Longines Global Champions Tour: Brash retains his crown after a sensational final.
Scott Brash has done it again!
For the second year in a row the British rider has won the Longines Global Champions Tour after a final full of twists and in which he started the overall rankings in third place chasing behind the leader Ludger Beerbaum and second placed Rolf-Goran Bengtsson.
The first major twist in the plot came in the days leading up to the final when German champion Ludger Beerbaum opted to change his mount. The rider preferred not to risk his talented Holsteiner Chiara 222 after she had suffered with a slight bout of colic just days after her arrival in Qatar. Instead, Beerbaum took the decision to compete with another one of his jumpers, the stallion Zinedine.
As for the final itself, the first of the final 2 rounds spelt the end for Ludger Beerbaum’s title hopes, after a sub-standard display with KWPN Zinedine (Guidam) amassing a total of 17 penalties to finish in 31st place. Edwina Tops-Alexander likewise failed to impress collecting 13 penalties and after heading to Doha 4th in the overall rankings.
Rolf-Goran Bengtsson on the other hand was in magnificent form with his much decorated stallion Casall Ask winning the competition following a second round that gave fans a spectacular head to head at the jump-off with the surprise of the day: Luciana Diniz. The Portuguese rider arrived at the event under the radar, but she surprised everyone with her second place which allowed her to obtain a place in the top-ten in the overall rankings.
Brash meanwhile was a little more conservative with his approach, preferring to rely on precision, using all the time available to go round the course and collecting one penalty. It was good enough to finish in 4th place and amass sufficient points to finish level in the overall standings with the match-winner Rolf-Goran Bengtsson.
This meant that the number of overall victories across the whole GCT season were taken into account and this was in favour of Brash by 3 victories to the Swede’s 2. Nevertheless, it was a fabulous display from Bengtsson who gave everything to win and missed out by a whisker.
Here are the rankings from today’s final stage of the GCT:
1st Rolf-Goran Bengtsson SWE Casall Ask
2nd Luciana Diniz POR Fit For Fun
3rd Yann Candele CAN Showgirl
4th Scott Brash GBR Hello Sanctos
5th Bassem Hassan Mohammed QAT Victoria
6th Daniel Deusser GER Cornet d’Amour
7th Jane Richard Philips SUI Pablo de Virton
8th Denis Lynch IRL All Star 5
9th Roger Yves Bost FRA Qoud’Coeur de la Loge
10th Pieter Devos BEL Dylano
Full standings: http://eventcontent.hippoonline.de/966/sta_erg/05_ergENG.htm?style=longines
FINAL LEADER BOARD:
1st SCOTT BRASH GBR 243 POINTS AND 3 WINS
2nd ROLF-GORAN BENGTSSON 243 POINTS AND 2 WINS
3rd Ludger Beerbaum GER 242
4th Bassem Hassan Mohammed QAT 213
5th Edwina Tops Alexander AUS 208
6th Henrik von Eckermann SWE 201
7th Daniel Deusser GER 197
8th Maikel van der Vleuten NED 187
9th Luciana Diniz POR 187
10th EMANUELE GAUDIANO ITA 177