The final class of the first historic Longines Global Champions Tour of Paris Eiffel Jumping, the Gucci Gold Cup, was won by the one and only Marcus Ehning (GER) with Sabrina, a rider who has has a spectacular show, as he also finished 3rd in last night’s LGCT Grand Prix with Cornado NRW and 2nd in yesterday morning’s class with Sabrina.
Second place went to Maikel van der Vleuten (NED) with VDL Groep Sapphire B and 3rd went to Reed Kessler (USA) with Cylana.
The first round of the 41-strong class saw another technical track from Uliano Vezzani. The startlist was packed with top names, but clear rounds were few and far between, with the Gucci branded fences once again falling frequently. Seven riders went through to the jump-off on a zero score, including Jessica Springsteen (USA) and Vindicat W, Simon Delestre (FRA) and Stardust Quinhon, and Patrice Delaveau (FRA) and Ornella Mail HDC.
First to go, Jessica Springsteen lowered the first fence, as did Delaveau and Harrie Smolders (NED). Delestre came close to catching the winning time, but had the last fence down, the Gucci upright. Kessler was the first clear round, taking smooth swift turns to stop the clock at 38.28s with her 2012 Olympic ride. Maikel van der Vleuten followed with his quick grey mare and shaved 1.5s from the American’s time. Late in the draw, Marcus Ehning rode a masterful and deceptively quick route to take the win with a time of 35.16s.
Ahead of next weekend’s Cascais, Estoril Grand Prix, thoughts turn to who might challenge LGCT Ranking Leader Kevin Staut for the crown. With Ehning on such great form and lying in 8th place on the leaderboard, he has once again become the hotly-tipped favourite to win the 2014 Championship title. But with a flying Kevin Staut and a consistent Rolf-Göran Bengtsson (SWE) to contend with, we can no doubt look forward to another ranking lead change in Portugal.
Photo: Stefano Grasso