02 March 2024

Emotional Abdel Saïd and Bonne Amie Triumph in Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Doha

Emotional Abdel Saïd and Bonne Amie Triumph in Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Doha

The €375,000 Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Doha witnessed a sensational showdown with a 10-rider jump-off at the Longines Arena in Al Shaqab. It was Belgium’s Abdel Saïd and the remarkable, Bonne Amie, emerging victorious after a heart-stopping class. 

Their triumph not only secured the win but also propelled them to claim the lead in the prestigious LGCT Championship race, after collecting maximum points tonight with a spectacular sound and light show at the prize-giving ceremony, rounded off three days of the highest calibre show jumping kicking off the supreme test to find the 2024 LGCT Champion.  

In an electrifying round, Abdel Saïd and Bonne Amie showcased their mastery clinching victory by the narrowest of margins. Their flawless performance saw them edge out rising star Harry Allen and Calculatus by a mere 0.21 seconds in his first-ever LGCT Grand Prix! Landing himself on the podium in his debut and beating show jumping legends like Marcus Ehning and Coolio 42. 

Abdel and Bonne Amie are proven players on the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix starting grid, with a number of brilliant performances in 2023, however, the duo had never quite secured the elusive win. Speaking of his equine partner, Abdel said: “I am really delighted with her, she’s an incredible horse but she’s a sensitive big lady. I struggled a little in the jump-offs last year, I would maybe override her a little or not ride with enough feeling… but today it felt as though she matured and grew with some small changes and I am really thrilled that it came together today, she truly deserves this win.”

Abdel’s victory secured him the first coveted spot in the LGCT Super Grand Prix at the GC Playoffs held in Riyadh later this year. Clearly filled with emotion after his triumph he smiled: “To be here in this incredible venue at Al Shaqab is an incredible feeling - a mix of the hospitality, the venue, the organization by the team at Global Champions, it couldn’t be a better time for it all to come together.”

Supported by his multiple Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix-winning brother, Bertram Allen, Harry spoke of a well-executed plan landing him and Calculatus in second place. “I was very lucky, Bertram flew out yesterday to help me - we made a very good plan and it all came together. I’m absolutely delighted, my horse couldn't have jumped better”.

The competition was fierce, however, it was Saïd and Bonne Amie who stole the spotlight, delivering a performance that left spectators standing in their seats and cheering at the top of their lungs. The only other two double clear rounds were from Wilm Vermeir on Iq van het Steentje, and the first of the evening, Abdulrahman Alrajhi with Ventago, securing impressive 5th and 6th place finishes, respectively. While Christian Kukuk, aiming to improve on last year's second-place finish, took bold risks but was ultimately relegated to 6th place after a rail down with Checker 47.

Having stood on the top of the Longines Global Champions Tour podium as the overall season champion in 2010 Marcus Ehning is a famed name in the LGCT history books, and today was no different. In the official press conference, Ehning spoke of the partnership he and Coolio 42 have. He said: “Coolio is quite a new horse for me, I have had him for maybe half a year. Yesterday he was double clear in the GCL, and today double clear again, I am very excited for the future and more than happy.” 

The course proved difficult as many top combinations were struggling to master the challenges of the substantial 1.60m track built by Uliano Vizzani. It was top sporting entertainment for the fans watching around the world on GCTV. With 38 combinations fired up for action, it was soon clear one of the trickiest lines in the course was one to two as several riders opted to retire like previous LGCT Grand Prix winning combinations of Malin Baryard-Johnsson on H&M Indiana and Sanne Thijssen with Con Quidam RB. 

Olivier Perreau and Gl Events Dorai d'Aiguilly fought valiantly but couldn't match the pace, settling for 7th overall also on 4 faults. An incredible story of the evening was Eduardo Alvarez Aznar and the seasoned 19-year-old Rokfeller de Pleville Bois Margot, after an early fault in the jump-off they opted for a steadier pace but good enough to finish into the top 10. 

Making his debut on the tour last season, Philipp Schulze Topphoff and Carla Nrw demonstrated their raw talent and consistency yet again with 9th overall after the lightest of touches in the jump-off. Meanwhile, last year's LGCT Grand Prix of Paris winners, Christian Ahlmann and Mandato van de Neerheide, faced challenges as it wasn’t their day and finished with 12 faults, rounding off the top 10.

The LGCT Grand Prix of Doha set the stage for an exhilarating season ahead, with Saïd and Bonne Amie setting the bar high. As the Championship race now heads to America for LGCT Miami Beach from 3 - 6 April, anticipation mounts for what is guaranteed to be a one of a kind 2024 season!



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