Doha, Qatar – March 04, 2021 – The Longines Global Champions Tour of Doha CSI 5* kicked off in style on Thursday with Max Kühner (AUT) picking up the first LGCT win of the season on the stunning chestnut mare Vancouver Dreams in a time of 25.15 seconds.
It was German legend Marcus Ehning (GER) and Funky Fred (For Pleasure x Pilot) who took second place in 25.36 seconds while Maurice Tebbel (GER) finished off the podium on Chacco’s Son (Chacco-Blue x Falkenhof’s Lancer) crossing the finish line in 25.47 seconds.
As the 2021 season began 37 riders lined up in the breathtaking Longines Arena at Al Shaqab for the first competition of the year. There were 12 clear rounds as the world’s best horse and rider combinations battled it out to take home top honours in the €25,400 1.45m two-phase challenge.
The first clear of the 2021 season went to Henrick von Eckermann (SWE) on the huge striding mare Carlotta however, they didn’t hold onto the lead for long and finished in 4th overall.
Early on in the class and knowing he had to give everything Max Kuhner (AUT) and Vancouver Dreams (Valentino x Stakkato) propelled themselves around the huge arena pulling off the smoothest roll back to put the pressure on the rest of the field and eventually claim the victory.
Young gun Jos Verlooy (BEL) took on the course at a bold pace but wasn’t able to catch the leading time finishing with 0 faults in 26.46 seconds while Eric Lamaze (CAN) picked up a time fault in the second phase on Dieu Merci van T & L as he looked to set the bay stallion up for the weekend.
Everyone thought the flying Frenchman Julien Epaillard (FRA) was going to set the pace but the final fence fell pushing him down the order out of the top 10.
Final Results – €25,400 Two-Phase Challenge CSI 5* 1.45m
1) Max Kuhner (AUT) & Vancouver Dreams – 0 / 0 – 25.15
2) Marcus Ehning (GER) & Funky Fred – 0 / 0 – 25.36
3) Maurice Tebbel (GER) & Chacco’s Son – 0 / 0 – 25.47
Source: Press release from LGCT – Longines Global Champions Tour
Photos: © LGCT / Stefano Grasso / Mario Grassia