[Estorial, POR] Philipp Weishaupt was saluted for his brave and daring jump off round as he clinched his first Global Champions Tour Grand Prix win in Estoril tonight.
Weisaupt flies in the third round of the night.
The 26-year-old German pulled off a brilliant clear on Leoville in an unbeatable time of 44.96 which his boss Ludger Beerbaum described as a triumph of “youth over age.” Great Britain’s Michael Whitaker was second on Viking in 45.65 and Ludger on Chaman came in third in 47.46 in a vintage jump off on the eighth leg of the GCT 2012 series.
Whitaker just missed the top spot on the podium.
“I checked him at the last, maybe I chickened out,” joked Whitaker.
Asked if he was in trouble for beating his boss, Weishaupt said “I am happy to beat Ludger once in a while. It is not easy to beat Ludger but it is even better when we are both on the podium."
Weishaupt took a smart inside turn after the second fence, the Cascais wall, and was seriously lucky at the Massimo Dutti fence when the rail held and allowed him to go flat out over the final part of the course.
“I am really happy at the way my horse jumped," commented Beerbaum. "It was a little bit of youth against age and Philipp got it. He did really go and you have to be really brave to do that. He tried everything and really deserved to win. Philipp is selected for the Olympic team and won some really good Grand Prix this year with Monte Bellini. He is not just a good rider but also a winner. I am sure it won’t be his last.”
Beerbaum and Chaman were in good form.
Edwina Tops-Alexander remains overall GCT ranking leader and, despite four faults in the second round today, she has extended her lead further to 189 points - a whopping 68 ahead of her nearest rival Denis Lynch.
Still top of the GCT ranking after eight shows in the 2012 GCT series so far, Tops-Alexander praised her horse Ego Van Orti who jumped an impressive debut Grand Prix. “I didn’t decided until yesterday which horse I was going to ride but we made the right choice," she said. "He is in great shape and has a lot of potential.”
The climax of the GCT Estoril took place under floodlights in an electric atmosphere in the chic Cascais resort on the Atlantic coast. The footing on the new grass surface was widely praised as the “best ever” by riders including Whitaker and Beerbaum.
It was a breakthrough Grand Prix for leading Saudi rider Kamal Bahamdan, who will be going to the Olympic Games in London in only a few weeks. Kamal, riding Noblesse des Tess, the bay mare by Cumano, took some courageous risks in a brilliantly executed round with a blistering finish over the final GCT fence in 48.98 and fourth place.
Kamal laid down an impressive performance.
It was a feast of world class show jumping for the crowds packed into extended spectator stands as 20 riders went clear in the first round, more than usual, despite the big challenging course. In the second round there were only six clears, including Christian Ahlmann, but a number of riders fell into the trap set by course designer Frank Rothenberger when they knocked a brick out of the high Cascais wall, which had risen 10cms. Denis Lynch, Gregory Wathelet, Roger-Yves Bost were among the casualties. Other riders who did not make it through to the jump off included Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum who was caught out at the Jaeger-LeCoultre oxer and the GCT triple.
Top Ten - Grande Premio Turismo de Portugal, I.P – Global Champions Tour Grand Prix
Rider | Horse | Nation | Round 1 faults | Round 2 faults | Jumpoff faults | jumpoff time
- Philipp Weishaupt | Leoville 2 | GER | 0 | 0 | 0 | 44.96
- Michael Whitaker | Viking | GBR | 0 | 0 | 0 | 45.65
- Ludger Beerbaum | Chaman | 0 | 0 | 0 | 47.46
- Kamal Abdullah Bahamdan | Noblesse des Tess | KSA | 0 | 0 | 0 | 48.98
- Harrie Smolders | Exquis Walnut de Muze | NED | 0 | 0 | 4 | 46.53
- Christian Ahlmann | Aragon | GER | 0 | 0 | 4 | 47.25
- Philippe Rozier | Dakar C | FRA | 0 | 1
- Denis Lynch | All Star 5 | IRE | 0 | 4
- Edwina Tops Alexander | Ego Van Orti | AUS | 0 | 4
- Laura Renwick | Oz de Breve | 0 | 4
For full results visit www.globalchampionstour.com Photos ©GCT/Sportfot