Monaco City, Monaco – June 28, 2019 – Martin Fuchs (SUI) took his first win aboard new horse The Sinner in a perfect prelude to Saturday’s Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix du Prince de Monaco presented by Tennor.
In the spectacular harbor-side setting, Fuchs added the Trophy Casino de Monte-Carlo win to his accolades, the on-form Swiss rider clearly building a formidable partnership with the 11-year-old bay gelding.
“It’s a great win. It’s a new horse for me, but it’s our first win together so I’m very happy. Henrik [von Eckermann] was fast, but I was a bit faster from fences one to two and I left out a stride at the last oxer [which is where it was won],” said Fuchs.
The Trophy Casino de Monte-Carlo competition saw a thrilling eight rider jump-off at the sparkling port-side arena. Fuchs took the win ahead of Henrik von Eckermann (SWE) with Best Boy 2 and Alberto Zorzi (ITA) with Danique.
Friday afternoon’s 1.50m course set by Frank Rothenberger was a short but fast-paced track, with fences spaced up and down the small arena and set on flowing turns. First to go clear was young British talent Harry Charles (GBR), the rising star piloting his 13-year-old bay gelding Borsato around the course with pin-point precision.
Von Eckermann and Best Boy 2 were the next to go clear, the bright 11-year-old chestnut gelding responding perfectly to his Swedish rider’s requests and finishing on a clean score creating a jump-off.
Zorzi, the 2017 LGCT Grand Prix of Monaco winner, opted to ride Danique for this competition, the duo pulling off a smooth and effortless round to finish clear and into the jump-off. Another former winner, Kevin Staut (FRA) would contest Friday’s class with Urhelia Lutterbach to deliver a clear round and add their names to the jump-off list.
They would be joined by Lucia Le Jeune Vizzini (ITA) with Cabalgaro Z, Fuchs with his relatively new mount The Sinner, Marco Kutscher (GER) with Charco and Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS) with Casquell.
It would be an eight rider jump-off with young star Charles first to return to the ring. The enthusiastic Borsato powered to the fences, keeping up a speedy pace and finding the perfect stride to each challenge. But there would be heartbreak for the pair as the final AirFrance oxer fell, the horse just leaving a toe behind to drop them down to four faults.
Von Eckermann moved Best Boy 2 around the course, taking smooth but efficient lines to the fences. A tight turn at the roll back to the La Casino vertical kept them up on time and they finished clear in 36.02 seconds.
Zorzi and Danique looked deceptively steady at the start, but as the course unfolded their speed increased. A brave try at the La Casino roll back gave them a chance, with Zorzi pushing to the final line but they finished just moments behind von Eckermann’s time, in 36.20 seconds.
Frenchman Staut made a smart turn to fence three, but the slower moving Urhelia Lutterbach couldn’t match von Eckermann’s time and had to settle for a double clear in 37.38 seconds.
Despite their fairly new relationship, Fuchs and The Sinner kept the pedal to the metal, the 11-year-old gelding responding admirably to the Swiss rider’s requests. They took one less stride to the double and flew to the finish line, setting a new time to beat of 35.40 seconds.
Kutscher and Charco were razor sharp on the roll back to La Casino, but there was further heartache as the final fence, the AirFrance oxer fell, dropping them off the top spot despite their faster time of 35.25 seconds. As the final rider to go, Tops-Alexander kept the fiery Casquell under complete control and delivered another clear, but slower in 37.43 seconds.
So it would be another win for Fuchs, but his first on the LGCT circuit with The Sinner. Von Eckermann would take second and Zorzi in third.
Saturday will see the final day of competition in Monaco, with the GCL Monaco second round taking place at 17:00 local time before the LGCT Grand Prix du Prince de Monaco presented by Tennor taking place at 20:15.
Trophee Casino De Monte-Carlo
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / R1 Faults | Time / R2 Faults | Time
1. The Sinner / Martin Fuchs / SUI / 0 | 65.81 / 0 | 35.40 sec
2. Best Boy 2 / Henrik von Eckermann / SWE / 0 | 65.94 / 0 | 36.02
3. Danique / Alberto Zorzi / ITA / 0 | 65.14 / 0 | 36.20
4. Urhelia Lutterbach / Kevin Staut / FRA / 0 | 66.49 / 0 | 37.38
5. Casquell / Edwina Tops-Alexander / AUS / 0 | 67.40 / 0 | 37.43
6. Charco / Marco Kutscher / GER / 0 | 65.49 / 4 | 35.25
7. Borsato / Harry Charles / GBR / 0 | 64.86 / 4 | 37.27
8. Cabalgaro Z / Lucia Le Jeune Vizzini / ITA / 0 | 68.77 / 4 | 39.40
9. Chaquilot / Pius Schwizer / SUI / 4 | 60.75
10. Anaba Haize / Paul Estermann / SUI / 4 | 60.77
11. Gin Chin van het Lindenhof / Geir Gulliksen / NOR / 4 | 63.85
12. Vendetta Treize / Constant van Paesschen / BEL / 4 | 63.90
For full results, click here.