ell we know who is in Abu Dhabi this week, but who is not is the big question…
I was surprised not to see Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum on the start list for tomorrow however with Meredith’s clear sights set on the World Cup in Gothenburg in April, it seems that after Stuttgart, the famed German jockey will want to rest Bella Donna for Geneva in two weeks time.
We also won’t see Steve Guerdat on the list for tomorrow or today, depending on where in the world you are. Fresh off his big win in Rio de Janeiro where he won the Athina Onassis Grand Prix, one of the biggest purses on the circuit. It seems that Mr. Guerdat has puts his money where his mouth is, expressing some of his dislikes for the Global Champions Tour earlier in September.
Steve stands in 28th position so he was well within the points to attend Abu Dhabi but he seems to be concentrating his efforts on the World Cup. I’m sure we can count on seeing him in Geneva next month.
Apparently, there was some mix ups regarding vaccinations with a lot of horses. I know that many of the riders had every intention to attend this week in Abu Dhabi but it seems there were complications and many of the horses were unable to make the vaccination requirements to travel. This has no doubt been a big disappointment for Jan Tops and the Global Champions Tour, which has 10 less riders then last year in the start list for the season’s final Grand Prix. Many riders who were able to attend, had to elect to ride younger horses or less seasoned horses because their top mounts did not make the vaccination requirements necessary to make the trip to Abu Dhabi.
Richard Spooner is also another surprising no-show in Abu Dhabi this week. Many were looking forward to seeing the ‘Master of the Faster’ and his WBFSH leading horse Cristallo attend the event, hosted in the United Arab Emirates this week as Richard stands in 6th place on the GCT rankings.
Scott Brash is another no-show for this week’s GCT Grand Finale, which comes as a disappointment for the 27 year old Olympian. Scott spoke openly about his preparations in Vienna for the big show down in Abu Dhabi this week, but it seems that his famed mount Hello Sanctos was also amongst those horses unable to attend this week’s final due to vaccination complications.
Scott’s Olympic team mate Ben Maher is also another who was unable to take the flight east for the GCT Grand Final. Despite is every intention to attend the Grand Finale, it seems the British Olympian was also amongst those unable to travel. It seems Ben will now save his horses, such as Tripple X, for the big World Cup event in Olympia and he has been tweeting about how much he is looking forward to the festive event.
Riders such as Katherine Offel, Denis Lynch, Marco Kutscher and Penelope Leprevost may have had to choose other horses for the big class today out of necessity rather then by choice. This should allow for some expected and unexpected results going into tonight’s Gucci Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi.
Ben Maher, who currently sits in 9th place, and Richard Spooner in 6th place, are the only two riders of the top ten who are not in attendance this week.
Well its the morning now in Abu Dhabi and plenty of the riders are already up and about, preparing for the big day. Edwina’s already been posting on Twitter, clearly getting geared up for the big show down.
We’re wishing everyone the very best of luck. May the cleanest and fastest JO win!!!
North America West Coast: 6:45 am
North America East Coast: 9:45 am
Western Europe: 3:45 pm
United Kingdom: 2:45 pm