Malin Baryard-Johnsson and H&M Indiana won the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix and Global Champions League round at the Circus Maximus.
Under the pressure of the Circus Maximus, the Swedish equestrian produced an incredible performance at the LGCT Grand Prix jump-off, snatching victory away from Shanghai Swans teammate Christian Ahlmann. The final spot on the podium went to LGCT Grand Prix of Hamburg winner, Harrie Smolders and Monaco.
Edwina Tops-Alexander is still at the lead of the Championship race with just three legs to go. She sits 6 points ahead of Olivier Robert on 208 points. The 2018 & 2019 Longines Global Champions Tour winner, Ben Maher, sits in third position with 201 points followed closely by show jumpers Max Kühner and Peder Fredricson.
“I am so proud, I am so happy to be sitting on probably the best horse in the world. What a day it has been. It means alot to have secured the ticket for Prague but just to be a winner here feels really really good.” -Baryard-Johnsson
The first rider to go on the jump-off was Olivier Robert and Vangog du Mas Garnier. They set the pace but knocked down the first part of the Longines double, meaning they were out of contention. Henrik von Eckermann and King Edward delivered their first clear round in 38.63 seconds.
Abdel Siad and Bandit Savoie however could perform better and finished in 38.09. Malin-Baryard Johnsson could see her chance at the jump-off and the horse and rider combination secured an unbeatable 36.74 seconds win.
It was not over yet as Christian Ahlmann and Mandato van de Neerheide came into the round with determination, but not fast enough as they crossed the finish line in 37.82 seconds. Harrie Smolders and Monaco came close in 37.89, ending in third position.
Series leaders Valkenswaard United cling on to the top position in the overall championship with Shanghai Swans moving into second place after winning in Rome. Making her debut on the team, Malin Baryard-Johnsson and H&M Indiana picked up the top spot on the podium together with her teammate Christian Ahlmann and Solid Gold Z.
They were the only team to finish on 8 faults. Paris Panthers finished in the second position earning the silver medal while Madrid in Motion claimed the final spot at the podium. Now, only 5 points separate Valkenswaard United and Shanghai Swans from the top of the overall season ranking.
Uliano Vezzani’s course featured two challenging double combinations, and many riders picked up faults at each. Moreover, a Longines triple combination was a big challenge as well as a wide oxer by the in-gate had riders focus completely until the very end.
The final stages of the Longines Global Champions Tour and Global Champions League 2021 season will be staged in the beautiful setting of Samorin, by the Danube River.
The X-Bionic Sphere will host the 14th stage and the season Finals of the Longines Global Champions Tour and GCL championships ahead of the big showdown at the GC Prague Playoffs at the O2 Arena.
This change to the European venue in Slovakia follows the hard decision not to stage the events in New York and Shanghai due to multiple ongoing restrictions related to COVID-19 and the Delta variant.
Now, riders are staying in Italy for a second week 16-18 September for the 13th event of the season at the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Italy. Then, the 14th stage of the show jumping tour will take place on the 15-17 and 21-23 of October in Samorin.