Ben Maher takes a close second to conclude at LGCT Stockholm
Ben Maher continued with his good form on the Longines Global Champions tour in Stockholm, Sweden, to take second in the concluding 5* 1.55m.
Nine of the 30 starters accessed the jump-off. Ben asked course designer Uliano Vezzani one final question before he set off at a gallop to the first on the Clinton/Darco 16-year-old Tic Tac. They too jinked to the outside of the Longines fence, keeping their flow and were clear, a delighted Ben patting Tic Tac in delight as they trotted out of the arena in the lead.
Michael Whitaker was a medallist at Stockholm’s Olympic Stadium in 1990 at the inaugural World Equestrian Games. Today he was looking for another podium position with the Mylord Carthago 10-year-old Valmy de la Lande, and managed the keen grey horse beautifully to deliver another strong clear - just a fraction behind Ben for an eventual third place.
The crowd cheered in appreciation as Sweden's Peder Fredricson and H&M Christian K entered the arena. The huge-striding horse powered around the course, the pair exactly level with Ben at the halfway stage. But they sprinted down the final line and took an angle to the last, shaving milliseconds off the time to take the win by 0.45 sec.
Four faults in the first round of the under 25 1.50m grand prix denied Emily Ward a jump-off chance and put Millioninmind in 10th spot.
James Wilson slotted Eskola M into third in the 25-strong 5* 1.50m two-phase in Sopot, Poland.
James and the Singapore 10-year-old finished 2.52 sec behind the winner, Belgium’s Gudrun Patteet on Sea Coast Crystal De Leau.
Reigning champions Belgium claimed victory in the FEI Nations Cup of Sopot, Poland, in an exciting two-way decider with Ireland.
The two teams were at level-pegging at the halfway stage on four faults and Ireland fought back hard with a zero score in round two. British-based Peter Moloney on Chianti’s Champion (four in round one) came back with a clear in the second round alongside team-mates Paul O’Shea (Skara Glen’s Machu Picchu) and Shane Sweetnam (Alejandro) meaning anchor Bertram Allen did not have to return to the ring on Harley VD Bisschop.
Nonetheless, Belgium matched them stride for stride to force a jump-off. You could hear a pin drop as O’Shea led the way against the clock for Ireland, but his 12-year-old gelding hit the first fence before coming home to break the beam in 46.97 seconds. It seemed Devos would just walk away with it now, but the normally fully-focused Apart seemed uncharacteristically lacking in concentration and hit the top pole at the first element of the penultimate double really hard, only for it to roll back into place. They crossed the line three seconds off O’Shea’s target time, but their zero score would seal it for Belgium.
Paul Bevan was one of the elite nine to access the jump-off of the 2* 1.45m grand prix with Deangelo in Deauville, France.
Fifty-three originally contended this top-billed class to conclude the four-day meeting with Paul the only Brit in the line-up. But four faults marred their second round and the Tangelo Van De Zuuthoeve/Kashmor Van Schuttershof 11-year-old dropped down the order to sixth place.
France’s Max Thourin claimed the win on Jewel De Kwakenbeek with more than two sec to spare over fellow Frenchman Timothee Anciaume on Beguine De B’Neville. Four faults in round one put Allana Clutterbuck and Vykinbay into 16th.
Ollie Tuff eased Cumana Van Pottelberg into 10th in Saturday’s 57-strong 1* 1.25m speed more than seven sec off the pace.
In Bonheiden, Belgium, Beth Vernon eased the nine-year-old mare Conthoraire into fifth in the 40-strong 2* 1.35m two-phase 2.05 sec behind the pace.
Four faults in round one the young horse seven-year-old 1.30m denied Scarlette Norman and jump-off chance and dropped Merci De Gelivaux to 12th place. Megan James also made one mistake on Calistoga for 16th spot.
In Kronenberg, The Netherlands, Jane Annett posted a double clear in the 18-strong 2* 1.40m two-phase on the eight-year-old Billy Du Montois for sixth place more than four sec behind the pace.
Romilly Simmons also came home on a clean sheet in the 18 horse jump-off of the 1* 1.30/1.35m small grand prix with In The Air, the Indorado 10-year-old 4.43 sec off the pace. William Maxwell was 18th on Q-Two TL.
Four faults in round one of the 48-entry 2* 1.45m grand prix put Cressy Neads and Baladine Du Chanu into 17th place. The Netherlands Maikel van der Vleuten took the win in the eight-horse decider on Canisha.
Text and Photos © Jumping Around