On the debut day of the Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT) of Monaco it was Denis Lynch and Cornets Iberio who turned it up a gear to win the 1.45m Federation Equestre de la Principauté de Monaco.
Competing in the adrenaline-charged speed class, Lynch and Cornets Iberio demonstrated unparalleled skill and maneuvered their way around the smallest arena on tour. In a heart-stopping display, the pair clocked a time of 57.31s, pipping Francisco José Mesquita Musa and 15-year-old Catch Me Marathon to the post by less than half a second. The sold-out crowd erupted in thunderous applause when Richard Howley and Mansini Ltd took an early lead but had to settle for third place overall.
Following their win last Sunday in the LGCT of Paris in the 1.45m Against The Clock, Lynch and Cornet’s Iberio are really showing their form.
Speaking of tonight’s success, Denis sang the praises of his equine partner.
Connor is a really competitive horse, he’s won all around the world and he likes to go quick, and he really tried again tonight. There were seven strides from the Longines Oxer back to the narrow vertical, which I’d walked – everyone else seemed to do the 8… then there was the inside turn back to the second last which he’s really smart and stuff with that… and I knew if I did that I had a good chance of winning.”
In the breathtaking location, nestled right next to the picturesque port of Monaco, the idyllic setting provided a stunning backdrop for the thrilling action, offering spectators an unparalleled view of the show jumping spectacle. With the shimmering waters of the Mediterranean Sea, the ambiance was truly unmatched for the first day of competition.
Uliano Vizzani put together a technical, tough track for the world’s top international riders. Although the course required plenty of focus, responsiveness, and bravery, it was proof of having the best athletes in the sport in Monaco as 19 combinations made it look easy to jump clear.
The first clear round came early from second-to-go Patrick Stühlmeyer and Katcha HD, who carved the path for the rest to come. The pair put a smooth clear in 72.09 s but didn’t risk it all, leaving the rest of the field to chase his time. Richard Howley, making his debut on the tour this week quickly took over the lead for the time being on Mansini Ltd as they stopped the Longines clock in 59.16 sec.
Marlon Modolo Zanotelli revved the engines of Heureuse Nouvelle WH, powering out of the starting blocks and taking every chance. The turn back to fence the third to last fence was brave and the risk paid off as he finish sub 60 seconds. British Legend John Whitaker and Sharid finished a respectable 5th place, demonstrating class and precision throughout.
There was disappointment for last week’s winning combination of the LGCT Grand Prix of Paris as Christian Ahlmann and Mandato van de Neerheida flew from the top to the bottom of the arena, picking up 12 faults. Faults kept coming, with Spencer Smith, Angelica Augustsson Zanotelli and Harrie Smolders all collecting penalties.
Maikel van der Vleuten riding Dywis HH, Jane Richard on Molly Mallone Z, and Edwina Tops-Alexander with Catenda all gave it their all putting the pedal to the metal in the former Monaco pit lane but couldn’t match the pace keeping them out of the top placings.
Denis Lynch and the iconic Cornets Iberio were lightning fast as always and jumped cleanly to propel themselves in the lead bumping Francisco José Mesquita Musa on Catch me Marathon in second.
But Thursday was only the first taste of the electrifying competition that awaits over the next few days. Spectators can look forward to witnessing the world’s top riders compete for the coveted titles in the GCL team competition Friday at 16:30 local time and the €1.5 million LGCT Grand Prix du Prince de Monaco on Saturday at 20:15 local time.
For the full results click here.
Feature image: Dennis Lynch LGCT Monaco riding Cornets Iberio LGCT Monaco. Photo: Longines Global Champions Tour