French riding star Kevin Staut is making a habit of it. The 40-year-old yesterday guided Visconti du Telman to a flawless routine to clinch the individual classification in the Global Champions League inside the iconic Longines Arena at Al Shaqab. Staut won a similar 1.55m class last week and yesterday the Frenchman produced tight lines with his 12-yearold mare to win the top prize of €13,750. Visconti du Telman clocked a time of 61.73 seconds as Staut underlined his intentions for action today and tomorrow.
Staut’s compatriot Simon Delestre, astride Berlux Z, secured the second fastest time of 63.44 seconds. Delestre won €11,000. Germany’s Philipp Weishaupt, in the saddle with Coby, ended in third spot (63.74 seconds, €8,250). “I was lucky because I know it is two different competitions. You know (what to expect) when you are riding single – individual and for yourself - and when you are riding for the team. Then I (also) knew that my mare jumped really great last week,” Staut said after the competition. “She is really in good shape.
Even at the practice arena, she was really relaxed and focused at the same time. Honestly I think it (the win was seen) a little bit everywhere (during the competition). “When I had seen the riders riding for the team (competition), I knew I had to go fast and fast at the end. I had a good rhythm and I tried to keep that rhythm until the end,” he added. When asked about his plans for today’s ride, Staut said: “I will try to win tomorrow (Friday). Tomorrow she will jump the 150 AA again. For Saturday, I really don’t know as I have to see my horse jumping. Honestly I am enjoying as I had a good win last week. Today I have started with a good opening round. Of course I am very happy today but I will have a strategy for Saturday also.” The Frenchman praised Qatar for helping the sport resume its activities ‘in tough times’. “I think all the riders said the same thing last week when we asked them (about Al Shaqab). In this difficult time, everybody is happy to be back in the sport.
This is really high level of sport,” Staut said yesterday. “I have to say the people here, the infrastructure and the service people working around are amazing and really efficient. It’s not (easy) that you can continue your show in this situation. For sure, the quality of everything is there for everyone to see,” he added. Germany’s Marcus Ehning (Stargold, 65.35 seconds, €5,500) and Spain’s Eduardo Alvarez Aznar (Rokfeller de Pleville Bois Margot, 65.39 seconds, €3,850) completed the top five. Earlier yesterday, Austria’s Max Kuhner, astride Vancouver Dreams produced the fastest time in the 1.45m class. Vancouver Dreams, an 11-year-old mare, clocked a time of 25.15 seconds in phase two of the event as Kuhner won the top prize of €6,350. Germany’s Ehning, in the saddle with Funky Fred, grabbed the second spot (25.36 seconds) during his routine. Ehning won €5,080. Germany’s Maurice Tebbel and his 14-year-old stallion Chaccos’ Son sealed the third spot. Chaccos’ Son also impressed with his time of 25.47 seconds as Tebbel won €3,810. Sweden’s Henrik von Eckermann (Carlotta, 26.04 seconds, €2,540) and Belgium’s Jos Verlooy (Fabregas, 26.46 seconds, €1,778) completed the top five. Opening GCL round In the opening round of Global Champions League (GCL), team Valkenswaard United managed the best time of 132.41 seconds with Peder Fredricson, astride 13-year-old Hansson WL, and Ehning, astride 10-year-old stallion Stargold, showing top form in Round 1. Berlin Eagles (133.33 seconds) secured the second-fastest time as Christian Kukuk, in the saddle with Checker, and Philipp Weishaupt, astride Coby, also produced clean rounds. New York Empire (134.29 seconds) was third best team as riders Denis Lynch (Cristello, age 14)) and Scott Brash (Hello Jefferson, age 12) managed clear rounds. D o h a F a l c o n s (136.31 seconds, 4 faults) were eighth fastest going into tomorrow’s main round after Titouan Schumacher, astride Atome Z got stalled with 4 faults. Constant van Paesschen (Isidoor van de Helle, age 13) managed a flawless routine though tad slow. Fredricson said yesterday: “It’s a good performance from us. My horse jumped really well. His (Ehning's) horse jumped very good. We will try to go really well on Saturday. We are happy today. I must say he feels good. He is just come back and he is going very well and I am very happy.” Ehning said yesterday: “The strategy (for Saturday) is to go clear again. I think we had a couple of missed clear rounds. This is half time. We need two double clears and need to be fast on Saturday. It will be a new day and we will try to do well. It’s a new horse at this level. He is 10 years old. I am very happy with him and he makes things easy for us.”
Young riders resume battle at Longines Qatar Equestrian Tour Hathab
Today, the Qatari and international riders will feature in competitions of the Longines Qatar Equestrian Tour Hathab. In the Small Tour battle against the clock, riders will compete for an overall prize bag of QR20,000 in the 100/115cm class. Also today, riders will compete for the Medium Tour title (individual and team) that offers QR30,000 in prize money. Tomorrow, the Open Class will offer an overall prize of QR25,000 in the 115/125cm while the Big Tour will see riders competing for an overall prize bag of QR45,000 in the 130/145cm class. The Future Rider’s competitions have been postponed for this round while the dressage events (level 1 and 2) will be held on March 13, oranisers said. “We have in excess of 100 riders competing in the Hathab leg of the series. I have to say the technical level shown by riders was excellent during CHI Al Shaqab (held last week). I believe it will be the same when it comes to LGCT events,” Omar Al Mannai, Event Director, and Commercial Manager, Al Shaqab, said prior to the start of LGCT’s first round. “We are hosting big events and that serves as an inspiration and we see the good talent coming through. But besides this event, we also host the national Longines Hathab tour. “We are into the fourth season and it is growing very fast. “There is a lot of interest from horse-loving community in Qatar,” Al Mannai added.