Valkenswaard, The Netherlands — August 20, 2023 — In an electrifying finale to a spectacular weekend of top-notch sport and family entertainment, Denis Lynch (IRL) and the exceptional Brooklyn Heights emerged victorious in the €97,700 Lugano Diamonds Trophy CSI 5* at the Longines Global Champions Tour of Valkenswaard CSI 5*.
The gripping competition culminated with Lynch securing victory by a mere 0.13 seconds against the formidable Italian duo of Lorenzo de Luca (ITA) and Don Vito.
Michael Pender (IRL) and the classy Chacco Bay took third place to round off the podium after a 9 rider jump-off.
The picturesque venue of Valkenswaard and the Longines Tops International Arena witnessed a truly unforgettable showdown in the final class of the Longines Global Champions Tour of Valkenswaard. The heart-stopping conclusion left the crowd on the edge of their seats from start to finish.
Speaking of his win in the final 5* class of the Longines Global Champions Tour of Valkenswaard, Denis Lynch (IRL) commented on how Brooklyn Heights has come back to the top level of the sport from a heavy competition schedule earlier in the year, he said: “He was very unlucky on Friday not to win, the last fence, that was my fault… and today we could’ve gone up two more gears, so he did the jump off nicely, and to win it – even better as we didn’t ask everything of him today and that’s brilliant.”
A start list of over 55 starters saw a plethora of top jumping talent. From yesterday’s Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Valkenswaard winner, Sanne Thijssen (NED), to highly decorated athletes such as Max Kühner (AUT), Pieter Devos (BEL), Marcus Ehning (GER), Edwina Tops-Alexander AUS) and Peder Fredricson (SWE), the crowd at the Longines Tops International Arena were treated to a show of the world’s best.
A single rail fell in Round One for nineteen of starters, with the likes of Abdulrahman Alrajhi (KSA) aboard his uber consistent Ventago, and Ben Maher (GBR) aboard Ginger-Blue narrowly missing out on a start in the jump off.
Pathfinder Laura Kraut (USA) and Calgary Tame had the entire crowd riding every stride with them, however an unlucky foot on the final fence saw the pole fall after stopping the clock at 41.05 seconds.
Lynch and Brooklyn Heights were next to go, shaving 0.15 seconds off the pathfinders time, but ultimately leaving all poles standing.
Next saw Rodrigo Giesteira Almeida (POR) with Pegasus Deau Re Mi, Kevin Staut (FRA) aboard Beau de Laubry Z and Ramzy Al Duhami (KSA) with Untouchable 32 take to the Ulliano Vezzani (ITA) built course, with quick and tidy rounds leaving them lower down the final result, but still in the money.
Ultimately finishing in second place, Lorenzo de Luca (ITA) aboard Don Vito of Italy flew round the jump off to the delight of the crowd, with less than 0.20 seconds between the duo and the class winners.
Collecting 8 penalty-points each saw Mouda Zeyada (EGY) aboard If Looks Could Kill O.H. stop the clock in a time that would ultimately have won them the class, plus Great Britain’s Jack Whitaker (GBR) with Equine America Valmy de la Lande also collecting penalty-points.
Last to go Michael Pender (IRL) and Chacco Bay looked to threaten Lynch’s lead, as they set off, however the 9-year old didn’t match the experience of Lynch and Brooklyn Heights.
The Longines Global Champions Tour of Valkenswaard proved once again to be a sensational spectacle, not only for the equestrian community but also for families seeking a weekend of world-class entertainment. With thrilling sport, captivating performances, and a welcoming atmosphere, the show created memories that will be cherished for years to come.
As the cheers of the crowd echoed through the arena, the curtain closed on a remarkable weekend that united the worlds of top-tier sport and family enjoyment at the Longines Global Champions Tour of Valkenswaard.
Final Results – €97,700 Lugano Diamonds Trophy CSI 5*
1) Denis Lynch (IRL) & Brooklyn Heights – 0 / 0 – 40.95
2) Lorenzo de Luca (IT)A & Don Vito– 0 / 0 – 41.08
3) Michael Pender (IRL) & Chacco Bay – 0 / 0 – 41.54
Source: Press Release from LGCT – Longines Global Champions Tour
Photo: © LGCT / Stefano Grasso