The Port goes from racetrack to jumping arena
This year celebrated the 14thanniversary of the annual International Jumping of Monte-Carlo, from June 27-29, 2019, the 10thleg of the Longines Global Champions Tour(LGCT), featuring the best riders in the planet. Monaco has been on the LGCT calendar since the circuit was founded in 2006 by Jan Tops, and the breathtaking setting has been witness to the most spectacular jumps offs.
The Port Hercules in the Principality is like a chameleon, transforming itself periodically. Right after the last pieces of the F1 Grand Prix were disassembled in record time, over 1100 tons of sand was carefully spread over the quay on the southern dock, at the foot of the Prince’s Palace, to create an ephemeral arena, with 1100m2 paddock for 195 horses, a spectator’s tribune, stunning VIP corporate hospitality loges, chic boutiques, and the double deck riders’ club.
This high-level competition is one of the highlights of the LGCT, and it is the third most important sporting event in the Principality together with the F1 Grand Prix and the Tennis Masters. It is an exceptional three-day program including amateur competitions during the day followed by top-level fixtures after sunset.
The LGCT kicked off the season in Doha, with the introduction of St Tropez and the addition of Prague to the 2019 calendar. There is a total of 20 international events throughout three continents and including cities like Paris, Monaco, Madrid, Miami Beach, Shanghai, and Doha. The LGCT gathers the top show jumpers in the world, featuring Olympic, World and Continental champion battling for the title of overall season Champion of Champions 2019 and the share of the bonus prize fund.
The overall prize money (CS15* + CS12*) was Eur 617,000, with Eur 566,000 for the CS15* only. The Grand Prix purse on Saturday was Euro 300,000, like on each stage of the circuit. The winner Maikel van der Vleuten won Eur 99,000. At the end of the circuit, 19 riders will be qualifying for the LGCT Super Grand Prix in Prague, and with a very attractive purse amounting to Eur 1,000.000.
Van der Vleuten praised his young horse for their victory
Only 30 best in the FEI Jumping World Rankings are invited to this illustrious competition with a truly exceptional casting of riders in a breathtaking venue. Under the patronage of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, the 10th leg of the Championship race is a long-standing and popular stop on the calendar, with illustrious names listed on the winners’ roster over the years. The Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix Prince of Monaco took place on Saturday, June 29 in the evening, the last day of the competition.
Maikel van der Vleuten competing in Class 15: CS15* 1.60M, had a formidable victory on Beauville Z, claiming the top prize of the LGCT Grand Prix of the Prince of Monaco 2019.
A thrilled van der Vleuten said: “It’s incredible, this horse really fights for me. I spoke with my dad earlier this week as to whether it was too early to bring him [Beauville Z] here as first horse but it happens sometimes.” He added: “When I saw Julien on the screen, I could bet on it that he should win; he went full out everywhere. I was just a bit faster and I gave it everything today. I had some nice forward distances and the horse really worked for me.”
Just a second separated the top four riders in an exhilarating fast 10-way jump-off where Bassem Hassan Mohammed (QAT) on Gunder became the runner up, while Julien Epaillard on Usual Suspect d’Auge, managed an honorable third place finish.
Martin Fuchs (SWI) won his first Trophy Casino de Monte-Carlo on board 11-year old new horse The Sinner in a perfect prelude to Saturday’s LGCT Grand Prix de Monaco. Prince Albert of Monaco attended the event, under his Patronage each year.
Scandinavian Vikings secured their first ever GCL win after Evelina Tovek and Geir Gulliksen supported the enormous pressure as the last riders to go in a tough competition.
Current 2019 LGCT Rankings after 10 rounds
There is no change at the top of the leader board in the Championship race, with Pieter Devos (BEL) still leading the way but Ben Maher (GBR) jumps ahead of Daniel Deusser (GER) and this win in Monaco pushes Maikel van der Vleuten up to the fourth position with 9 events left to go.
July in Paris
Horses and riders move on to Paris, July 5-7, for the 11th leg of the 2019 LGCT race as the action intensifies.
“Care, and not fine stables, makes a good horse.” Danish proverb