Photo: Stefano Grasso/LGCT
Edwina Tops-Alexander has won the €1.25m Longines Global Champions Tour Super Grand Prix on the “incredible” California.
‘Go for it’
The inaugural LGCT Super Grand Prix took place at the O2 Arena in Prague. It featured 16 elite riders who won a Grand Prix during the LGCT 2018 series, but it was Australia’s Edwina who proved to be the best of the best.
“I really didn’t think I had won, I couldn’t see the scoreboard,” said Edwina. “After I had the fence down I thought I have just got to go for it.
“I can’t believe it, I’ve had the most amazing three weeks of my life and to finish by winning the LGCT Super Grand Prix is incredible.”
Proving what a tough competition this is, there were only three clears in the first round. One came from Shane Breen, who incurred a single time penalty, and the others were from world number one Harrie Smoulders and Edwina.
One of the shock results was from 2018 LGCT champion Ben Maher who had two rails down with Explosion W. They made up for it by jumping clear in the jump-off, which was enough for fifth place.
“Today wasn’t our day today,” said Ben. “It’s easy to forget Explosion W is only nine and has limited experienced indoors, but I’m happy he grew so quickly in the second round. I can’t be disappointed when he’s had such an amazing year.”
Hit the deck
Shane went on to retire Ipswich Van De Wolfsakker when the rails started falling, while Harrie Smolders hit the deck after Zinius ducked out at the Rolls Royce vertical.
It all came down to Edwina, who has been on great form recently. To win the class she either needed to jump clear, or have one down and beat Ludger Beerbaum’s time of 61.56sec. When she knocked fence eight, she accelerated down the final line to finish less than half a second quicker than Ludger and take the title.
Don’t miss GCT 2018: Prague when it premieres on Horse & Country on Friday 21 December at 9pm.