There was real drama in the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix in Berlin, with Ben Maher missing his flight and home star Christian Ahlmann missing out on a win after losing his stirrup.
In the end it was Alberto Zorzi who took the title, following a flying round on Fair Light van T Heike. Christian won the Grand Prix last year, but this time he couldn’t quite beat Alberto’s fast time .
The Italian rider clearly meant business and he blasted into the arena with Fairlight. The pair took strides out to a couple of fences, saving them valuable seconds and they crossed the line in an impressive time of 35.53sec.
Star-studded line up
Christian Ahlmann rode a brilliant round on Clintrexo Z, and was ahead of Alberto at several points on the course. However, the German champion lost his stirrup in the run to the last fence and had to take a wide turn, which put him in second place on 36.65sec.
Alberto has become the 12th rider to join the star-studded line up of qualifiers for the LGCT Super Grand Prix at the first-ever GC Playoffs in Prague in December.
Ben misses out
Overall LGCT ranking leader Ben Maher was due to compete, but he missed the class following delayed and cancelled flights due to storms in England.
Ben is still in the lead on 237 points but Harrie Smolders (215 points) and Edwina Tops-Alexander (212 points) are breathing down his neck:
“I did my best to get here,” said Ben. “We have London next week, which is our home show and my horse has had a nice holiday in Berlin. I am lucky to be in a good position but others are very close now.”
The Tour now heads to the Royal Hospital Chelsea in London, which you can watch on Horse & Country. We are going behind-the-scenes in Rudall’s Round-Up, and are also showing highlights of the Grand Prix from London and Berlin.
GCT 2018: Berlin premieres on 4 August at 8pm
GCT 2018: London premieres on 11 August at 8pm
Rudall’s Round-Up 2018: GCT London premieres on 20 August at 8.30pm