The final day of competition at the Longines Global Champions Tour of Hamburg saw lightning-fast Irishman Shane Breen pull out a stellar round with Z7 Ipswitch, much to the local spectators' delight in the Idee Kaffee Championat of Hamburg.
Breen finished half a second ahead of his nearest competitor Tobias Meyer and Greatest Boy - H, with third going to the experienced Denis Lynch and GC Chopin’s Bushi - as temperatures rose in Germany to conclude the three days of incredible competition.
Pleased with his win Shane Breen said: “It is great to be back here in Hamburg and see such a great crowd out. I’m delighted with the win, Z7 Ipswitch was wonderful and I even managed to navigate the last few jumps with no front shoes on. He lost them halfway around so full credit to him. I wasn’t going to jump today and then I changed my mind last night and I’m glad I did because he loved it.”
Frank Rothenberger put together another technical course at the Derby-Park Klein Flottbeck arena, the 1.50m fences set at thoughtful distances and giving plenty of options to the international field. A long treble required plenty of control and concentration, with the light poles coming up thick and fast.
It was a 12-rider jump-off, and with €95.000 euros in prize money it was all to play for in the race to the finish.
On home turf Laura Klaphake drew the unenviable task of first to go, setting off at a gallop and clearly shooting for the win. The young star moved Camalita around the arena with ease, delivering the all important clear in 45.46s and putting the pressure on the rest of the field.
The clear rounds kept coming as both Denis Lynch and Geir Gulliksen secured clear rounds on GC Chopin’s Bushi and Grandino H. Both horses excelled in the huge grass arena taking the tricky course all in their stride to come home in 42.63s and Gulliksen just behind in 44.23 seconds. Jur Vrieling and Long John Silver 3 opted for a steady clear, managing the course to finish in 49.49s - considerably slower and leaving the door open.
Shane Breen shifted the competition up a gear as the Irishman powered around the arena with Z7 Ipswitch. Cutting out strides and shaving milliseconds off the corners even after losing two front shoes the lack of studs didn’t slow the pair down stopping the clock in a blistering time of 41.16 seconds.
It wasn’t meant to be for Marcus Ehning and Funky Fred on home turf today as they opted to retire, saving him for another day. Poles fell for Michael Pender with HHS Catwalk, Marlon Modolo Zanotelli and Obora's Chloe as well as a gut wrenching knock at the final fence for Dani G. Waldman and Happy Girl put them all out of contention for the win today.
The youngest of the German riders to go Zoe Osterhoff rode Ferrari VDL today. The crowd cheered as she flew through the finish clear and in a respectable time of 42.97s. Next up Yuri Mansure slotted in just behind the young German also keeping all the fences up in 43.31 seconds.
With just one rider left to go, local spectators held their breath in hope for a win on home turf. Tobias Meyerand Greatest Boy - H he knew it would be a tough one to beat but the German rider gave it everything at a flat out gallop from start to finish but they couldn’t quite match the pace and had to settle for second place today.
So the win would go to Shane Breen, the rider standing proudly as the National Anthem played out before raising his hat in celebration on a galloping lap of honour, much to the delight of the crowd.
The next stop for the Longines Global Champions Tour is two weeks in Rome, Italy from 10 - 12 & 16 - 18 September.