The curtain fell today on the 12th edition of the Longines Global Champions Tour of Monaco and the 22nd Jumping International of Monte-Carlo in bright sunlight. A weekend of great sport that kept all its promises to the 10,000 spectators who came to admire the best riders on the planet. The impressive transformation of the Port Hercule, a magical setting, a stunning panorama … this competition is definitely unique in the world.
Over jumps between 1.45m and 1.50m high, the Casino de Monte-Carlo Trophy brought the 5*CSI to an end. After a first myriad of riders jumping clear, such as the openers Jack Towell (USA), Kevin Staut (FRA) and Yuri Mansur (BRA), the questions set by the course designer Luc Musette started to make themselves felt. Indeed, no less than seven riders retiring was proof of the extreme technicality of the course, and some of the less experienced competitors certainly paid the price, including Johan-Sebastian Gulliksen (NOR), Kevin Jochems (NED) and Enrique Gonzalez (MEX). The time allowed also created problems, preventing five talented pilots, including the on-form Gregory Wathelet (BEL) and the accurate Daniel Deusser (GER), from qualifying for the jump-off. The return to a virgin scorecard came with the round by the current World N° 1, Kent Farrington (USA).
Tactics, attempts and strategies, finally another three riders collected a ticket for a potential victory. With a total of seven qualified for the jump-off, the conclusion announced being, and certainly was grandiose. A repeat of the first round, the first three to go, Jack Towell, Kevin Staut and Yuri Mansur rode perfect rounds. The tension rose a notch. Denis Lynch (IRL), despite a good time, didn’t manage to avoid faulting with his powerful RMF Bella Baloubet. Abdel Saïd (EGY) on a bouncing Hope van Scherpen Donder left no stone unturned in his quest for victory, tightening the corners and crossing the finishing line clear in a time of 32.68 sec. Next to go, Kent Farrington, rode a fantastic jump-off that had the crowd sitting on the edge of their seats, his mount Creedance, demonstrating cat-like agility over the poles. He finally finished second, with a time of 33.37 sec. Kevin Staut, found himself in third place on Ayade de Septon*HDC, the same position that he held the previous evening in the Grand Prix du Prince. Abdel Saïd brilliantly mastered this class that carried total prize money of 92,000 euros.
The last day of this Monegasque competition opened with the 2*CSI 1.15m class. A course that offered success to lady riders as it was a 100 % feminine trio that claimed the glory. American rider Flo Fulton Miller with Rio de la Grandière climbed onto the first step of the podium in front of the Austrian, Brigitte Prömer/Chanel 418 and the Dutch, Lauren van Berkel/Little Lancer.
The 1.30 2*CSI class that followed saw 26 couples lining up in the starting blocks, all trying to add another win to their list. Amongst them, Kelly Jochems (NED) riding Bontendro, gave a superb performance claiming the top of the placings with a 4.79 second lead. Leaving no place for her rivals, 2nd and 3rd places were taken by Matilde Borromeo riding for Italy on Adavante and Deante.
This edition drew to a close with the 2* CSI Grand Prix standing at 1.45m. It was the opportunity for the boldest amateurs to inscribe their names amongst the Princely winners. 19 took the start, it was the third day of competition and offered a tough class for both horses and riders alike. Only two qualified for the jump-off, Leonora Smee/Waltons Top Flight (GBR) and Lilli Hymowitz/Verdi III (USA). Both riders left all the poles in the cups, with victory falling into the hands of Great Britain, with a time of 33.03 seconds, just in front of the American who finished her round in 33.58 sec.