Rolf Fulfils LGCT Title Dream With Amazing Casall | Foto: Copyright Stefano Grasso
It was a night of dreams and the story of those who never give up, as Rolf-Göran Bengtsson (SWE) and the phenomenal 17 year old stallion Casall ASK claimed both the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Doha win and the prestigious 2016 LGCT Champion of Champions title in a magnificent showdown in Qatar. Describing the Title win as “a dream come true”, Rolf heralded his magnificent horse Casall as “just amazing”, with their 11 year partnership one of the most respected in the world.
His powerful season performance propelled him into pole position in the ranking for the final leg in Doha and Rolf’s victory saw him take the lion’s share of the €1 million bonus prize money as he takes his place on the list of LGCT Champions. On a Tour that saw the world’s top show jumpers visit 15 incredible destinations, kicking off in Miami Beach, and reaching spectacular cities such as Mexico City, Monaco, Shanghai and Rome, it was the culmination of a fantastically consistent season for Rolf and Casall, with the pair taking wins in Valkenswaard and Paris, as well as podium finishes at other stops on the circuit.
Edwina and Rolf set for LGCT 2016 Championship showdown | Foto: Copyright Stefano Grasso
The two riders gunning for the title of 2016 Champion of Champions will go into battle today on the unique stage of AL SHAQAB in Qatar as show jumping’s premier circuit reaches its climax.
The electrifying Longines Global Champions Tour season has seen the series open in Miami Beach before travelling to a new venue in Mexico City and on to a total of 15 stops around the globe. The final will see six out of the world’s top ten riders in action including World Number 1 Christian Ahlmann (GER) and World Number 2 Simon Delestre. This year history will be made as either Rolf-Göran Bengtsson (SWE) or Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS) will claim the overall Champion of Champions title, following a season-long battle for valuable ranking points.
Cian and Daniel Victorious as Clock Counts Down to Final | Foto: Copyright Stefano Grasso
Ireland’s Cian O’Conner stormed to a stunning win in this evening’s CSI5* 1.45m speed class in Qatar, in a two horse race which saw home hero Bassem Hassan Mohammed (QAT) miss out by just tenths of a second. At the magnificent AL SHAQAB, this evening’s action was the perfect prelude to Saturday’s Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Doha, with the world’s best horses and riders in action ahead of the 2016 season final. Title rivals Rolf-Göran Bengtsson (SWE) and Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS) faced each other for the first time this weekend, with the pair both looking on form ahead tomorrow’s Grand Prix.
Upstoppable Valkenswaard United take historic GCL team Championship win | Foto: Copyright Stefano Grasso
In a nail-biting showdown, Valkenswaard United took a sensational debut Global Champions League title, with winning riders John Whitaker and Bertram Allen declaring the first ever GCL season “fantastic” as the team combatants vowed to go into battle again in 2017.
Throughout the 15 leg series, the team – John Whitaker, Bertram Allen, Emily Moffitt and Eduardo Menezes – remained consistently at the top of the overall rankings, racking up a record four wins over the course of the championship, which offered up an incredible €7.5 million in prize money. The blue, white and orange team secured the lion’s share of the €4.5 million bonus in a dramatic night under floodlights at the magnificent AL SHAQAB, a member of the Qatar Foundation.
Fighting Talk from Rolf and Edwina as Suspense Mounts ahead of LGCT Final | Foto: Copyright Stefano Grasso
The final countdown to the Longines Global Champions Tour Championship kicked off today as top riders contemplated the weekend’s forthcoming showdown at AL SHAQAB in Qatar. As pressure grows ahead of the exciting season final, a pre-event press conference took place at the stunning AL SHAQAB venue, a member of the Qatar Foundation, to officially open this weekend’s top sporting action.
Two riders will challenge for the overall LGCT Champion of Champions crown – Rolf-Goran Bengtsson (SWE) and Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS) with both revealing their title hopes and pressures as the build up continues.
Six of World Top 10 to Doha For Dramatic LGCT Final | Foto: Copyright Stefano Grasso
An impressive six out of the world’s top ten riders, including two out of the top three, will be heading to the Longines Global Champions Tour final, hosted by the stunning AL SHAQAB equestrian centre in Doha, Qatar. This year, history will be made as either Rolf-Göran Bengtsson (SWE) or Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS) will claim the overall Champion of Champions title, following a season-long battle for valuable ranking points.
Olympic athlete Rolf, who currently sits on a tally of 272 points, will be hoping for his first ever LGCT Champions title win. The experienced Swedish rider has come excruciatingly close, not once but twice before, after tying with the leader on points but losing on the number of Grand Prix wins.
Fit for Victory: Luciana Diniz is crowned 2015 Champion | Foto: © Stefano Grasso / LGCT
Luciana Diniz and Fit For Fun took the 2015 Championship tonight after winning the final Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of the season in sensational style. The incredible sporting action went right down to the wire in Doha, Qatar, and the top three contenders had fans on the edge of their seats until the final moment of the final round.
It was a magnificent finale at AL SHAQAB with all eyes on the three riders who had battled through the series to be in with a chance of the championship crown – Scott Brash, Luciana Diniz and Rolf-Göran Bengtsson. On the night it was Luciana and her chestnut mare who emerged as the supreme combination of the high octane season.
Scott and Rolf dominate in tonight’s feature CSI5* setting the scene for a spellbinding Grand Prix | Foto: © Stefano Grasso / LGCT
Ranking leader and World Number 1 Scott Brash (GBR) stole the show with Hello Forever today in Qatar in a sensational prelude to tomorrow’s Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Doha. The stunning night lights of AL SHAQAB illuminated a dramatic duel between Scott and Rolf-Göran Bengtsson (SWE) in a taste of what lies ahed in a spellbinding climax to the season tomorrow. In the end Rolf came agonisingly close to victory with a stunning round on his grey stallion Clarimo ASK, finishing just seven tenths of a second behind Scott.
Title contenders on tomorrow’s Grand Prix cliffhanger and next year’s team-based Global Champions League | Foto: © Stefano Grasso / LGCT
The three leading contenders for the Longines Global Champions Tour crown have spoken exclusively of tomorrow’s amazing title showdown and their excitement about the new Global Champions League launching in 2016.
World No1 Scott Brash, multiple Grand Prix winner Luciana Diniz and Olympic silver medallist and European Champion Rolf-Göran Bengtsson gathered together ahead of the knife edge €1.4 million Tour final in AL SHAQAB, Doha, on Saturday evening.
Riders gear up for championship climax as speed demon Abdelkebir wins opener | Foto: © Stefano Grasso / LGCT
Morocco’s Abdelkebir Ouaddar and his impressive bay stallion Quickly de Kreisker stole the show in Doha on the opening night of the championship final – leaving the rest of the field trailing in their wake.
The first day of competition saw 26 out of the Top 32 leading riders in the world in action under floodlights in the majestic state-of-the-art AL SHAQAB and it was a fascinating glimpse into who is in form ahead of Saturday night’s hugely anticipate Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Doha.