Jane Richard Philips was the winner of the 1.50m/1.55m CSI5* on Thursday, April 13, 2017 during the Longines Global Champions Tour Miami Beach in Miami Beach, Florida, USA.
The Swiss rider was best in an order of 55 pairs that saw the new Global Champions League scoring format play out for 36 of those riders. It was a class that was at once an individual competition and also a combined team event—with one winner and two different, meaningful results.
In Round 1, the 18 GCL teams competed wearing their custom jackets and logo gear (the look is toned down a notch this year for one very big reason: the jackets are FEI approved, along with the class itself.) They were followed by 25 individual, non-team riders.
Philips rode as an individual, not as part of one of the 18, GCL teams of two, and so her result stood on its own apart from the League, which saw its own leaderboard emerge from the combined scores of each team.
Confusing? The Global Champions League/Global Champions Tour hopes that any confusion is merely a growing pain, as the unfamiliar format grabs hold for the first time this season.
Looked at through Philips’ eyes, the €62,400 prize money ranking class was a one round jumpoff competition (note that Philips is a member of a GCL team, but she is not representing her team at Miami Beach.) Philips rode Dieudonne de Guldenboom, a 14-year-old BWP gelding (Nabab de Reve x Gibramino) to the win over a seven-horse jumpoff. With the late afternoon sun casting deep shadows across this seaside arena, rails fell during the shortened track to produce just three double clear rides of the day.
Often a sure thing in classes like this, Ireland’s Bertram Allen rode just before Philips and took over the lead aboard Hector van d’Abdijhoeve. But the high flying hind end of his 10-year-old BWP stallion (Cabrio van de Heffinck x Utrillo van de Heffinck) may have cost him precious time, as last to go Philips found a quicker track in 40.86 seconds to Allen’s 42.13 seconds.
Speaking of Allen, the class could also be looked at quite differently through his eyes; Allen was one half of the Valkenswaard United GCL team that competed, and his clear Round 1 paired with his teammate Alberto Zorzi’s clear Round 1 meant that they were best of the GCL’s 18 teams. Both Zorzi and Allen jumped clear in the jumpoff, with Zorzi finishing in 3rd place as an individual.
No other teams completed two clear rounds. GCL team Doha Fursan Qatar came closest for a 2nd place ranking with a single time penalty from both Sheikh Ali Al Thani and Bassem Mohammed. The London Knights are just behind in 3rd place due to Ben Maher’s clear round, and a single pole down from Kent Farrington.
Allen and Zorzi now lead the GCL Miami Beach standings, and will return on Saturday to compete in the second of the GCL’s two rounds. That competition will be held right before the Longines CSI5* Grand Prix of Miami Beach. It will run in the same combined scoring format with individuals riding first, and teams second. Valkenswaard United have the benefit of coming back last in the order of the GCL class, as well as the benefit of being the GCL ranking leaders; they won the GCL final last week in Mexico City.
Stay tuned for more on just how the GCL final will run, and how it affects the new format of the CSI5* Longines Grand Prix at every LGCT leg this season.
See the individual results at this link.
See the GCL team results at this link.