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Longines Athina Onassis Horse Show
Longines Global Champions Tour
BEN MAHER AND WINNING GOOD CLAIM THE €300,000 LGCT GRAND PRIX OF SAINT TROPEZ
02-06-2018

Pampelonne Beach may be just a short distance away, but the action inside the arena at the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Saint Tropez was anything but laidback. Two rounds of world-class show jumping kept the packed crowds on the edge of their seats, where they watched British Olympic team gold medalist Ben Maher claim his second grand prix victory of the Longines Global Champion Tour. 

 

Riding the 9-year-old NRPS stallion Winning Good (Winningmood van de Arenberg x Sir Corland), Maher outpaced a top class jump-off field to claim the title. The British rider was also victorious in the LGCT Grand Prix of Madrid in May on the KWPN gelding, Explosion W, and finished second with the London Knights in Saturday’s GCL Final of Saint Tropez with Winning Good.

 

“We’ve had Winning Good just over a year. He was produced in England and had a very good year last year; we brought him up to the bigger classes and he jumped many, many clears,” said Maher. “He’s new to this level so I keep telling myself that he needs to make his mistakes and learn in the ring.”

 

As has become a hallmark of designer Uliano Vezzani’s courses throughout the week, the poles fell fast and furious during the first round of the LGCT Grand Prix of Saint Tropez. Of particular difficulty was one of the final elements on course, a combination featuring two black panels with crosses that Vezzani joked, the riders might enjoy having a bonfire with after the class. 

 

“Uliano did a great job [designing the courses]. In this difficult field of horses and riders, you [sometimes] don’t know what to build anymore, it’s so high-level,” said Global Champions Founder and President Jan Tops. “It’s very difficult to get only between 6-8 horses in the jump-off, and I think he did a masterpiece of jump building to get that result.” 

 

Seven riders qualified for the shortened course, where Sweden’s Peder Fredricson led the charge, laying down the first clear round on Hansson WL. Three riders that followed had rails, leaving only Australia’s Edwina Tops-Alexander and California, Carlos Enrique Lopez Lizarazo and Admara 2, and Ben Maher with Winning Good to vie for the win. Surprisingly, all three riders said, despite jumping clear, their jump-off rounds did not go according to plan.

 

“If I could ride as good as [Uliano Vezzani’s] builds, I’d probably be doing a lot better!” laughed Tops-Alexander, who ultimately finished third. “I was a little bit slow turning back to the double—I think I gave [the class] away there—but all and all, I can’t complain, my horse jumped amazing.” 
Lopez Lizarazo, who finished second, says that for his part, he added an extra, unplanned stride between jump one and two, an error Maher had also made in the round before him. 

 

“I ended up with one [stride] more, and then I was waiting, and the double was borderline suicidal,” Maher joked. “I saw my stride a very long way back, and the closer the double was coming, it kept getting further away. I just don’t know how he jumped it, to be honest, but that’s the sport! It’s my lucky day today.” 

 

Event Director Denis Monticolo said he couldn’t be happier with the closing class of the 2018 Longines Athina Onassis Horse Show. “It’s an honor to be here with these great riders and to celebrate them. I say congratulations to them and thank you to Ben, Carlos, and Edwina for this fantastic moment in sport. The weather has been incredible and we really have to appreciate the opportunity to be here in Saint Tropez.

BEN MAHER AND WINNING GOOD CLAIM THE €300,000 LGCT GRAND PRIX OF SAINT TROPEZ
02 Jun 2018

Pampelonne Beach may be just a short distance away, but the action inside the arena at the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Saint Tropez was anything but laidback. Two rounds of world-class show jumping kept the packed crowds on the edge of their seats, where they watched British Olympic team gold medalist Ben Maher claim his second grand prix victory of the Longines Global Champion Tour. 

 

Riding the 9-year-old NRPS stallion Winning Good (Winningmood van de Arenberg x Sir Corland), Maher outpaced a top class jump-off field to claim the title. The British rider was also victorious in the LGCT Grand Prix of Madrid in May on the KWPN gelding, Explosion W, and finished second with the London Knights in Saturday’s GCL Final of Saint Tropez with Winning Good.

 

“We’ve had Winning Good just over a year. He was produced in England and had a very good year last year; we brought him up to the bigger classes and he jumped many, many clears,” said Maher. “He’s new to this level so I keep telling myself that he needs to make his mistakes and learn in the ring.”

 

As has become a hallmark of designer Uliano Vezzani’s courses throughout the week, the poles fell fast and furious during the first round of the LGCT Grand Prix of Saint Tropez. Of particular difficulty was one of the final elements on course, a combination featuring two black panels with crosses that Vezzani joked, the riders might enjoy having a bonfire with after the class. 

 

“Uliano did a great job [designing the courses]. In this difficult field of horses and riders, you [sometimes] don’t know what to build anymore, it’s so high-level,” said Global Champions Founder and President Jan Tops. “It’s very difficult to get only between 6-8 horses in the jump-off, and I think he did a masterpiece of jump building to get that result.” 

 

Seven riders qualified for the shortened course, where Sweden’s Peder Fredricson led the charge, laying down the first clear round on Hansson WL. Three riders that followed had rails, leaving only Australia’s Edwina Tops-Alexander and California, Carlos Enrique Lopez Lizarazo and Admara 2, and Ben Maher with Winning Good to vie for the win. Surprisingly, all three riders said, despite jumping clear, their jump-off rounds did not go according to plan.

 

“If I could ride as good as [Uliano Vezzani’s] builds, I’d probably be doing a lot better!” laughed Tops-Alexander, who ultimately finished third. “I was a little bit slow turning back to the double—I think I gave [the class] away there—but all and all, I can’t complain, my horse jumped amazing.” 
Lopez Lizarazo, who finished second, says that for his part, he added an extra, unplanned stride between jump one and two, an error Maher had also made in the round before him. 

 

“I ended up with one [stride] more, and then I was waiting, and the double was borderline suicidal,” Maher joked. “I saw my stride a very long way back, and the closer the double was coming, it kept getting further away. I just don’t know how he jumped it, to be honest, but that’s the sport! It’s my lucky day today.” 

 

Event Director Denis Monticolo said he couldn’t be happier with the closing class of the 2018 Longines Athina Onassis Horse Show. “It’s an honor to be here with these great riders and to celebrate them. I say congratulations to them and thank you to Ben, Carlos, and Edwina for this fantastic moment in sport. The weather has been incredible and we really have to appreciate the opportunity to be here in Saint Tropez.

© 2018 longines athina onassis horse show - all rights reserved designed and developed by sara tanganelli & area creativa photos filippo gabutti - marco villanti - nicola serafini