(Photo: Stefano Grasso/LGCT)
By Global Champions Tour
The very first class of the Longines Global Champions Tour of London was won by home rider Jessica Mendoza who raced to victory in the CSI5* 1.45m class at Horse Guards Parade Ground with Ramiro de Belle Vue, becoming one of the youngest ever winners of an LGCT CSI5* class. Second went to the fast frenchman Roger-Yves Bost with Colombo van den Blauwaert and third to Robert Whitaker (GBR) with USA Today.
Mendoza, who is just 18, rode a bold and confident round to better an experienced field of medal winners and champions with her feisty mount. The Uliano Vezzani course was relatively inviting, but the Longines combination in front of the north stand proved to be one of the bogey fences on course, as was the Qatar oxer across the middle of the arena. Despite tough weather conditions, the top ten placed riders all finished within a few seconds of each other.
Looking ahead to Saturday’s Longines Global Champions Tour of London Grand Prix present by Qatar, the top contenders who put in eye-catching performances at this early stage were Beezie Madden (USA), Sheikh Ali AL Thani (QAT), Marcus Ehning (GER) and Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS). LGCT Championship Ranking leader Rolf-Goran Bengtsson (SWE) and Unita ASK executed a cool and controlled round, looking like they are ready for another strong performance this weekend.
All of the Top 18 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. For tickets click here. For more information on the broadcast schedule.