Photos: Stefano Grasso /
Bertram Allen delivered his own showcase
of horsepower after an exceptional jump-off saw the young
Irish star win the Mercedes-Benz Championat von Hamburg with
his beautiful grey mare Molly Malone V. Adding another set
of wheels to his already extensive garage, Bertram drove
away the beautiful Mercedes-Benz car after claiming the win
in spectacular style, and a 13-rider jump-off showcased the
high calibre of the sport and exhilarating competition.
Speaking about his win, Bertram said: "I knew it was going
to be [a really fast jump-off], so I said I'd go as fast as
I felt comfortable with. And today it was just fast enough."
Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA) finished in 2nd with Citizenguard
Cadjanine Z after a beautiful double clear and LGCT Ranking
leader Christian Ahlmann (GER) looked on strong form and set
to continue his run of success after finishing in third
place with the chestnut stallion Epleaser van't Heike, much
to the delight of the local crowds.
With over 80,000 spectators expected at the prestigious
German show, and more than 500 horses on site over the
weekend, the Longines Global Champions Tour of Hamburg is
set to be a magical affair. Fans packed the arena sides and
grandstands to watch the world’s best in action today, with
the CSI5* 1.55m class an exhilarating appetiser to the Grand
Prix on Saturday.
Frank Rothenberger delivered a big, uncomplicated course,
set to test the world’s best, and the field of 47
combinations from around the globe did not disappoint. A few
had time faults, while others were forced into mistakes
trying to get inside the time, as the first round of
competition saw plenty of action and excitement with the
crowd cheering passionately after every clear. A total of 13
riders went through to the jump-off, including seven local
riders Maurice Tebbel (GER), Niklas Krieg (GER), Denis
Nielsen (GER), Philipp Weishaupt (GER), Mario Stevens (GER),
Christian Ahlmann (GER) and the legendary Ludger Beerbaum
(GER), who rode Casello 2.
The jump-off track saw great distances between fences,
encouraging a galloping stride and suiting those who had
horses with a naturally faster pace. There were just two
time-saving turns, one of which was to the imposing wall.
This was jumped well throughout the competition, and was
instrumental in what became a very exciting final round of
Bertram’s Molly Malone was very quick across the ground, and
set a precedent for the rest of the field. A naturally fast
horse, Bertram rode her superbly across the expansive grass
arena, eating up the ground with her expressive strides and
delivering a brilliant showcase of skill and horsemanship
for which he has become so well known.
The hard-luck story of the jump-off was Brazil’s Marlon
Zanotelli (BRA) who looked set for the win, however after
turning sharply to jump the tall vertical slipped after
landing, losing valuable seconds. To make up the time, he
turned in tight to the wall, taking a line no other rider
had dared to that point, and crossed the line in 39.89s -
had he not slipped, he would have likely won the class.
Following his example, more riders took the same line to the
wall - it worked for some, and not others, creating a great
spectacle which had the audience on the edge of their seats.
But it was Bertram and Molly Malone V who stole the show,
crossing the line in 39.38s and claiming the top spot in
Hamburg so far.
Earlier today, Pius Schwizer (SUI) and the 10 year old bay
gelding Leonard de la Ferme CH looked on stunning form this
morning after a convincing win in the first CSI5* 1.50m
speed class of the day. Local rider, Hans-Dieter Dreher
(GER) was just pipped to the post by the Swiss rider, after
delivering a sensational round with top horse Cool and Easy.
He finished in second, just five tenths of a second behind
the leader and the local crowd cheered as he picked up his
rosette. It was a strong German showing, as compatriot Felix
Hassmann (GER) and Cayenne WZ claimed the third spot, just
fourth tenths behind his fellow home rider.
Indeed, the battle at the sharp end of the grid was close,
with Olivier Philippaerts (BEL) and Gitania v.G finishing
fourth and just a further tenth of a second away from third.
Marcus Ehning (GER) showed his return to form on the Tour
with top horse Cristy, coming in fifth to the delight of the
crowd, after leading for much of the class. Bertram Allen
(IRL) and Belmonde, Niklas Krieg (GER) with Ayers Rock 19,
Nicola Philippaerts (BEL) with H&M Quenzo de la Roque,
Patrick Stühlmeyer (GER) with Lacan 2 and John Whitaker
(GBR) with Echo Of Light rounded out the top ten, after
Tomorrow will see the Global Champions League of Hamburg
take place at 18:15, with 12 teams ready to do battle for
the fifth round of the championship.