(Photo: Stefano Grasso/LGCT)
By Global Champions Tour
Tonight’s red hot Longines Pro Am Cup was won by the killer combination of Team Gucci – Edwina Tops-Alexander and Charlotte Casiraghi – who galloped to victory tonight in front of packed stands and super-yachts at the glamorous Port Hercule, Monaco. Second place went to the elegant pairing of Team Noor Fares’ Luciana Diniz and Electra Niarchos, who finished just a second behind the winners. Third went to Team Expert Blue’s Amre Hamcho and Baraa Jaboulieh, the third of only three double clears.
There were a few nervous faces as the 15-strong team competition got underway in front of SAS Prince Albert of Monaco, Princess Caroline of Monaco, and distinguished guests in the Royal Box, and not just from the amateur riders competing under bright lights, for enthusiastic crowds, and in the Friday night party atmosphere of Monte-Carlo. The stars of the show included Jessica Springsteen, Guillaume Canet and an array of top professionals all keen to secure a win for their team.
Luc Musette created a smooth sweeping course for the amateurs to pave the way for their pros in the snug port-side arena. The first round saw some feisty performances from the teams, but over half collected four faults in their first rounds as they all chased the top eight cut for round two. A strong bass line created the soundtrack to the fast and furious competition as each team tried to better the last.
In the jump-off Team Expert Blue set the ground alight with Hamcho’s lightning time which elicited appreciative cheers and applause from the crowd. The pair held the lead well into the draw until Team Gucci of Edwina Tops-Alexander and Charlotte Casiraghi demolished it – Prince Albert and Princess Caroline jumped to their feet to cheer Charlotte and Edwina as they finished their round with what turned out to be an unbeatable time.
The winning Gucci team took their lap of honour to noisy cheers and a standing ovation from the Royal box. Under the floodlights of the stunning Monaco arena, the riders waved to the crowds of people pressed up to the fence to catch a glimpse of the glamorous pair as they cantered past and the patrons of nearby bars and restaurants joined the noisy applause.
Tonight’s class was a fantastic warm-up for the tomorrow’s Grand Prix when the world-beating CSI5* riders once again take to this unique arena to battle for 2014 Championship points. The feature class of the show the Longines Global Champions Tour of Monaco Grand Prix will be live tomorrow from 18.30pm local time Saturday 28th June on GCT TV, ClassHorseTV and Equidia Life, and on Eurosport and beIN Sports from 21.15pm local time.