Ludger Beerbaum wins the Global Champions grand prix on a new ride

Unfortunately, both John and Michael Whitaker fell by the wayside in round one of the Longines Global Champions tour Grand Prix of Hamburg. Michael and Valentin R had four faults and finished 24th and John and Ornellaia came home on 12.

Eight reached the third and final round, with Harrie Smolders setting a great standard for the others to chase on the handsome stallion Don VHP Z, produced in Britain by Louise Pavitt for the Brendon Stud. He took an interesting track, hopping over strategically placed flowerpots on the turn to the last. And everyone followed suit.

The tactics almost paid off, they remained ahead until four-time Olympic gold medallist Ludger Beerbaum found a slightly shorter route on his new ride, the Casall/Carolus 1 13-year-old Casello, winning by 0.44 sec to claim a popular victory in front of a packed stand on home ground.

“It’s very special to win here, if I could have a wish from the 15 legs, it would be to win here, the atmosphere is something to experience,” he said.

“There was no special plan, my colleagues know their horses much better and I still have to find out which is his favourite turns and strides. But I just went for it, and thanks to the quality of the horse, it was possible to win today.”

Colombia’s Daniel Bluman and Sancha LS took the third podum spot with Germany’s Marcus Ehning fourth on Pret A Tout and Christian Ahlmann fifth with Codex One.

Christian’s fifth spot here sees him lengthen his lead in the league standings after five legs on 161 points, 65 points ahead of second-placed Emanuele Gaudino for Italy. John Whitaker is fifth on 85 points and Mchael Whitaker is 17th on 51.

Harriet Nuttall claimed fifth in the Springstar Fashion Speed Derby with the Irish-bred Cougar/Flagmount Diamond 15-year-old Highland Cruiser II. Germany’s Hendrik Sosath and Quel Chanel took victory.

Placed both previous days, William Whitaker eased Neil Fiddes Vigaro/Calvados eight-year-old Dublin V into fifth in the Animo youngster cup final.

Photos: LGCT / Stefano Grasso & Jumping Around