Ben Maher claimed third in the 5* 1.50/1.55m with Explosion W on day one at the Longines Global Champions tour in Cannes.
Forty-five contended this speed class – which ran concurrently with round one of the Global Champions League – with Ben riding tactically for his London Knights team to finish third on the Chacco Blue 10-year-old Explosion 1.33 sec behind the winner, Italy’s Emanuele Gaudiano on Kingston Van Het Eikenhof. Harry Charles provided the steadiest of the clears for 14th on ABC Quantum Cruise.
Ben’s round put his London Knights team into third in round one of the GCL. His partner Olivier Philippaerts and H&M Cue Channa 42 blasted into the ring determined to scatter the opposition. But the Constance vertical fell for a painful four faults heaping pressure on teammate Ben Maher. The Knights’ star striker fielded the exceptional Explosion W once again the champion chestnut delivered. A sharp inside turn to the Hubside fence was important in keeping them ahead of the other teams on four faults as they finished in third place as the fastest four-faulters and behind the two teams on a zero score – New York Empire and Madrid in Motion.
Jessica Springsteen set off on a great ride on RMF Cecile in the early part of the course for the Miami Celtics but they were one of many who fell victim to the fragile GC vertical, finishing on four faults. Harry Charles, the Celtics’ U25 rider at only 19 years of age made his debut in Doha and the pressure was on for the team ranked third so far. He worked hard to keep ABC Quantum Cruise on a clean sheet and was justly rewarded with a clear round leaving the team on four and in sixth spot.
Ben eased Don Vito into second in the opening 5* 1.45m two-phase. Fifty-six contended this class with Ben and the Quaprice Z/Jus De Pomme 11-year-old finishing 0.77 sec behind the winner, Brazil’s Marlon Modolo Zanotelli on J-Figyelem. Harry Charles posted the steadiest of the double clears for 20th on Borsato and Scott Brash picked up one time fault on Hello Mr President to take 21st.
Claire Beecroft claimed third in the 1.25m two-phase with Vanda Cartier, the Lord Z/Rubert R 13-year-old finishing 1.09 sec behind the pace. Sofia Abramovich was also double clear for sixth on Sacree Du Rouet.
Imogen Beecroft eased the Andiamo 18-year-old Untouchable into third in the 1.10m two-phase 1.21 sec off the pace.
Tess Carmichael rode the Caspar 10-year-old Berlin’s Kojak into a double clear and eighth in the 1.35m two-phase more than four sec off the winning time. Four faults in the second phase dropped Tess on second ride Bangle SR and Claire with Kandora to 17th and 21st.
In Wierden, The Netherlands, Sandy McLean slotted Goemanen Musterd into second in the 50-horse 1* 1.30m speed, the VDL Zirocco Blue eight-year-old finishing 0.76 sec off the pace. Alex Gill was also clear on the Warrant 11-year-old Diva for fourth.
Alex Gill claimed 11th in the 2* 1.40m speed with Grand Slam 7.73 sec off the pace. Jonathan Dixon was in contention for the top spot on Guus-Geluk but a rail fell dropped him from possible victory to 19th.
A steady double clear in the young horse 1.25/1.30m handed James Billington 16th place with the seven-year-old Harwich VDL (Arezzo VDL/Darco).
On the Baltica tour in Poland, Charlene Bastone guided Elixir Du Paradis (Clinton/Indoctro) into second in the five-year-old final 1.45 sec behind the winner.
Charlene and the Billy Congo daughter All That Glitters TH claimed fourth in the seven-year-old final 1.15 sec off the pace.
Jess Mendoza picked up two time faults in the 32-strong gold 1.30m speed to take 10th on Sam De Bacon. Charlene jumped a fast four to finish 12th on Fyberlinus H.
Text and Photos © Jumping Around & LGCT/Stefano Grasso