Ben Maher takes St Tropez Global Champions Tour title

...

Posted: Jun 4, 2018 12:42 PM
Updated: Jun 4, 2018 12:42 PM

Ben Maher continued his successful Longines Global Champions Tour campaign by winning Saturday's Grand Prix of St Tropez.

It was the 25-year-old's second victory of the season having taken top honors in Madrid last month.

In Spain, the Briton rode Explosion W to victory but, with that horse resting back home, Maher put his faith in another nine-year-old gelding, Winning Good.

"I'm absolutely delighted," he said. "My horse, Winning Good, is only nine-years-old so he's young for this level. He gave me everything today. He was a bit tired in the jump-off which really tested his ability. I'm very lucky right now with the horses I have to ride. They are young and have bright futures.''

The event in the South of France was making its debut on the Longines Global Champions Tour.

Organized by the daughter of the late Greek shipping magnet Aristotle Onnasis, the Longines Athina Onassis Horse Show was established in 2014 and the red carpet was rolled out as VIPs and beautifully dressed guests flocked to the sixth event of the 2018 Global Champions season.

Just a short stroll from the turquoise waters of the famous Pampelonne Beach, under blue skies the crowd were treated to an exciting finale to the show. Of the 34 who qualified for the -300,000 Grand Prix, seven riders made it through to the jump-off against the clock.

First into the sand arena was the European Champion and Olympic Silver Medalist, Peder Fredricson. Riding Hasson WL he put the pressure on the remaining riders with a smooth clear.

Following the Swedish rider, poles fell for American Lillie Keenan and Belgium's Olivier Philippaerts and Niels Bruynseels before Australia's Edwina Tops-Alexander, on board her LGCT Miami Beach-winning horse, California, put in a faster clear to move into pole position.

Maher, the penultimate rider to enter the ring, would need to take a risk if he was to better her time. Turning tightly he took a stride out into the double of fences across the center of the arena, and his bravery was rewarded as he bettered the Australian's time by over a second.

The final rider, Carlos Lopez, from Colombia, split the pair to finish second to record a career best finish in an LGCT Grand Prix.

With the top five riders in the overall LGCT rankings all competing in St Tropez, the class had the potential to shake up the overall season rankings.

READ: The 62-year-old eying the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Leader, Scott Brash, earlier clocked up 12 penalties on his gelding, Hello Mr President, so failed to qualify for the Grand Prix.

His absence means he drops to third place with both Tops-Alexander and Maher moving above him. Australia's Tops-Alexander leads with 154 points, 11 clear of Maher on 143 with nine events remaining in 2018.

Global Champions League

Earlier in the day, Shanghai Swans recorded a comfortable victory in the Global Champions League team competition. Germany's Daniel Deusser and Brazil's Pedro Veniss were the only duo to record four clear rounds across the two-day team event.

Italian course designer Uliano Vetzzani took no prisoners in building Saturday's final round. With most of the fences up to the 1m 55cm maximum height and in the small purpose-built arena, poles fell as the very best were tested.

Of the 62 starters, only 12 riders jumped clear and the enthusiastic crowd were treated to a master class from the winning team.

Veniss, riding his powerful chestnut stallion Quabri de L'Isle, was the first of the pair to make the course look easy. His clear round gave German Olympic bronze medalist, Deusser, an eight fault, or two pole, buffer ahead of his round.

A buffer that wasn't needed as he, like Viness, recorded a smooth clear on Tobago Z to claim the top spot on the podium.

Deusser said he didn't feel any nerves as he entered the arena as the last rider to go. "With Pedro jumping clear, the pressure was off me," he said. "Nevertheless I was very confident in my horse after he jumped so well in the first round yesterday. The fences were big enough for the size of the arena and they came very fast. I can see why the course caused so much trouble.''

The top 16-ranked teams this season will qualify for the inaugural Global Champions Play Offs in Prague in December, which has a record prize pot of $10m, including $3m for the winning team.

Veniss added: "Our goal for this season is to qualify for Prague so we will keep fighting for that. My horse was amazing today and it's a pleasure to ride alongside Daniel."

League leaders, London Knights, moved up from fifth place overnight to claim second. The pair of Maher and Belgium's Olivier Philippaerts finished on eight faults, or two poles down, with with home favourite Roger-Yves Bost and Colombia's Carlos Lopez in third for Chantilly Pegasus.

Having won in both Shanghai and Madrid, London Knights second-place finish sees them extend their lead at the top of the table after the sixth leg of the championship. Reigning league champions, Valkenswaard United, remain in second, while the win in St Tropez for Shangahi Swans moves them up to third place on the overall league leaderboard.

The Longines Global Champions Tour and Global Champions League stay on the French Rivera with the next event taking place in Cannes next weekend.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 37624

Reported Deaths: 1503
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin12150785
Ramsey4805226
Stearns234519
Dakota228690
Anoka2180107
Nobles16626
Olmsted110115
Washington106940
Mower9452
Rice8357
Scott7004
Clay58538
Kandiyohi5701
Wright4565
Blue Earth4532
Todd4002
Carver3641
Lyon3092
Sherburne3075
Freeborn2900
Steele2281
Watonwan2160
Benton2143
St. Louis17715
Martin1635
Nicollet15912
Cottonwood1340
Goodhue1298
Winona12215
Crow Wing10612
Pine1030
Le Sueur981
Chisago971
Otter Tail931
McLeod880
Carlton850
Dodge840
Polk812
Chippewa781
Unassigned7637
Isanti720
Itasca6412
Waseca640
Douglas620
Meeker611
Morrison591
Murray580
Becker550
Faribault550
Jackson550
Sibley542
Pennington500
Pipestone371
Mille Lacs342
Renville322
Wabasha310
Brown302
Rock300
Yellow Medicine300
Beltrami290
Fillmore280
Houston250
Swift211
Norman200
Wilkin203
Redwood180
Cass152
Wadena150
Aitkin140
Big Stone140
Kanabec141
Koochiching141
Roseau130
Marshall120
Grant100
Lincoln100
Pope100
Mahnomen81
Clearwater70
Hubbard60
Lake60
Traverse50
Lac qui Parle40
Stevens40
Red Lake30
Kittson20
Cook10
Lake of the Woods00

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 30975

Reported Deaths: 720
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk6464179
Woodbury321544
Black Hawk225258
Buena Vista171111
Johnson12648
Dallas126329
Linn126282
Marshall104319
Scott77810
Story7623
Pottawattamie72111
Wapello70630
Dubuque68322
Crawford6772
Muscatine62944
Sioux4630
Tama46229
Wright3801
Louisa36013
Jasper32317
Plymouth3165
Warren2731
Dickinson2642
Washington2369
Webster2132
Hamilton1871
Cerro Gordo1561
Boone1481
Clay1330
Clarke1312
Allamakee1284
Mahaska11517
Shelby1140
Clinton1071
Poweshiek1048
Carroll961
Pocahontas941
Bremer926
Franklin890
Des Moines882
Henry863
Emmet850
Cedar821
Taylor790
Monona760
Cherokee751
Floyd722
Hardin700
Marion700
Guthrie664
Benton651
Sac630
Jefferson590
Osceola590
Jones560
Humboldt541
Butler532
Harrison530
Lee532
Hancock510
Iowa510
Buchanan501
Monroe506
Calhoun492
Delaware491
Fayette480
Madison452
Clayton433
Lyon410
Palo Alto410
Davis391
Winneshiek380
Grundy370
Mitchell370
Mills360
Howard350
Kossuth340
Lucas304
Greene290
Jackson290
Chickasaw280
Winnebago280
Union270
Ida230
Cass220
Appanoose203
Keokuk201
Page200
Van Buren200
Worth190
Audubon161
Unassigned160
Adair150
Ringgold150
Decatur110
Montgomery102
Wayne100
Adams80
Fremont70
Rochester
Clear
88° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 91°
Mason City
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 88°
Albert Lea
Scattered Clouds
86° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 89°
Austin
Scattered Clouds
88° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 93°
Charles City
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 89°
Hot and sticky fourth of July weekend
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Alternative baseball hopes to come to the Med City in 2021

Image

FOURTH OF JULY IN AUSTIN AND STEWARTVILLE

Image

Seans 6pm Weather 7/4

Image

Fans excited for Honkers return

Image

Honkers fall to St. Cloud in home opener

Image

Baseball returns to the Med City

Image

Seans 10pm Weather 7/3

Image

Leaders advocate for the homeless

Image

Fireworks Show During the Pandemic

Image

Pillars of the City Unveiled

Community Events