World Number 1, top rider American Kent Farrington wins with 'Gazelle' LGCT Grand Prix of Madrid 2017, in the beautiful sourroundings of Madrid's famous and stunning Country Club 'Club de Campo Villa de Madrid' !
And last years, LGCT Madrid 2016 winner German Marcus Ehning managed to come second this year !
Kent Farrington thrilled thousands of spectators as 9 out of the top 10 riders in the world locked horns in Madrid for the fourth Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of the 2017 circuit.
Fans were kept on the edge of their seats as the top American rider and his Champion horse Gazelle triumphed against a heavy-
Thrilled Kent admitted he “won by a whisker”, as he paid respect to the extraordinary calibre of riders and horses that turned the competition into a power play of precision, bravery and pin-
Jan Tops, President Longines Global Champions Tour: "Lorenzo has been very consistent, every time in the second round. Maikel is close on his heels. These two are the ones to watch until the end. I must congratulate Alvaro and his team, it is a great effort. And also thanks to Longines our consistent main sponsor all these years. It was a great atmosphere here and on site and off site people who really know about the sport follow us and our followers are increasing with people watching all over the world.
"Today I want to congratulate Kent. He had a good draw and to have these two riders coming fast in the end you have to be clear. That is why he is No1 and to compete against the other two they are great riders and it is fantastic to watch.
Kent Farrington (Winner): "It was an amazing competition here. A great city, a fantastic ring, big courses and tough competition. I really won by a whisker today, it was a coin toss who won. Both of these guys have won the Grand Prix before so I am glad they let me in the club! I’m thrilled. I think what I have today is years of work, great support and all my owners and really strong team of multiple horses. At the highest level it takes a big team of horses and I feel very fortunate.”
Marcus Ehning (2nd place): "Last year I won here and this year second so I can’t be more pleased. If you have these guys behind you it can never be enough. I lost it a bit in front before the double but that happens in the jump off. Kent was a bit more aggressive in everything and he deserved to win here.”
Maikel van der Vleuten (3rd place): "I have stayed quite consistent and I have a very nice group of horses at the moment so I have the possibility to swap a bit and hope for some nice results to come. I did not lose much time my turns went really well. The seven strides to the last were a bit too normal, my horse has a big stride, maybe another time I could leave a stride out but I am very pleased with the way he jumped today."
Lorenzo de Luca (ITA) continues his reign of the LGCT Ranking lead, with the Italian star once again in an electric jump-
The high adrenaline Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Madrid set the crowd on a roller-
Course designer Santiago Varela Ullastres made full use of the galloping grass arena in his LGCT Grand Prix course, where gradient plays a big factor in the way the course is ridden. The triple combination towards the end of the course was formidable, with both parts a little on the short stride and the horses fixed on the in-
The two former LGCT Grand Prix of Madrid winning combinations were the first to jump clear. Marcus Ehning (GER) with Pret a Tout, and Maikel van der Vleuten (NED) and VDL Groep Verdi TN N.O.P. put in foot perfect rounds, putting them in the mix for the jump-
Denis Lynch (IRL) looked set to join them with new mount RMF Echo, until they rolled the final pole at the water tray, the crowd groaning in disappointment for the Irish rider. Julien Epaillard (FRA) and Quatrin de la Roque LM also had an unlucky pole at the triple combination, joining the likes of Ludger Beerbaum (GER) and Chiara, Harrie Smolders (NED) with Don VHP Z, Sheikh Ali Bin Khalid Al Thani (QAT) with First Devision, Eric Lamaze (CAN) with Fine Lady, Pieter Devos (BEL) and Audrey Coulter (USA) who all picked up four faults. Other big names such as Christian Ahlmann (GER) and Taloubet Z and Kevin Staut (FRA) couldn’t keep the poles from rolling.
Qatar’s Bassem Hassan Mohammed (QAT) put in a phenomenal performance with his 11 year old bay gelding Gunder, and Lorenzo de Luca (ITA) proved his consistency with the expressive Armitages Boy also jumped clear, raising the temperature of the final yet to come.
It was a five rider jump-
With 9 out of the world’s Top 10 riders in contention it as always going to be a ruthless battle of the best and the power-
Marcus Ehning (GER) and Pret a Tout were the first to go, fully revved up to defend their 2016 LGCT Grand Prix of Madrid title. With a calm exterior and nerves of steel the top German rider kept up the gallop, with the large striding chestnut eating up the distances to set the bench mark at 45.68s. Former Madrid Grand Prix winners Maikel van der Vleuten (NED) and VDL Groep Verdi TN N.O.P. gave it their all -
The show ground went silent once more as World Number 1 Kent Farrington (USA) and Gazelle entered the ring. The little horse jumped it’s heart out for the American, turning swiftly and leaping at the fences with a flat out gallop to the last. Shaving off fractions of a second, Kent guided the fiery horse to the final fence, and the crowd erupted in cheers as they pipped Marcus’ time by five tenths of a second to set the new time to beat at 45.18s.
Bassem Hassan Mohammed (QAT) and the huge striding Gunder rolled a pole, and then took out the penultimate vertical with a water tray dropping them down to fifth on 8 faults. Last to go was LGCT Ranking leader Lorenzo de Luca (ITA), who entered the arena with Armitages Boy looking like a force to be reckoned with. The pair were slower from the off, with Armitages Boy expressive with his hind legs, and bucking his way clear but slower in 50.59s overall.
So it was Kent and the brave-
Alvaro Arrieta Konyay, CEO Oxer Sport: "It is impossible to organise such a big event without the support of Madrid City Council and today the Mayor came to support the event and we are very proud of this incredible facility which belongs to the City. It is the 5th year in a row we are here and thanks to the confidence of my friend Jan. It was a fantastic Grand Prix, full of people with a very special atmosphere. It is a dream, great sport, fantastic riders and I am very proud the course designer is Spanish."
Lorenzo de Luca (LGCT Ranking Leader): "It is fantastic to jump all these Grand Prix and to be first is amazing. The best riders and horses in the world are here and to be still leading is a really good feeling and the fact that the horses are jumping fantastically is even better. My horse is so spectacular, fantastic."
Fotos: Copyright K. Johanna Altmann, all rights reserved
Full Foto Gallery, Longines Global Champions Tour Madrid 2017