The GCT championship race intensified dramatically tonight with only five points between Edwina Tops-Alexander and Rolf-Göran Bengtsson after one of the most electrifying Grand Prix of the season.
American rider Laura Kraut won the first-ever Global Champions Tour Grand Prix in Switzerland on her 14-year-old grey Cedric - even beating her partner and Olympic gold medalist Nick Skelton in the jump off. Laura admitted she was “over the moon” and the jump off had a nailbiting twist with Australian rider Edwina facing a tough challenge for the No1 ranking spot from Swedish rider Rolf.
The smooth Swede cranked up the pressure dramatically by jumping clear in 45.37 on his champion horse Casall La Silla. Edwina came into the ring on Cevo Itot du Château but notched up 4 faults putting her in third place. Laura was next in and set off at a dazzling pace on Cedric, putting in a brilliant turn to the double and chasing down Rolf’s time to finish in 42.53.
The GCT now moves to Vienna for its debut event in Austria next week and then to the final in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates in November. Tonight’s Grand Prix result shifted the overall GCT ranking significantly. Edwina remains leader on 196 points with Rolf in second place on 191. It means the final two events in Vienna and Abu Dhabi are set to be cliffhangers as Edwina - 2011 champion - aims to become the first-ever rider to win two GCT seasons in a row. Tonight’s third place in the Grand Prix has also pushed her overall GCT prize money earnings even closer to the €2m mark.
The climax to GCT’s debut in Lausanne, Switzerland, was played out on the shores of Lake Geneva against a breathtaking backdrop of the Alps. Thirty of the top 35 riders took part and the top-level action was watched by an international audience on Eurosport.
Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Switzerland
Table A: Two Rounds with Jump-Off, 2nd Round Against the Clock
1 Cedric, Laura Kraut, 94,050
2 Casall La Silla, Rolf-Göran Bengtsson, 57,000
3 Cevo Itot du Château, Edwina Tops-Alexander, 42,750
4 Lennox, Luciana Diniz, 28,500
5 Sterrehof's Tamino, Marc Houtzager, 17,100
6 Big Star, Nick Skelton, 8,550
7 Regina Z, Harrie Smolders, 5,700
8 Mylord Carthago*HN, Pénélope Leprevost, 5,700
9 Codex One, Christian Ahlmann, 5,700
10 Chaman, Ludger Beerbaum, 4,275
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