Italy's Zorzi Speeds To LGCT Berlin Win

Credit : LGCT

Sunday 29 July - 07h42 | Edited Press Release

Italy's Zorzi Speeds To LGCT Berlin Win

Alberto Zorzi (ITA) blazed his way to victory in Berlin beating off a ferocious challenge from home star Christian Ahlmann (GER). Zorzi has become the 12th rider to qualifiers for the Longines Global Champions Tour Super Grand Prix at the first-ever GC Playoffs in Prague in December.  

Overall LGCT ranking leader Ben Maher should have been on the starting grid for the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Berlin Presented by Sapinda. But after a travel nightmare with cancelled and delayed flights due to storms in England, he just missed the qualifier class by a whisker. Ben is still in the lead on 237 points but Harrie Smolders (215 points) and Edwina Tops-Alexander (212 points) are breathing down his neck: “I did my best to get here. We have London next week which is our home show and my horse has had a nice holiday in Berlin. I am lucky to be in a good position but others are very close now.”
 
German course designer Frank Rothenberger put together a big and delicate but fair course, featuring wide oxers that needed plenty of power interjected with light verticals requiring absolute control and precision in the smaller oval arena. A solid wall, with the Brandenberg Gate emblazoned across the facade, caused a couple of horses to have a look, and a wavy Sapinda vertical placed just by the in-gate asked for full focus. Fences came up thick and fast, and other challenges included a wide DKB oxer with a water tray underneath, a long Longines treble and a delicate GC gate to finish with in the 77-seconds time allowed.

Niels Bruynseels (BEL) was the first of eight combinations in the jump off going clear with a time of 39.10s which was clearly not going to be fast enough. Daniel Deusser (GER) went clear with Calisto Blue but was slower still in 41.04s.
 
The temperature rose dramatically as Alberto Zorzi (ITA) and Fairlight blasted into the arena. Alberto really challenged his horse and Fairlight responded enthusiastically. Taking one stride less at a couple of fences and then accelerating to the final the pair crossed the line in a stunning 35.53s and looked unbeatable. Pieter Devos (BEL) made a big effort to catch Alberto but finished in 37.96.

A brilliant round by Christian Ahlmann (GER) and Clintrexo Z was actually ahead of Alberto at several points on the course but the German champion lost his stirrup in the run to the last fence and a wide turn left him on 36.65s. 
 
The remaining challengers Martin Fuchs (SUI), Marcus Ehning (GER) and Kevin Staut (FRA) all suffered four faults putting them out of podium contention.

​The Tour now looks to London, and Ben Maher's (GBR) home event - taking place at the prestigious Royal Hospital Chelsea.

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