(Photo: Stefano Grasso/LGCT)
By Global Champions Tour
The opening class of the Longines Global Champions Tour was won by Roger-Yves Bost (FRA) and Castle Forbes Vivaldo vh Costersveld, who galloped to victory finishing over two seconds faster than 2nd placed Laura Kraut (USA) and Nouvelle 17, 3rd went to Philipp Weishaupt (GER) and Casilius, and 4th to Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA) and HH Let’s Fly. There were an impressive 20 clears from the 40 starters who introduced their star mounts to this picture-perfect arena ahead of the feature Grand Prix tomorrow evening.
The gorgeous green venue of Cascais, Estoril, one of the most stunning natural arenas on the Tour, is just a stones throw from the beautiful Portuguese beaches and the vibrant town centre. With just two classes a day, the event is entirely focused on the best CSI5* riders in the world who are here to compete for the Gold medal and 40 points on offer to the winner of Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix.
With the lion’s share of €300,000 also up for grabs in tomorrow night’s feature class all eyes will be on the riders currently dominating the LGCT Championship Ranking – Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS), Emanuele Gaudiano (ITA) and Bassem Hassan Mohammed (QAT). With the late entry of late year’s winner Henrik von Eckermann (SWE), the top Championship contenders will have a battle on their hands for top spot on the podium.
The competition at the top of the LGCT Leaderboard could not be more fierce, with the top five riders all within 35 points of each other and Rolf-Göran Bengtsson (SWE) not here to defend his 2nd place position. Watch the 8th round of the 2014 Championship live from Cascais, Estoril on GCT, Equidia Life and ClassHorseTV Saturday from 19.30pm local time and from 21.00pm GMT on Eurosport.