Photo: LGCT / Stefano Grasso
Egypt’s Abdel Saïd won the opening two phase Artisan Frams 1.45m CSI5* class early morning in Antwerp with the fiery 9 year old bay gelding Luron S Z, stopping the clock at an impressive 21.52s. Many of the world’s top horses were on show ahead of the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Antwerp, with famous faces including Casall ASK, Codex One, Chiara, Cornet d’Amour and Flora de Mariposa.
The flowing two phase course was a great starting point for many of the world’s top combinations, with the high calibre athletes exploring the arena for the first time. A total of 19 went into the second round, to race against the clock, and it an opportunity to witness global combinations in one place for the first time in Europe this season.
Pius Schwizer and his bay mare 11 year Ailina came a close second in 22.05s – John Whitaker and his upcoming mare Ornellaia took a strong third place, just three tenths of a second off P2 and crossing the line in 22.39s. Ireland’s Denis Lynch put in an impressive early performance with Camilla, holding the lead for the majority of the class, however had to settle for 5th position overall. Other notable names on form were Sergio Alvarez Moya (ESP), Jos Verlooy (BEL), Schuyler Riley (USA), Gregory Wathelet (BEL) and Laura Kraut (USA).