The series leaders may have missed out on the Longines Global Champions Tour Chantilly podium on Saturday, July 18th, but the overall rankings nonetheless shifted and settled after the LGCT’s 10th of 15 stops on its 2015 circuit around the world.
Great Britain’s Scott Brash had what he would call a poor day (and what anyone else would call not so bad) – one rail down over two rounds to slot him into 8th place in the€300,000 Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Chantilly CSI5*. But with the absence from Chantilly of current LGCT series leader Luciana Diniz of Portugal, the points Brash gained on Saturday now puts him just two points behind Diniz on the series leaderboard, on 243 points to her 245. Christian Ahlmann, also absent from Chantilly, remains in 3rd place on 172 points.
While the race to get into, and remain, in podium position is the big attention-getter, at this stage in the season all other rankings from 4 through 30 start to become just as hotly contested. The top 30 on the LGCT ranking list are guaranteed their spot in the 2015 series final, to be held in Doha, Qatar from the 12-14 of November. There are now just four more chances this season for the scramble at the bottom of the top 30 to settle; the tour next goes to London, then Valkenswaard, Rome and finally Vienna before Doha.
After Chantilly, Qatar’s Bassem Hassan Mohammed and Germany’s Philip Weishaupt are tied on 66 points each for 30th place. Darragh Kenny of Ireland lies just outside the top 30, in 31st place.
Of course, some riders outside the top 30 could be granted wild cards should they wish to go to Doha, and fifteen slots are saved for the home riders at each LGCT stop, so the riders of Qatar can safely count on competing in their home country if they and their horses are fit and ready for the challenge.
As the 2013 and 2014 LGCT Series Champion, Brash knows how lucrative that top spot can be; he’s earned over €2 million euros in prize money in three years of competing on the Longines Global Champions Tour, nearly €800,000 of which he earned in 2014. At last year’s final in Qatar, prize money totaling €1 million euros was split among the top eight riders in the final, and Brash earned an additional bonus for earning the series championship.
Diniz, who has led the 2015 series for much of this season, was resting her horses this week but is on the list to compete at LGCT London. She’ll need to put in unbeatable rounds against Brash (who will be itching to win on home turf) in order to hang on to her lead. LGCT London begins on July 24th.