Daniel Deusser & Hidalgo. Ph. LGCT/Stefano Grasso
The final class of the 2017 Longines Global Champions Tour of Shanghai CSI5* was a success for Germany’s Daniel Deusser and Hidalgo SX, who won the €270,000 Massimo Dutti Trophy CSI5* with the only double clear performance in a four-rider jumpoff.
Riders fought hard for their share of the prize purse over a challenging course to finish the weekend of top sport and entertainment. With the evolution of show jumping in China on an upwards trajectory since the LGCT debut in 2014, fans queued early at the gates in order to witness the stars of the sport in a glorious display of action. In what’s become a highlight on the Shanghai social scene, ladies donned beautiful outfits including hats and fascinators, and the stands and luxurious VIP hospitality bustled with the air of excitement and expectation ahead of the final class.
With the 60m x 80m square arena layout, Italian designer Uliano Vezzani set another challenging course for the top riders in the world. Plenty of turn backs, sharp corners and related distances came into play, and riders were met with a big oxer to start, a formidable feat to set the scene for the course to come, with a tight time allowed of 80 seconds.
The first of the related distances from a big wide oxer required a lot of power, before six strides up to a skinny blue plank, set against a blue background which caused a few problems. Another, 1.55m water tray feature fence – with the distracting base on the landing side – caught out a few of the top riders. One of the most difficult fences however was undoubtedly the penultimate combination featuring a big parallel with a very short double of verticals immediately after, all positioned towards the in-gate.
Deusser and Hidalgo SX were the first to go clear, crossing the finish line five hundredths of a second inside the time allowed. Gregory Wathelet of Belgium and Eldorado van het Vijverhof were next to jump cleanly. Israel’s Danielle Goldstein and Caspar 213 jumped a beautiful clear after a great try, but agonizingly picked up 1 time fault eliminating them from the jump-off.
Accuracy was the name of the game, with Niels Bruynseels of Belgium and Angel van T Hof taking the audiences’ breath away as he jumped clear in 79.90s, just fractions from the time allowed and progressed through to the jump-off. Roger-Yves Bost of France and Pegase du Murier also looked strong to be in contention, but as they cleared the penultimate combination Pegase ran out back towards the in-gate meaning Bosty had to circle, collecting faults.
The final rider to join the jump-off would be German’s Marco Kutscher with Chaccorina, making it a 50/50 Belgian/German rider final.
As first to go, Deusser knew he had to throw down the gauntlet to the rest of the world class field behind him. A brave turn back to penultimate fence and a gallop to the last saw the pair stop the clocks in 41.71 seconds, ensuing a nervous wait as the rest of the field took centre stage.
Wathelet and Eldorado van het Vijverhof pulled out all the stops – the pair took six strides to the skinny plank, but knocked it down as they sailed through. Despite this, they were quicker in 41.24 seconds, giving an indicator that the potential to better Daniel’s time was still there.
Bruynseels and Angel van T Hof were clear until they took the final fence down. Remarkably they stopped the clock in 41.24 seconds, meaning the two Belgians were equal in second place overall.
Last to go Kutcher gave everything, but took out the Longines vertical on his way, dropping down the order, to 3rd place. So it was Deusser who took the win, the perfect end to a stunning Shanghai Longines Global Champions Tour.
The Longines Global Champions Tour and Global Champions League now heads to Madrid, where the first of the European legs of the Championship will get underway. Lorenzo de Luca of Italy will be hoping to defend his overall Ranking lead from Maikel van der Vleuten of The Netherlands as two time LGCT Champion of Champions Scott Brash will begin his challenge to make history by becoming the first rider ever to win the title three times.
See the complete results list of the Massimo Dutti trophy here.