The Global Champions League of Paris final round was also the support of a qualifying round for the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix CSI 5* during the Longines Paris Eiffel Jumping CSI 5* at the Champ de Mars in Paris, France.
The thirty-five best individual riders of the GCL were thus invited for this prestigious Parisian class in one round with jump-off on fences culminating at 1.60m. Eleven pairs managed to do a clear round qualifying themselves for the jump-off.
First one to go, Irish Bertram Allen (IRL) did not hesitate to go full speed from fence to fence with his accomplice Molly Malone V. He knew his time of 36.86 seconds would be hard but not impossible to beat: “I knew it was enough for a podium but the line-up for the jump-off was impressive. Ben, Harrie, Edwina … anyone could have won tonight.” Indeed, two riders, Harrie Smolders (NED) and Ben Maher (GBR), victorious in three classes here in Paris, came close, but not enough.
Sameh El Dahan (EGY) & Suma’s Zorro
The crowd had to wait for the penultimate rider, Sameh El Dahan (EGY) and his strong-willed Suma’s Zorro. The fearless couple took all the necessary risks to beat the young Irish by half a second thus winning this prestigious Parisian leg.
Sameh El Dahan:
“I had already won two 5* Grands Prix, one in Calgary (Canada) last year and one in La Coruna (Spain) this year, but this is my first victory in the LGCT circuit. It is really special to be on a podium with the Eiffel Tower behind you.”
The Egyptian also owes this victory to his Irish owner Joanne Sloan-Allen who trusted El Dahan eight years ago: “I do not know why, but pourquoi pas”, she jokes. “I live with Joanne’s family at her St. Patrick’s County stud farm, explains Saturday night’s winner. They supported me from the beginning and it was time to give them something back. It has been five years since I started at this level, and it has now been a year since the good results are starting to come in.”
For those who want more, the Longines Global Champions Tour and the Global Champions League stay in France and will move to the Château de Chantilly Thursday next week: another majestic decor offered by France’s architectural heritage. As for the Longines Paris Eiffel Jumping, the rendezvous for 2019 is already set from July 3 to 6. Four days of sporting and equestrian emotions offering the same unique spectacle.
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Source: Press Release by Solenn Rispail / Agence R&B Presse for LPEJ – Longines Paris Eiffel Jumping
Photos: © Sportfot