The world’s most glamorous and most lucrative showjumping series has kicked off in Mexico City, with Martin Fuchs winning the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix.
The young Swiss star showed nerves of steel to take the title riding his stallion Chaplin, who was competing in his first CSI5* outdoor grand prix.
Six of the 25 starters made it through to the jump-off and they provided a thrilling climax to a competitive class. Belgium’s Niels Bruynseels set the standard with a fast time of 37.58sec riding Gancia de Muze. However, Martin managed to shave off half a second to win the class on 37.07sec.
“Niels is one of the fastest in the world with Gancia, but my horse is also super fast and I took all the risks,” said Martin. “Chaplin gave his heart for me and I’m very happy.”
Catch all the action
Martin comes from good showjumping stock, as his dad Thomas represented Switzerland in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, while his uncle Markus competed in five Olympics and was chef d’equipe for the Swiss team at London 2012.
Maikel van der Vleuten and VDL Groep Arera C were third, just ahead of Lorenzo de Luca who went for a slow and steady clear with Armitages Boy.
Scott Brash went out in the first round, after Ursula had an uncharacteristic three down. He wasn’t the only top rider to run into trouble over the tough course, as last year’s winner Roger Yves Bost and Olympic medallist Eric Lamaze both retired after incurring early penalties, while Simon Delestre was eliminated.
You can watch all the action from Mexico, right here on H&C TV, as we are bringing you two-hour long highlight shows from all 15 legs in the series.
New London venue
Scott was more successful in the Global Champions League, as he came second in the opening round and won the second competition, with Hello M’Lady.
However, it was reigning champions Valkenswaard United – comprised of Bertram Allen and Italy’s lberto Zorzi – who took the overall team win.
It was a great show for Bertram who also won the opening CSI5* with Ben Maher’s former ride Quiet Easy 4.
Now in it’s 12th season, the Longines Global Champions Tour spans three continents and takes in the world’s most exciting cities including Paris, Monaco, London, Shanghai, Rome and Doha. The second leg takes place this weekend (13-15 April) on Miami Beach.
This year’s London event will be held at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, home to the Chelsea Flower Show, on 4-6 August.
Don’t miss GCT 2017: Mexico City when it comes to H&C TV. You can find us on Sky 253, or watch online by subscribing to H&C Play.