The stars came out in Cannes as the first day of action for the Longines Global Champions Tour kicked off with a stunning win from Jérôme Guery (BEL) and Garfield de Tiji Des Templiers. While the spotlight shone on the top Belgian rider, it was a day of top sport on the French Riviera as the sixth leg of the Championship got underway.
Earlier the round had caused all kinds of drama, as the world’s best were tested in true style. For the first round report, please click here.
It would be a six-rider jump-off, featuring some of the most illustrious names in the sport. First to go, Ben Maher (GBR) and Don Vito set off at a pace, with the chestnut gelding focused on the fences. Knowing they had to put the pressure on the rest of the field, Ben bravely took tight turns back to the fences but agonizingly rolled a pole picking up 4 faults. The drama didn’t stop there, after Scott Brash (GBR) and Hello Annie had an unusual stop at the imposing Longines double, knocking them out of contention for the win.
Roger-Yves Bost (FRA) entered the arena to the cheer of the local crowd, with the top French rider mounted on his chestnut horse Sydney une Prince. Despite rubbing a couple of poles, the pair were able to complete the course clear, stopping the clock at 40.31s but leaving the door open for the rest of the field to come.
Taking on the challenge was Jérôme Guery (BEL) and the eye-catching Garfield de Tiji Des Templiers, who set off in sixth gear. The agile horse took on the turns, propelling Jérôme up to the top of the timesheets with a new time to beat of 37.26s. The crowd erupted once more as Patrice Delaveau (FRA) entered the ring with Aquila HDC. Shaving off angles at the corners, the pair were up on time until the final fences, stopping the clock just fractions away in 37.40s and slotting in just behind the Belgian rider.
Final rider to go was Eric van der Vleuten (NED) and Wunschkind 19, who set off at a gallop. The huge-striding horse powered around the arena, but Eric’s focus was on another clear, and the pair stopped the clock in 40.05s to take third overall.
Tomorrow will see the second day of action feature a CSI5* class, taking place under the spotlights at 21:00 local time (3:00 p.m. EST). Tune in via GCT TV to watch all the action live, plus watch the live stream via the official LGCT Facebook page.
Edited press release courtesy of: Global Champions Tour