Photo: LGCT / Stefano Grasso
Ömer Karaevli (TUR) and his 11 year old bay mare, Rabane de Sury, notched up the first of the win of the week in Hamburg after a fantastic speed class set the scene for the second European leg of the Longines Global Champions Tour of Hamburg.
Emanuele Gaudiano (ITA) was first to go with his 9 year old stallion Cascadeur 31, and opened up the class with his usual fast round, setting the pace for the 57 strong field of world class riders yet to follow. His time of 62.03s was immediately surpassed by the next man to go, Turkey’s Ömar Karaevli, who was the only rider to break the 60 second barrier, crossing the line in an impressive 59.97s.
The arena and course lent itself to a long galloping run around the vast grass arena, with the opening show of the weekend a great chance for horses and riders to explore the expansive arena The Turkish and the Italian riders went head to head early on and left the rest of the riders playing for top places. Columbia’s Daniel Bluman shook up the order sliding into third place after a stunning round with his 13 year old bay mare Sancha LS, however the top two prevailed, holding their position from top of the order to bottom.
The class was a great chance to see the big combinations for the Grand Prix readying themselves for Saturday’s battle. Combinations to catch the eye were Bertram Allen (IRL) and Molly Malone who looked on fantastic form, and Athina Onassis’ (GRE) ride on AD Cinsey looked every inch the clear round machine. The Swedish rider Linn Zakariasson shook up the top 5 after a great performance with Ugaulin du Bosquetiau, adding a new name to the roster of the leading five.