(Photo: Stefano Grasso/LGCT)
By Global Champios Tour
The first round of the Longines Global Champions Tour of Cannes Grand Prix began in heavy rain this evening and finished in beautiful sunshine, as 15 clear rounds went through to the 2nd round, with three on four faults also progressing as part of the top 18.
Talented young US rider Jessica Springsteen was all smiles as she delivered a superb clear on her bay mare Lisona, watched by her parents Bruce and Patti, and their friends, from the VIP area. Also clear are home riders Pénélope Leprevost, last night’s big winner, and Kevin Staut, as well as fan-favourite Rolf-Göran Bengtsson (SWE) and Ireland’s Denis Lynch.
Championship Ranking Leader Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS) is on track for another great result at the beautiful Cannes arena, going through to the next round on a zero score with Ego van Orti. Rising Qatari star Bassem Hassan Mohammed and Victoria also produced a strong performance to join the clears, while Thursday night’s winner Luciana Diniz and Fit For Fun continued her fine form to finish with a zero score.
World No1 Scott Brash (GBR) has been a man on a mission since missing out on a few early legs of this year’s Tour. The Scotsman looked determined as he rode a foot-perfect round with his 2012 Olympic ride Hello Sanctos to join the other big names in the 2nd round.
Despite a dramatic thunderstorm raising the curtain on the 5th Grand Prix of the 2014 Championship race, the downpour did not deter fans who filled the grandstands to watch Top 30 ranked riders in the world go into battle. Hollywood actress Marion Cotillard and her husband Guillaume Canet were among the glamorous parade of guests on the red carpet alongside the VIP lodge.
The sky has once again turned blue as we look to the next round. With 2013 winner Marcus Ehning out of the running with 4 faults in the first round, we will certainly crown a new victor this year in the Cannes Grand Prix. Could Edwina Tops-Alexander, Scott Brash or Rolf-Goran Bengtsson go higher on the podium here and claim their first Gold of the season?