 4 penalties from the first round. His time 61,56 seconds was not impossible to top, as some of the riders with more penalites proved after him.
Edwina Tops-Alexander could have run into some difficult time after her 11-year old mare California incured one mistake approximately half the way down the course. She chose to risk after this mistake and took up a faster pace, having reached time of 61,08 and could still secure victory for herself. She enjoyed the standing ovations of the cheering crowd as she crossed the finish line on the way to the first ever win in the Super Grand Prix.
Ludger Beerbaum won the second place on board his 15-year old gelding Casello. And there was one more ride with 4 penalties. Frank Schuttert, a rider from Netherlands, with his 10-year old stallion Chianti´s Champion, committed just one fault in the first round. Compared to Edwina Tops-Alexander and Ludger Beerbaum he rode in a slower time of 64,91 seconds, which placed him third.
„I planned to have a clear round, but it did not work out. I was aware of the results before me, but did not see ther rides. Being aware of the time differences of the rides before me, I knew that Ludger must had been pretty fast, but I did not know which path he took. Until the last jump, I was not sure whether that was going to be good enough for victory“, Edwina Tops-Alexander mentioned in the press konference. „A participation at such show is an honour for all riders. This is a unique competition and a great milestone in our sport,“ she has added.