Jessica Springsteen rocketed to victory in the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix (LGCT) of London with Don Juan van de Donkhoeve on Sunday as Olivier Philippaerts had to settle for second place on H&M Miro. Picking up his 24th LGCT Grand Prix podium finish Harrie Smolders and the incredibly consistent Moncao N.O.P stood proudly in third place after a battle of the best.
Jessica’s triumph not only claimed her the coveted top spot on the podium but also earned her the esteemed “golden ticket” to the LGCT Super Grand Prix in Prague, a glittering showcase of international show jumping prowess.
Watch the head-to-head round below.
Speaking to GCTV an emotional Jessica smiled: “I’m so happy with Don today, I took some risks but it paid off. I’m so excited, I’m honestly in shock this is my first 5* Grand Prix win with Don so I’m so thankful. It means so much to win here, especially in front of this incredible atmosphere and crowd in London. It’s an incredible venue and an incredible crowd, they really give you the energy – they’re really cheering you on and I think you and your horse, they really feel that which is special.”
Taking second place for the second year in a row, Olivier certainly is on form at the Longines Global Champions Tour of London, particularly following his team, the Stockholm Hearts powered by H&M We Love Horses, win in the GCL of London on Saturday. Chasing that elusive win, Olivier commented: “I’m incredibly happy, I’ve just got to work a bit harder to bring home a win. I’ve been hungry for it for a very long time already, so I will keep pushing it, keep trying, and hopefully one day we will pull it off.”
As one of the most consistent horses on tour this year, Monaco N.O.P with Harrie added a crucial 35 points to his Championship total of 229 and is firmly in second place on the overall championship standings. Speaking of his partner, Harrie commented on their partnership: “Monaco jumped outstanding again, I am very grateful, I have two superstars at the moment in Uricas and Monaco and that’s why for the Longines Global Champions Tour for the whole season you need horsepower.”
Riding in his first-ever LGCT Grand Prix, 20-year-old Oliver Fletcher produced a flawless double clear to finish top 5 with Hello William in his first 5* back after colic surgery earlier this year. The highest place Brit was tearing up as he spoke about the accomplishment: “I don’t have any words, I’m still shaking, moments like this is what you work your whole life for. It’s been a difficult year, William had to have colic surgery and we nearly lost him so to come back like this is incredible. I thought I had no chance today so I didn’t even look at the jump-off course when I walked the course.”
Local hero, Ben Maher and his ride, Point Break were lightning fast from the get-go and made the first line look easy. The tightest of rollbacks to the third fence proved too risky as Point Break struggled to leave all poles standing, which ultimately handed the win straight to USA’s Jessica Springsteen.
Closing the gap in the exhilarating Championship race Harrie is now just 9 points behind Maikel van der Vleuten on 238 points. Christian Kukuk slips into third place on 205 points and Simon Delestre sits in fourth just behind with 198 points.
A quintessentially British site saw the iconic Chelsea Pensioners adorned in their scarlet uniforms escort the placegetters to the prizegiving in the shadow of the Royal Chelsea Hospital which plays home to over 300 veterans of the British Army.