Monaco, FRA – July 1, 2018 – Ireland’s Shane Breen took the biggest win of his career and dashed Alberto Zorzi’s (ITA) hopes of a back-to-back Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix du Prince de Monaco Presented by Sapinda win, after a spectacular performance aboard Ipswich van de Wolfsakker tonight.
Breen’s win means he is the latest addition to the GC Playoffs, with a ticket to the elite line-up in the Longines Global Champions Tour Super Grand Prix which will take place in Prague this December.
Under the patronage of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, the 9th leg of the Championship race is a long-standing and popular stop on the calendar, with illustrious names listed on the winners roster over the years. Breen finished just tenths of a second ahead of Zorzi and Fair Light van T Heike with Denis Lynch (IRL) and RMF Bella Baloubet taking third.
With 35 riders qualified for the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix du Prince de Monaco Presented by Sapinda the stage was set for a thrilling climax to the 9th event of the season. There were plenty of distractions and challenges throughout Frank Rothenberger’s course as the first round delivered upsets for some and highs for those who booked their place in the jump off. A fashionable crowd were on parade along the red carpet lining the port side, with spectators pressed against the ringside to watch the stars of show jumping in action.
Frank Rothenberger’s course required athleticism and laser-like focus from both riders and horses to have a chance to win through to the jump-off. The crowd were lifted as Jerome Guery (BEL) and Celvin pulled off a stylish round and the first clear of the night.
The next clear came from Harrie Smolders (NED) on his bay gelding Cas, and the World No 1 delivered a masterclass of a round much to the delight of the spectators and VIPs. The Dutch star was quickly followed by on-form Pius Schwizer (SUI) on Chidame Z with an apparently effortless clear – the Swiss rider already notching up two wins this weekend.
Denis Lynch (IRL) and RMF Bella Baloubet were next to win a place in the jump off with the 17-year-old stallion delivering a powerful 4th clear of the night. Last year’s Monaco champion Alberto Zorzi (ITA) rode Fair Light van T Heike to an emphatic clear setting up a tantalising chance of a back to back victory.
The sixth clear round delivered by Shane Breen (IRL) and Ipswich van de Wolfsakker completed a formidable line up for the big prize.
First to take on the tough jump-off course was Jerome Guery (BEL) but an early 4 faults and a time of 36.05s left the door wide open for the fast five behind him. Always one to watch, Harrie Smolders (NED) and Cas slipped after castle fence then had first part of Longines double combination down pushed on for a fast four 34.16s, two seconds faster than Guery’s time.
Knowing a clear would win him a place on the podium Denis Lynch (IRL) took 9 strides to the Palace fence, coming home clear in 40.43s – the new leader in this high drama show down.
The crowd erupted in cheers as Alberto Zorzi, last year’s winner, took a brilliantly calculated round with Fair Light van T Heike, keeping a consistent rhythm but letting the chestnut mare travel to the fences. They trumped Denis’ time on 35.72s, with the potential of a back-to-back LGCT Grand Prix of Monaco win on the cards.
The final rider to go Shane Breen (IRL) looked slower at the off, however managed to pick up the pace with Ipswich van de Wolfsakker, taking on the fences with all the scope and bravery required of the compact Monaco arena. The pair flew through the finish gates, stopping the clock in 35.56s, just ahead of Zorzi. This would be the biggest win of Breen’s career, and the Irishman punched the air in triumph ecstatic at his win, and place in the GC Playoffs.
The Tour now looks to Paris, for the 10th leg of the 2018 Championship race as the action hots up and the race to the final rockets up a gear.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Denis Lynch – third place
“I knew my horse would love the Monaco arena and within the last few months we have build a solid relationship. Because of the new partnership, today’s strategy wasn’t to go out and win it. Instead I opted to keep the poles up and get on the podium and I’m very happy with him.”
Alberto Zorzi – second place
“I’m really happy as I continue to be successful in Monaco – this year and last year. I found the jumps very nice today. Sadly, I missed the last distance at the last fence so I knew I lost a time there but it was still a very good round.”
Shane Breen – Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix Du Prince De Monaco winner
“This is my biggest career win and my first time winning at the LGCT Grand Prix. Its a great honour to be here and to be part of the GCL – it’s a great atmosphere. Ipswich is quite a green horse at this level and has had a few fences down this season. We’ve been knocking on the door but today he jumped fantastically. He was surprisingly relaxed as he can be quite sharp and has a lot of nervous energy but that was in our favour this evening in Monaco.
He produced two super rounds and with Denis [Lynch] leaving the door slightly open and Alberto [Zorzi] with a fantastic quick round, the guys on the ground were saying that if I could do the same numbers my horse is naturally very quick.When I turned for number one, I didn’t have a flier at it, then I went nine strides to the second jump and I had to remind myself not to panick.I got the double jumped and moved on a bit then and fortunately when addressing the last I saw a good stride and took it! I’m now in the LGCT [Super Grand Prix] and I’m elated – it’s an elite group of riders, so I hope I can take Ipswich there again and do well.”
Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix Du Prince De Monaco
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / R1 Faults | Time / R2 Faults | Time
1. Ipswich van de Wolfsakker / Shane Breen / IRL / 0 | 69.35 / 0 | 35.56
2. Fair Light van T Heike / Alberto Zorzi / ITA / 0 | 68.24 / 0 | 35.72
3. RMF Bella Baloubet / Denis Lynch / IRL / 0 | 68.98 / 0 | 40.43
4. Cas / Harrie Smolders / NED / 0 | 67.91 / 4 | 34.16
5. Celvin / Jerome Guery / BEL / 0 | 66.93 / 4 | 36.05
6. Chidame Z / Pius Schwizer / SUI / 0 | 64.48 / 8 | 37.73
7. Cordess / Christian Kukuk / GER / 1 | 71.34
8. Winning Good / Ben Maher / GBR / 4 | 66.19
9. Saphyr des Lacs / Christian Rhomberg / AUT / 4 | 67.16
10. Oak Grove’s Carlyle / Rolf-Göran Bengtsson / SWE / 4 | 67.22
11. Hello Mr President / Scott Brash / GBR / 4 | 67.33
12. Silverstone G / Anna Kellnerova / CZE / 4 | 67.42
For full results, click here.
Gladiators Reign Supreme in Breathtaking GCL Monaco
Constant Van Paesschen and Marlon Zanotelli of the Rome Gladiators made a meteoric rise up the overall GCL rankings today in Monaco, after the duo secured their first victory of the season in one of the most compact and challenging arenas on the circuit.
With their spectacular win today, the Gladiators now sit third in the overall Championship race, with a points tally of 137. Another strong result from London Knights’ team of Ben Maher and Martin Fuchs kept the team in the overall lead with 199 points, with Valkenswaard United’s Alberto Zorzi and Bertram Allen just holding on to second with 183 points in total.
Frank Rothenberger produced a tight and technical course, with athletes racing up and down the arena and a tight time allowed of 69 seconds. The design was challenging from the start, with a vertical out of the first corner requiring instant focus and commitment. Other challenges were posed by a gappy Sapinda vertical, an imposing black and white Massimo Dutti oxer, with a Longines treble set along the diagonal of the arena off a turn, requiring plenty of smoothness and balance and a double put close to the longside where spectators watched on.
The first of the double clears came from Doha Fursan Qatar, after Sheikh Ali Bin Khalid Al Thani with Carolina 31 and Michael Whitaker with JB Hot Stuff pulled out faultless rounds. Speaking after his round Michael said: “I thought my horse jumped really good. It’s a tough course, and it felt big! It’s a tall vertical for fence one, the horse has to be awake and concentrating right from the off, otherwise they won’t jump it. We needed this double clear!”
Overall leaders London Knights pulled out a stunning team round after Martin Fuchs with Chica B Z and Ben Maher with Winning Good all jumped cleanly to finish on the four faults and extending their lead ahead of the rest of the pack.
Constant van Paesschen pulled out a phenomenal clear for the Rome Gladiators with the enthusiastic stallion Jilbert van ‘ T Ruytershof, managing his horse brilliantly to leave the team on a zero score. Anchor Marlon Zanotelli put in a breathtaking performance with Rock’n Roll Semilly, keeping the Gladiators as the only team on a completely clear score.
Four faults apiece from Scandinavian Vikings’ Leopold van Asten and Geir Gulliksen dropped them down the order, and all eyes turned to New York Empire, the only team between the Gladiators and the win.
First to go Scott Brash rode Hello Mr President beautifully, but their hopes of victory fell as a pole was touched, meaning Gladiators would reign supreme. Another two poles for David Will with Deluxe Ilton dropped the team off the podium, and out of contention for a big points haul.
So victory would go to the Rome Gladiators who shoot up to third in the overall rankings, just behind Valkenswaard United and London Knights.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Harrie Smolders – Montreal Diamonds, third place
“Mark and Miebello is a great combination, they are very consistent, already last year, and that is why also took them onto our team. I’m pleased with Cas – we did already many big classes – and he looked very consistent and a lot of clears.”
Ben Maher – London Knights, second place
“I thought it was a difficult course today. It was hot at that time of the day and I always expected it to change around a bit today. There was many clears the first day and today, myself and Martin knew we had to get some clear rounds. Martin changed to a new horse and it jumped very well – which promising for the rest of the season that we have a extra horse on the team. We played the strategy – Martin couldn’t ride too fast. I went second and put the pressure on with a faster time and I think that gave us a little bit of edge today.”
“As Harrie says, there’s a big gap from the second to third right now but we’re very strong team – tightly knitted together, we talk a lot and have a good plan going forward so we just have to keep trying to continue to do our best and select the right horses for the right venues and hopefully we can continue as we have been.”
Marlon Zanotelli – Rome Gladiators, first place
“It was a big day for the Rome Gladiators and I’m very happy with my first podium for the Gladiators this season. I was under big pressure but it was a good pressure because Constant went first and jumped clear both times, and I knew what I had to do. I knew that we would not have the fastest of times so I concentrated on a clear round. Today was a much tougher course with a lot of faults and we were lucky that we managed to both jump clear rounds.”
Constant Van Paesschen – Rome Gladiators, first place:
“Jilbert [van ‘ T Ruytershof] is enjoying jumping and because he is breeding a lot it makes him is very fresh at the moment but he did a great job today. It was a good feeling to be part of a winning team in Monaco. Over the coming weeks, I hope the boys will do a good job – my next event from the team is in Berlin and we’ll see what is going to happen!”
Global Champions League of Monaco
Place / Team / Rider / Horse / R1 Faults | Time / R2 Faults | Time
1. Rome Gladiators
Jilbert Van’T Ruytershof / Constant Van Paesschen / 0 | 75.95 / 0 | 68.46
Rock’N Roll Semilly / Marlon Módolo Zanotelli / 0 | 69.30 / 0 | 66.18
Team penalties | time / 0 | 134.64
2. London Knights
Chica B Z / Martin Fuchs / – / 0 | 66.97
Winning Good / Ben Maher / 0 | 67.07 / 0 | 63.26
Chaplin / Martin Fuchs / 4 | 68.77 / –
Team penalties | time / 4 | 130.23
3. Montreal Diamonds
Miebello / Mark McAuley / 0 | 75.12 / 0 | 67.63
Cas / Harrie Smolders / 0 | 74.87 / 4 | 63.90
Team penalties | time / 4 | 131.52
4. St Tropez Pirates
California / Edwina Tops-Alexander / 0 | 75.24 / 0 | 66.59
Apart / Pieter Devos / – / 0 | 66.18
Gin D / Pieter Devos / 4 | 75.23 / –
Team penalties | time / 4 | 132.77
5. Scandinavian Vikings
VDL Groep Quatro / Geir Gulliksen / 0 | 71.32 / 4 | 68.48
VDL Groep Miss Untouchable / Leopold Van Asten / 0 | 72.86 / 4 | 65.98
Team penalties | time / 8 | 134.46
6. Valkenswaard United
Fair Light Van T Heike / Alberto Zorzi / 0 | 73.47 / 0 | 68.60
Izzy By Picobello / Bertram Allen / 4 | 72.48 / 4 | 67.14
Team penalties | time / 8 | 135.74
7. Madrid in Motion
Idi Utopia / Maikel Van Der Vleuten / 0 | 73.55 / 5 | 69.74
Castlefield Rubinus / Michael G Duffy / 5 | 76.61 / 1 | 70.73
Team penalties | total / 11 | 140.47
8. Cascais Charms
Argento / John Whitaker / – / 0 | 64.64
Oak Grove’s Carlyle / Rolf-Göran Bengtsson / 0 | 71.21 / 4 | 67.11
Cassinis Chaplin / John Whitaker / 8 | 75.04 / –
Team penalties | time / 12 | 131.75
9. Prague Lions
Silverstone G / Anna Kellnerova / 0 | 73.53 / 4 | 65.55
Glock’s London / Gerco Schröder / 0 | 73.49 / 8 | 66.61
Team penalties | time / 12 | 132.16
10. New York Empire
Hello Mr President / Scott Brash / – / 4 | 64.85
Deluxe Ilton / David Will / – / 8 | 68.30
Hello Forever / Scott Brash / 0 | 69.43 / –
Team penalties | total / 12 | 133.15
For full results, click here.