Britain’s Scott Brash raised the bar in the opening CIS5* class at the Longines Global Champions Tour in Monaco with a very comfortable and quick ride with an on-form Hello Annie. He says he had a “lucky draw” being second-to-last to go in the competition and secured a 24.28s round.
It was enough to pip Germany’s David Will who had previously been holding the lead with Mic Mac du Tillard. The 17-year-old mare’s experience was clear to see throughout the faultless 24.59s round and it was a fitting result for her penultimate LGCT performance ahead of her retirement following next week’s competition in Paris.
The sand arena is the smallest of the whole Tour, only 20 metres wide at its most narrow, meaning it requires speed, agility and precision from horse and rider. That was something Jessica Springsteen (USA) came with buckets of, as she and the continually rapid Davendy S took an early lead, but was eventually pushed into third.
The challenges of such a tight course made for a disappointing round for some though, Christian Ahlmann (GER) and Fixdesign Funke van’ T Heike in particular were dismayed after being eliminated.
There was not much air between any of the top six as they raced against the clock next to Monte Carlo’s iconic yachts and mountain backdrop. Ireland’s Denis Lynch took fourth place on his 16-year-old stallion RMF Bella Baloubet with a time of 25.18, closely followed by Leopold van Austen (NED) and VDL Groep Beauty, and Brazil’s Marlon Módolo Zanotelli on Extra van Essene.
The next competition is the Global Champions League of Monaco Round 1 where teams will fight for pole position ahead of tomorrow’s final.
Edited press release: Global Champions Tour