L.G.C.T in Doha and FEI Ban Russia and Belarus from Competition.

While the atrocities in Ukraine continue unabated and get even more vile and wretched, the main showjumping meeting of the week was in Doha for the 5 star CSI for a leg in The Longines Global Champions Tour. Meanwhile in further news, the FEI have blocked the participation of all Russian and Belarusian athletes and judges competing in any FEI international event.

In the UAE at Doha, for a second week in a row, a further 5 star showjumping Grand prix took centre stage in the form of the first Longines Global Champions Tour of the year. There were 33 starters from riders from 14 different nations competing and plenty of top riders from Europe. The course was once again designed and set by Uliano Vezzani from Italy. He set a course of 13 obstacles requiring 16 jumping efforts for the first round with a time allowed of 79 seconds. The top height or spread for a jump was the usual 1.60m.

The first in was one of two Turkish riders, Derin Demirsoy who sadly failed to complete the first round, along with 3 other riders. The first of the eight first round clears came from Pieter Devos from Belgium riding Mom’s Troupe de la Rogue who was the seventh to jump; and the next one in from Germany, not to be outdone was Christian Ahlmann riding Dominator 2000Z also went clear. Max Kuhner from Austria was the next, followed by Henrik Von Echermann. The clears came at regular intervals with Michael Pender from Ireland and fellow Irishman Michael Duffy joining the fray. Later in the class, came veteran rider, Ludger Beebaum riding Mila from Germany in one of the fastest times of the first round. The final clear came from The Netherland’s rider Jur Vreiling riding Long John Silver.

Ludger Beerbaum – despite his age takes the winners podium

In the second round against the clock, four of the original eight went clear. The slowest of the four was Pieter Devos in 40.45, but was only just behind Jur Vreiling who came home with 40.02 seconds. The top two were a good 2 seconds ahead with Henrik Von Echermann taking King Edward round in 38.74, but the winner by a narrow margin was Ludger Beerbaum aboard Mila in 38.18 seconds. It just goes to show how age is not necessarily a barrier to winning these valuable prestigious classes. Beerbaum is 58 and was the oldest in the field. The fastest round was the fifth placed Christian Ahlmann on 35.18 seconds, but he did have one pole down. As usual, this was another very competitive class with few mistakes made as all the riders vied to get the top slot and the 124,000 euro first prize.

In other news which relates to new rules now imposed by the FEI on all Russian and Belarusian horses, riders and officials together with all equine meeting which were to be held in Russia or Belarus in 2022 have now been cancelled. This is because of the Russian invasion into Ukraine and the pressure placed on all sporting governing bodies to place bans on all sporting activities from and in that country. What we would like to know, and which has not been made obvious is if a rider tries to circumvent the new rules by changing the country they represent in their sporting discipline. We hope fervently that this too will not be acceptable; otherwise it will simply end up as another case of sanction busting. While this terrible war and pointless bloodshed persists, the rest of the world have got to stand together and make any punishment, however hard it may seem to innocent individuals – stick.

We at Horseview.uk fully support and marvel at the stoic attitude the Ukrainians have taken and the least the rest of the world can do is to put pressure on, anywhere we can in order to stop this barbaric genocide initiated by a megalomaniac despot in his vain attempt to put the world order clock back by forty or fifty years.

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