Danielle Goldstein and Lizziemary Win Shanghai LGCT Grand Prix
Danielle Goldstein (ISR) was crowned the leading lady of China with a scorching victory in the Shanghai Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix.
A delighted Dani, who won the lion’s share of 610,000 euros, said:
We all come here with a mission and I feel I accomplished my mission today.”
Riding the magnificent, big-jumping mare Lizziemary and with trademark feathers flying in her hair, Danielle rocketed home as the fastest of nine top-class combinations who had qualified from 35 starters for a gripping jump-off.
She becomes the first female rider to top the podium in Shanghai and bagged her debut golden ticket to this year’s LGCT Super Grand Prix in Prague in November:
That adds huge extra pressure but makes it more thrilling. I’m super looking forward to going to Prague.
I am really delighted today. My horse jumped amazing and it all worked out for me. I didn’t nail the first line the way I’d have liked, but I made it up somewhere else. This is the one everyone wants to win — we’ve come a long way, so this has made it all worthwhile and the crowd has been amazing. I love China and have been here many times so be able to come here and feel I’ve inspired young girls — everybody — is amazing.”
Just eight-hundredths of a second separated the top two riders and it was Darragh Kenny (IRL) on Balou du Reventon who claimed the runner-up spot. He endured an agonising wait as leader before seeing penultimate drawn Danielle smash his time.
Dani did one less stride to the last fence and that made a huge difference,”
I’ve been aiming my horse for this for two months now and it’s a great show.”
From early draw, Jur Vrieling (NED) took the final spot on the podium after a brilliant round on the towering VDL Glasgow v. Merelsnest: “I’m really proud with how Glasgow jumped — he was playing with the fences. He’s not the fastest horse for this jump-off and I thought taking out a stride would be too much risk. I was aiming for top three finish so I’m very happy to get it.”
In fourth with the only other double clear was Luciana Diniz of Portugal, who coaxed every inch of talent out of the 11-year-old stallion Camargo 2.
Belgian riders now top the overall leader board after the first four rounds in the LGCT championship with Pieter Devos (BEL) leading the way, ahead of countryman Niels Bruynseels and Germany’s Daniel Deusser third.
I was very happy to be here in Shanghai, it’s a fantastic event. I’ve done four shows with three different horses, so have always been able to bring a fresh horse which is why I think I’m in the lead and it makes me very happy.”
Passionate Chinese fans packed the stands, with many ladies bedecked in their finest outfits for what has become a big social occasion, and they cheered every global superstar who entered the arena. They were even more thrilled to support national rider You Zhang and his horse Caesar. At the age of 18, he was the first Chinese rider to have qualified for a LGCT Grand Prix after a superb round earlier in the day.
Saturday’s LGCT Grand Prix marked the sixth year that the Tour has brought top level international show jumping to China and in the process the popularity of equestrianism has soared. Spectators have been treated to a feast of world class action across the first two days of this three-day show.
There were plenty of new faces among the 35-strong field of riders tackling Uliano Vezzani’s imposing course, and even many of the professionals were left scratching their heads as they assessed the obstacles beforehand.
Jan Tops, Founder and President of the LGCT reflected: I’m always amazed with this event, especially the eye of the detail the Chinese have. Every year they get better and better and are great partners to have. This was a fantastic win for Dani, she made it to the last fence with one less stride and deserved to win.”
The LGCT Championship now looks to Madrid for the fifth leg of the Championship race.
For full results, please click here.