(Photo: Stefano Grasso/LGCT)
By Global Champions Tour
The CSI5* Maybourne Hotel Group Cup was won by legendary horseman Beat Mandi (SUI) with Antares F who set the field alight from near the very start of the 21-horse jump-off with a time of 31.67s. In second was fellow Suisse Jane Richard Philips with Quister de Guldenboom in a time of 32.15s and third went to Robert Whitaker (GBR) and Catwalk IV in a time 32.25s. Despite testing weather conditions, the class was a fast and furious battle of the best as the riders fought for the majority share of €60,000.
The gorgeous VIP hospitality area was crammed with the great and glamorous show jumping crowd who enjoyed the world-class sport on offer this afternoon. Though storm clouds gathered and heavy rain fell, the enthusiasm of spectators was not dampened. The spectacular Horse Guards Parade Ground backdrop provided a feast for the eyes as the action unfolded at one of the most iconic locations in London.
There was a stellar line-up of talent in the first round which featured the World’s Top 18 riders in a rare coming together of the best show jumpers in the world. The handsome Maybourne Hotel Group fence was the first obstacle on the course built by Italy’s Uliano Vezzani. The class saw 62 starters take on the challenge set and it was a testament to the level of talent present that the jump-off totalled 21 riders.
Mandli set the pace early but always looked like he might be beaten, however his deceptively fast time forced others into making errors. The jump-off was incredibly close with the top ten placed riders all finishing within two seconds of each other. The oneupmanship as riders chased the leading time drew cheers from the crowd as they galloped for the finish line. As the riders entered the arena for the prize giving, clearly pleased with himself, Mandli’s mount Antares danced beneath his rider as the Swiss national anthem rung out.
All of the Top 27 riders in the world will be competing on Saturday for one of the biggest prize funds in the show jumping calendar in the Longines Global Champions Tour of London Grand Prix presented by Qatar, which will be shown live on BBC, Eurosport, beIN Sports and GCT TV.