Photos: Stefano Grasso / LGCT
Rolf-Goran Bengtsson (SWE) and Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS)
will be locked in a thrilling knife edge battle for the 2016
championship at today’s Longines Global Champions Tour Grand
Prix in Vienna.
This weekend Rolf can capture the 2016 crown if he wins the
Grand Prix or is placed second and Edwina finishes lower
than sixth place. With only five points separating them as
they head into this evening’s 1.60m Grand Prix, all eyes
will be on this high octane duel and a rivalry that has
played out over previous seasons. With the overall
Championship battle in mind, Rolf spoke about today’s Grand
Prix: "It is very close now we are getting close to the end
of the series we are only five points away from each other
now it is still open it is going to be very exciting."
Rolf will be riding his extraordinary top-performing
stallion Casall ASK and his horse has demonstrated stunning
form this season. Rolf has focused his programme on
17-year-old Casall performing in the LGCT Grand Prix with an
eye on winning the championship race. Talking about their
fantastic partnership, Rolf said: “This is just amazing the
consistency of this horse. I must say it’s the horse of a
lifetime, something very special."
Edwina (AUS) will be riding her talented bay mare Caretina
de Joter and will have a laser-like focus on keeping her
championship hopes alive. Edwina would make history if she
wins this year as she already has a double Champion of
Champions title under her belt.
The star-studded line up for the €300,000 Grand Prix will
ensure a high-powered contest in the new venue of Vienna’s
Trabrennpark racetrack. Christian Ahlmann (GER) could lose
his third place to Ireland’s young star Bertram Allen who
will be in hot pursuit of points and riding his grey
stallion Hector van d’Abdijhoeve. Hot on their heels are
on-form Harrie Smolders (NED) and Don VHP who won the LGCT
Grand Prix of Rome last weekend and heavyweight Ludger
Beerbaum (GER) riding Chiara.
There will be some serious challenges from Scott Brash (GBR)
on Hello Forever, Simon Delestre (FRA) on Chesall, Maikel
van der Vleuten (NED) on VDL Arera, Marcus Ehning (GER) on
Comme il faut, and last year’s Vienna victor Luciana Diniz
(POR) on Winningmood. So far in Vienna David Will (GER) has
scored in the 5* 1.50m / 1.55m on Mic Mac and John Whitaker
(GBR) also excelled in the opening 5* on Echo of Light.
Under floodlights in Vienna tonight the Grand Prix will
dictate whether the 2016 championship race goes to the wire
in Qatar in November or is decided in the Austrian capital.
Today will see the final CSI5* class take place at 14:45
ahead of the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of
Vienna presented by LGT Private Banking which kicks off at
18:30 local time. All the action will be streamed live via
the GCT TV online streaming platform, as well as being
broadcast live on Eurosport. For all the broadcast
information, please click