Christian Ahlmann’s Hold on 2016 LGCT Series Lead Slips After Paris Leg

Christian Ahlmann & Carabis Z compete in the LGCT GP of Paris
Christian Ahlmann & Carabis Z compete in the LGCT GP of Paris
Christian Ahlmann & Carabis Z compete in the LGCT GP of Paris

As far as the lucrative LGCT 2016 series rankings were concerned, Christian Ahlmann took a risk on Saturday, July 2nd, 2016 by entering a young horse still getting comfortable with the top level of sport in the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Paris.

With Caribis Z, a 9-year-old Zangersheide stallion (Caritano x Canabis) that jumped his first CSI5* classes last December, Ahlmann picked up 8 faults in Round 1 and failed to advance in the Grand Prix.

That result had a dramatic effect on his hold at the top of the LGCT series rankings; with Grand Prix winner Rolf-Goran Bengtsson picking up the maximum 40 ranking points in the class, Ahlmann’s lead shrunk to just nine points over Bengtsson. He’s still in 1st place, but just barely so. Australia’s Edwina Tops Alexander is not far behind in 3rd place in the rankings, and Bertram Allen of Ireland lies in 4th, with Great Britain’s John Whitaker rounding out the top five.

“I tried my best. Caribis Z is a very young horse,” Ahlmann said. “I hope next week to go a step further. It is getting closer and closer. It is getting really tight now. I need to get the reins a bit shorter and get some more points.”

Ahlmann plans to compete at the 11th leg of the Longines Global Champions Tour, next week in Estoril, Portugal, and it’s expected that he’ll bring one of his top horses along to try and widen the rankings gap again. At the end of the season, the 2016 LGCT Series Champion earns the lionshare of a 1 million bonus in addition to grand prix prize money.

There are four stages yet to go for Ahlmann to do the work required to hold on to his lead, but with many of the top ranked series riders bound to shift their focus to the Rio Olympic Games in five weeks time, the rankings could shift about even more. However, with LGCT Valkenswaard falling two weekends before Rio, and the concluding legs of Rome, Vienna, and Doha picking back up in September, if a rider has a deep enough string of horses, the possibility exists to succeed in both the world’s richest show jumping tour, and on the world’s biggest stage for sport.

View the complete updated 2016 LGCT Series Rankings after leg 10 in Paris at this link.