Ludger Beerbaum and his superstar 10-year-old mare Mila won their second LGCT Grand Prix of 2022 in phenomenal style. Last to go the German Champion delivered a lightning-fast round setting up the tantalising prospect of a historic Championship battle.
As Beerbaum already claimed his golden ticket in Doha, second place by just 0.05s Denis Lynch becomes the third athlete to qualify for the Longines Global Champions Super Grand Prix later this year in Prague. Michael Duffy and the superstar Zilton Sl Z secured third place to match their best finish in an LGCT Grand Prix.
The packed crowds enjoyed a riveting climax to the day as they enthusiastically watched on to see who would claim individual honours in the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix in the heart of Mexico City resented by GNP Seguros.
An ecstatic Ludger Beerbaum said: “I really didn’t think I could beat the time. I almost went too slowly home because in the end it was just five hundredths quicker but I am absolutely thrilled and it is thanks to a fantastic horse for this opportunity. She has all the talent. I enjoy the moment and I couldn’t be more pleased”
Thanking the thousands of spectators Beerbaum said: “This is something I would really like to say and I don’t say it every week but believe me without the atmosphere, without the crowd cheering all of us on but especially me this makes the show so unbelievably special.”
A relentless, up-to-height track curved around this vast grass arena. But the most influential line came down the home stretch with the final fence keeping huge names out of the jump-off. While a tight time allowed also added to the pressure knocking Derin Demirsoy and Georgina Bloomberg out of the jump-off.
In one of the most electric jump-offs of the season so far 6 world-class horses and riders came forward to bid for glory.
First up young talent, Gilles Thomas was aiming to do two better than his third place on the podium in the LGCT Grand Prix of Miami Beach last week. Riding the same talented mare Luna van het Dennehof the pair gave it their all. Taking the tightest of turns to the rollback to fence three the pair were a little far off and the fence came crashing down before they stopped the clock with 4 faults on the board in 46.49s.
Denis Lynch hasn't won a LGCT Grand Prix in 14 years so today he meant business. He set off at a flat out gallop on Brooklyn Heights across the huge grass arena. They took it all in their stride and flew over the last in 44.56s and propelled themselves into the lead.
The second rider for Belgium in the jump-off was Pieter Devos and his previous LGCT Grand Prix winner Claire Z but it was all over when the lightest of touches added 4 faults to his tally and off the podium today.
Britain's only hope in the jump-off, Ben Maher looked on track for a win with Faltic HB in their first CSI5* Grand Prix Jump-Off together but the talk vertical mid-course caught the pair out and they had to settle for fourth place overall.
Will just Beerbaum and Michael Duffy left to go and Beerbam already qualified for the LGCT Super Grand Prix Duffy knew this was his chance. He gave it everything that had in the tank as the scopey gelding cruised over the fences but Duffy took a check to the final fence adding a stride and costing him vital milliseconds. He shook his head as the crowd groaned when it showed his time to be 0.03 seconds slower than Denis handing him the golden ticket but securing a podium position.
The living legend Ludger Beerbaum and his sensational Mila were last to go for the second time this season. Proving once again his sheer class and style the German rider put Mila in the perfect spot to the last clinching the win ahead of Lynch by 0.05s as the crowd erupted.
The fourth leg of the LGCT and GCL Championship race takes place in two weeks time in the dazzling destination of Madrid as the 17-event circuit gathers pace in Europe.