Miami, Fla. – April 5, 2018 – Against the stunning backdrop of Miami Beach, just feet from the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, 67 international horses and athletes turned out to contend in the first 1.45m CSI5* competition to kick-off the second leg of the 2018 Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT) circuit. As one of the final entries in the class, Germany’s Philipp Weishaupt secured top honors aboard Sansibar, outpacing previous leaders Georgina Bloomberg (USA) and Paola 233 by just hundredths of a second.
The course, designed by Italy’s Uliano Vezzani and Pier Francesco Bazzocchi, was comprised of 13 total obstacles split between two phases. Structured as a power-and-speed class, the course allowed for a time of 51 seconds over the first eight efforts and 38 seconds over the remaining five, with phase two of the course beginning after fence eight (a triple combination). Athletes were only able to advance to phase two of the course if they finished clear over phase one. While a technical course, the class saw almost exactly one third of its challengers finish completely fault-free over both phases.
The top spot on the leaderboard changed hands four times before Bloomberg took over as 30th in the order-of-go with Gotham Enterprizes LLC’s 10-year-old Westphalian mare, clocking in at 21.89 seconds.
Exactly 30 trips later, Weishaupt, a veteran rider at Ludger Beerbaum Stables, piloted Kamal Bahamdan and Henrik von Eckermann’s 12-year-old Hanoverian mare to a faultless finish in 21.80 seconds to move into the first place position.
The pair’s lead held for the remaining seven horse-and-athlete combinations to wrap-up Thursday’s feature class, with Eric Lamaze (CAN) and Chacco Kid Group’s Chacco Kid rounding out the top three in 22.14 seconds.
Thursday was only Weishaupt’s second time showing the mare, with the first time being just two weeks ago at the LGCT season opener in Mexico City. Weishaupt will continue to compete Sansibar during LGCT Miami Beach, but will be aboard Ludger Beerbaum Stables GmbH’s Lasse K in Saturday’s grand finale.
The first round of the Global Champions League (GCL) of Miami Beach followed the 1.45m CSI5* class on Thursday with 19 teams, consisting of two athletes each, going head-to-head, while athletes also competed for individual scores. The course proved difficult for many with the first clear round coming from Scandinavian Viking’s Leopold Van Asten and VDL Groep Miss Untouchable as 30th in the order. Soon after Van Asten’s ride, Monaco Aces athletes, Jérôme Guery and Julien Epaillard, bested the course with their mounts to take over the lead with two clear rounds. The individual title went to Germany’s Marcus Ehning and the 12-year-old mare Cristy, who stopped the clocks in the speed round at 66.42 seconds. The second round of the GCL will take place on Saturday at 2 p.m. at LGCT Miami Beach.
The second LGCT CSI5* competition will be held on Friday afternoon in Miami, Florida, promptly at 2 p.m. The LGCT Miami Beach runs through Saturday afternoon, concluding with its highly anticipated highlight event, the LGCT Grand Prix of Miami Beach CSI5*, at 5:15 p.m.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Philipp Weishaupt – LGCT Miami Beach 1.45m CSI5* winner
On Thursday’s course:
“It’s a big change for the horses coming from a big grass field in Mexico to a tiny sand ring here. Some horses get a little distracted by the ocean, but I have a super brave, straightforward mare. She did a great job today. I was lucky I could watch a lot of other riders go. I saw Georgina [Bloomberg], who was really quick, and I knew if I wanted to beat her, I needed to do something special. In two lines, I did one less [stride]. I think that made a lot of difference.”
“I rode Sansibar two weeks ago in Mexico for the big classes so I’m stepping her back this week. My second horse that I had in Mexico will be jumping the big classes here. That was my strategy coming into this week. Sansibar is a classic grand prix horse. This is actually only my second class with her. I rode the horse for the first time in Mexico. She’s one of our student’s horses and he couldn’t come because of business. I took the ride because another horse of mine is injured. She’s super simple. I didn’t know she could be so fast! It was a nice experience.”
On working with the Beerbaums:
“It’s an honor to work for the Beerbaums! I’ve been with them for 15 years. I started when I was 16 or 17 and everything I know, I’ve learned from Marcus. Since I’ve been there for so many years, I have a little more freedom to do my own thing, which has been really nice. He trusts me and it’s really a pleasure to work for him.”
LGCT Miami Beach 1.45m CSI5*:
Place / Horse / Athlete / Country / Owner / Phase Two Faults / Time
1. Sansibar / Philipp Weishaupt / GER / Kamal Bahamdan and Henrik von Eckermann / 0 / 21.80
2. Paola 233 / Georgina Bloomberg / USA / Gotham Enterprizes LLC / 0 / 21.89
3. Chacco Kid / Eric Lamaze / CAN / Chacco Kid Group / 0 / 22.14
4. Instit De Jucaso / Julien Epaillard / FRA / Go Horses / 0 / 22.41
5. VDL Groep Beauty / Leopold van Asten / NED / Stoeterij Duyselshof / 0 / 22.77
6. Herald Van’t Ruytershof / Jos Verlooy / BEL / Eurohorse Bvba, Axel Verlooy / 0 / 23.58
7. Agatha D Ecaussinnes / Lauren Hough / USA / Weslands Farm / 0 / 24.75
8. Kel’Star Du Vingt Ponts / Jérôme Guery / BEL / Joosen Yves and Amélie / 0 / 25.00
9. Veronese Teamjoy / Edwina Tops-Alexander / AUS / Edwina Tops-Alexander / 0 / 25.69
10. Wunschkind 19 / Eric van der Vleuten / NED / Marta Ortega Perez / 0 / 25.82
11. Quibelle / David Will / GER / Gotham Enterprizes LLC / 0 / 26.04
12. H&M Harley VD Bisschop / Nicola Philippaerts / BEL / Ben Beevers, Ludo Philippaerts / 0 / 26.25