Rolf-Goran Bengtsson (SWE) and Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS) will be locked in a thrilling knife edge battle for the 2016 championship at today’s Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix in Vienna.
This weekend Rolf can capture the 2016 crown if he wins the Grand Prix or is placed second and Edwina finishes lower than sixth place. With only five points separating them as they head into this evening’s 1.60m Grand Prix, all eyes will be on this high octane duel and a rivalry that has played out over previous seasons. With the overall Championship battle in mind, Rolf spoke about today’s Grand Prix:
„It is very close now we are getting close to the end of the series we are only five points away from each other now it is still open it is going to be very exciting.“
Rolf will be riding his extraordinary top-performing stallion Casall ASK and his horse has demonstrated stunning form this season. Rolf has focused his programme on 17-year-old Casall performing in the LGCT Grand Prix with an eye on winning the championship race. Talking about their fantastic partnership, Rolf said: “This is just amazing the consistency of this horse. I must say it’s the horse of a lifetime, something very special.“
Edwina (AUS) will be riding her talented bay mare Caretina de Joter and will have a laser-like focus on keeping her championship hopes alive. Edwina would make history if she wins this year as she already has a double Champion of Champions title under her belt.
The star-studded line up for the €300,000 Grand Prix will ensure a high-powered contest in the new venue of Vienna’s Trabrennpark racetrack. Christian Ahlmann (GER) could lose his third place to Ireland’s young star Bertram Allen who will be in hot pursuit of points and riding his grey stallion Hector van d’Abdijhoeve. Hot on their heels are on-form Harrie Smolders (NED) and Don VHP who won the LGCT Grand Prix of Rome last weekend and heavyweight Ludger Beerbaum (GER) riding Chiara.
There will be some serious challenges from Scott Brash (GBR) on Hello Forever, Simon Delestre (FRA) on Chesall, Maikel van der Vleuten (NED) on VDL Arera, Marcus Ehning (GER) on Comme il faut, and last year’s Vienna victor Luciana Diniz (POR) on Winningmood. So far in Vienna David Will (GER) has scored in the 5* 1.50m / 1.55m on Mic Mac and John Whitaker (GBR) also excelled in the opening 5* on Echo of Light.
Under floodlights in Vienna tonight the Grand Prix will dictate whether the 2016 championship race goes to the wire in Qatar in November or is decided in the Austrian capital.
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Quelle: Anna Goodrum
Longines Global Champions Tour