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Excitement Unfolds at the Longines Global Champions Tour – Monte-Carlo International Jumping 2024
Excitement Unfolds at the Longines Global Champions Tour - Monte-Carlo International Jumping 2024

Simon Delestre Dazzles in Opening Act

The Longines Global Champions Tour - Monte-Carlo International Jumping 2024 kicked off in grand style, drawing the world's top equestrians to Port Hercule. This prestigious event marks the tenth stop on the international circuit, culminating in Saturday's highly anticipated €1.5 million Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix du Prince de Monaco.

Under the dazzling Riviera sun, amidst the glamorous backdrop of luxury yachts, riders and horses navigated the uniquely challenging course. Day one was about settling into the compact track's rhythm and setting the stage for a thrilling competition over the next two days.

French rider Simon Delestre stole the spotlight in the Prix Fédération Équestre de la Principauté de Monaco (1.45m speed class) aboard his talented 10-year-old mare, Olga van de Kruishoeve. Known for her speed and agility, Olga dominated the course designed by Italian course designer Uliano Vezzani. "Olga is exceptionally quick," said the world number 7. "She turns tight and saves crucial time at each jump. Despite her size, she's incredibly maneuverable. We take each competition step by step, but my horses are in great form. We had a strong showing last week in Stockholm, and I hope to replicate that success here, although it's always a tough field."

Olympic team champion Roger-Yves Bost, renowned for his speed, initially led with his mare Ballerine du Vilpion, but settled for second place, trailing Delestre by nearly three seconds. American rider Jessica Springsteen claimed third place with Naomi van het Keizershof. French rider Inès Joly impressed with a solid fourth place on Imposant van de Renger, marking a significant achievement at this level of competition.

Excitement Unfolds at the Longines Global Champions Tour - Monte-Carlo International Jumping 2024

In the earlier 1.40m two-phase competition, Swiss rider Jane Richard set a blistering pace aboard her 13-year-old gelding, Fouego de la Closière, finishing in 25.09 seconds. Roger-Yves Bost came close but fell short by just thirty hundredths of a second. "Fouego was exceptional," exclaimed Jane Richard. "Starting a five-star event like this is fantastic. The track may be small, but returning to Monaco each year is always special."

Supporting AMADE Association

The Longines Pro-Am Cup, a highlight of the evening, brought together international riders and young talents in a friendly yet competitive atmosphere. Sponsored by Ms. Charlotte Casiraghi since 2010, this event supports the AMADE association, founded by Princess Grace of Monaco in 1963 and now led by H.S.H. Princess of Hanover. AMADE focuses on child protection and development globally.

Diane Fissore, president of the competition and the Equestrian Federation of the Principality of Monaco, presented a generous donation of €27,000 following the event. Sportingly, the duo of young Italian Eleonora Sanna and French rider Inès Joly, representing Fayat Monaco, claimed victory. They were closely followed by Monégasque Juliette Noghes and Felipe Coutinho Mendonca Nagata for AMADE, and Greek rider Milena-Maria Pappa and Italian Emanuele Gaudiano for CTM.

CSI2 Highlights*

The day began with national and CSI 2* competitions. At 1.40m, British rider Skye Higgin excelled with her 9-year-old mare, Fly for You. In the 1.25m event, Brazilian rider Felipe Coutinho Mendonca Nagata secured victory aboard Monseigneur. British rider Isabella Beecroft-Luckett continued her success in CSI 2* events, triumphing at 1.15m with her mare, Dahar.

Friday's Anticipated Events

Friday will feature CSI 5* riders in action at 5:00 PM with the Trophée Le Casino de Monte-Carlo, the first leg of the GCL. The excitement continues at 8:30 PM with the second leg. The Stockholm Hearts, currently leading the circuit after nine stages with riders like Julien Épaillard (FRA), Jessica Springsteen (USA), and Olivier Philippaerts (BEL), aim to maintain their lead against rivals such as the Doha Falcons and Cannes Stars. The Monaco Aces, ranked eleventh, will seek to capitalize on home advantage with French riders Grégory Cottard, Edward Levy, and Inès Joly.