Sergio Moya and Alamo blazed their way to victory in the LGCT Grand Prix of Berlin beating off a ferocious challenge from home star Marcus Ehning in a sizzling summer jump.
Moya is the 8th rider to join the star-studded line up of qualifiers for the prestigious Longines Global Champions Tour Super Grand Prix at the GC Prague in November.
In the heat of the German capital, fans filled the grass banks ringing the natural amphitheatre of Berlin’s Sommergarten. Moya rocketed into the overall Championship lead on 158 points with a 6 point margin ahead of Edwina Tops-Alexander (152 points) after she failed to qualify for the LGCT Grand Prix missing out on crucial extra points. Not present in Berlin this weekend Peder Fredricson is still a fraction behind in third place on 149 points.
An ecstatic Sergio Moya smiled: “I am crazy happy, I am delighted with the horse. He deserves a win and he tries so hard every time so I am really really happy for my horse. Ehning is always very dangerous but so are the others. I know my horse is fast in the jump-off and today I am just so pleased.”
German course designer Frank Rothenberger put together a big and delicate but fair course, featuring wide oxers that needed plenty of power interjected with light verticals requiring absolute control and precision in the compact oval arena. A solid wall, with an image of the Brandenberg Gate emblazoned across the facade, grabbed the attention of a few horses.
There was disappointment for home hero Ludger Beerbaum with Mila, the pair clipping a rail to collect four faults and rule them out of contention for a patriotic win today. Other top riders tried, and failed, to take on the course, with athletes such as Olivier and Nicola Philippaerts, Christian Ahlmann, Darragh Kenny, Eric van der Vleuten, and Evelina Tovek all picking up faults today.
The jump-off line was a feast of top show jumping speed stars with seven formidably fast combinations. First up to tackle the course was Leopold van Asten with the talented VDL Groep Elegant Hero Z. The Longines oxer and the first part of the double fell putting them straight out of contention for the win.
A brilliant round by Sergio Moya and Alamo who is jointly owned by Paris Saint-Germain F.C defender Sergio Ramos, put him straight on to the top of the leader board as the first clear in a blistering time for 36.40 seconds.
The temperature rose dramatically as Marcus Ehning and Stargold blasted into the arena. Ehning really challenged his horse and Stargold responded enthusiastically taking less strides to the final fence at a flat out gallop, but the pair crossed the line 0.10s slower than Moya in 36.50seconds.
Still looking for his first CSI5* Grand Prix win Bart Bles set off on a mission with Comme-Laude W. Pulling out all the stops, unfortunately, he was too risky into the combination and knocked the vertical coming out to finish on 4 faults and just narrowly missing out on the podium.
There was heartache for previous LGCT Grand Prix of Berlin winner Alberto Zorzi as his chances of doing the double were cut short when the first fence fell. Riding the stunning stallion Cinsey who has been so consistent all weekend it was an unusual 8 faults for the combination and a 5th place overall.
Young gun Spencer Smith was bitterly disappointed as he left the arena with 8 faults on the scoreboard and had to settle for 7th place with Quibelle.
Last to go the flying Frenchman Kevin Staut opened up to the first but was half a second down at the split time midway through the fast and furious jump-off. He then looked to ease off the power towards the latter part of the course aiming for the double clear and clinched the last spot on the podium with Tolede de Mescam Harcour.
So it would be a win for the Spanish rider Moya, his first so far this season, as he adds his name to the list of stars lining up for the LGCT Super Grand Prix.
The Longines Global Champions Tour now looks to London taking place at the prestigious Royal Hospital Chelsea where the Championship battle is set to get even more dramatic on Ben Maher and Scott Brash’s home turf.