Spanish rider Sergio raises the stakes in Global Champions Tour
IKOLI VICTOR DOHA
SERGIO Alvarez Moya triumphed in the first big 5* class of the Global Champions Tour (GCT) season setting the stage for a thrilling Grand Prix on Saturday night with a convincing victory.
The leading Spanish rider outpaced the field with a clear round in 62.09 on his bay gelding Abab van het Molenhof.
Brazilian Alvaro de Miranda came in second on 63.66 on Rahmannshof’s Bogeno.
Speaking after his victory Sergio said, “I am very happy to win on the first day and I hope to keep it up. The course is very good for the horse. A lot of forward riding and its a big arena with long distances, so the horse can go really fast which he did.” Runner up Alvaro, known as Doda, praised Sergio for beating him to first place and said, “It’s between friends.” Sergio’s round was one of several excellent displays of super efficient riding with a series of extremely tight turns and big scopey jumps. Pius Schizer, of Switzerland, was third on 63.87 with French rider Simon Delestre, second in the previous class, fourth on 64.11. Both Sergio and Pius’ rounds were deceptively fast and a clear sign the competition will be exceptionally hot for ranking points and a share of the 450,000 euros Grand Prix prize money.
Under the night sky in Doha, some of the big stars of the sport of show jumping like Kevin Staut, Christian Ahlmann and Ludger Beerbaum all ended up with faults or time faults around the course designed by Uliano Vezzani.
The fast-paced class offered the riders and horses a great chance for some limbering up before the first Grand Prix of GCT 2012.
Top Qatari rider Sheikh Ali bin Khaled al Thani rode clear on his new stallion Whitaker proving he is ready to perform strongly in front of his home crowd at the weekend.
In Friday’s CSI 2* event, Naomi ridden by Ali Rumaihi Mubarak led ten others to win the CSI 2* Grand Prix taking the 6,600 euros from the 20,000 euros shared amongst the best twelve riders. Sheikh Ali bin Khaled al Thani’s Cascaono could not better Rumaih’s 30.06, clocking 31.48 seconds to stay second. Abdulrahman Nasser was third with Lucrate d’Eau Grenou.