Italian rider Lorenzo de Luca won the €300,000 Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Valkenswaard, becoming the first to repeat this year. (Photo © Stefano Grasso)
World number 4 Lorenzo de Luca of Italy became the first rider of the Longines Global Champions Tour, which repeats his victory at the Grand Prix.
Being the 13th leg of the calendar, Lorenzo de Luca was impeccable to ensure victory in the €300,000 Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Valkenswaard, next to the 13-year-old gelding Ensor de Litrange LXII (Nabab de Reve x Mr Blue) owned by Stephex Stables.
Lorenzo de Luca took 150 World Ranking Points and became the first rider to repeat in a LGCT Grand Prix, surpassing the former FEI leader and world number 6 Christian Ahlmann of Germany, who presented with the 15-year-old stallion Codex One (Contendro I x Glueckspilz) stopping the clock in 39.93 seconds by the 39.20 seconds that Lorenzo de Luca was getting.
The jump-off round of 8 riders, half would finish in double clear round including Dutchman Maikel van der Vleuten as third place with 15-year-old stallion VDL Groep Verdi TN (Quidam of Revel x Landgraf I) in 40.31 seconds and Jos Verlooy of Belgium fourth with the 12-year-old stallion Caracas (Casall x Colman) in 41.51 seconds, while best jump-off time was for Belgian rider Gregory Wathelet with the 13-year-old stallion Eldorado van het Vijverhof (Thunder van de Zuuthoeve X Omar) in field of 4 fouls and 38.10 seconds.
For the Pan American Ranking Paris Sellon and Jack Towell participated, obtaining the 16th place and being within the points the American rider with the 9-year-old mare Cassandra (Caressini L x Cardento) accumulating 4 faults in 78.55 seconds and Towell next to the 11-year-old gelding Lucifer V (Lord Dezi x Grandeur) were 18th with 4 fouls in 79.59 seconds.
With 13th Grand Prix the winner are Martin Fuchs of Switzerland, Jerome Guery of Belgium, Italian Lorenzo de Luca with his first win, Kent Farrington of the United States, Rolf-Göran Bengtsson of Sweden, Spaniard Sergio Álvarez Moya, Alberto Zorzi of Italy, Julien Epaillard of France, Daniel Goldstein of Israel, Harrie Smolders of the Netherlands, German Christian Ahlmann, Scott Brash of Great Britain and Lorenzo de Luca from Italy with their second Grand Prix.