Dani and Lizziemary Triumph in Berlin As Ludger Qualifies for LGCT Super Grand Prix

Dani G. Waldman e Lizzimarie.jpg

The first round claimed some high profile scalps, with poles falling generously, even for some seasoned combinations. A third of the field had already jumped before Harry Charles (GBR) produced the first clear inside the time. Bassem Mohammed (QAT) and Bart Bles (NED)  both cleared all the fences, but couldn’t make the time, so agonisingly missed out on the jump-off.

A whole host of riders lowered one rail, including the series rankings leader Pieter Devos (BEL), Kevin Staut (FRA), Kent Farrington (USA), Olivier Phillippaerts (BEL) and Gerco Schroder (NED).

Time was again influential and costly, with three riders finishing on five faults: Leopold van Asten (NED), Markus Brinkmann (GER) and Kim Emmen (NED).

The course was a real five-star test, with some superb horses languishing well down the order, and three combinations, including Harrie Smolders (NED) with the mighty Don VHP Z N.O.P., retired.
Jump Off

Harry Charles (GBR) - who has qualified for the LGCT Grand Prix in every show he has ridden at this season - was the first to go. He and Borsato tried the brave inside six strides but lowered the black and white GC vertical and the last fence to finish on eight faults in 39.10 seconds.

Next in was home rider Christian Ahlmann (GER), a previous winner here back in 2017 and second last year. He and Take A Chance On Me Z started confidently, but clattered through the top rail of the double turning away from the in-gate, even though the lightweight plank had been replaced by a pole for the jump-off. They finished on four faults, but in a speedy time of 38.56 seconds.
Nicola Philippaerts (BEL) was hoping to challenge for the top step of the podium riding Katanga v.H Dingeshof. The neat and nimble horse’s quick feet helped him out with some of the tricky distances. But they came unstuck when the horse couldn’t quite reach the back rails of two of the oxers and landed on them both to finish on eight faults in 41.63 seconds, which put them behind Harry Charles.

Frank Schustert (NED) was looking for a podium place - and a ticket to the Playoffs as qualification time is running out - with Queensland E, but after climbing over the first part of the tricky double at 8b, the distance was just took great and they took down the second part to finish on four faults in 40.68, the slowest of the four-faulters.
Dani was the first to produce a clear round on the powerful and careful Cabri D’Elle daughter Lizziemary, with a tight roll-back, a heart-felt leap from the mare at the double and a proper gallop to the last fence. They clocked a time of 39.46 seconds.

It was all down to the last to jump, Ludger Beerbaum (GER). Cool Feeling answered every question asked of him, and was faster than Dani right up until the final metres of the course. But although all the jumps stayed up, Ludger broke the beam a third of a second slower than the eventual winner, in 39.81 seconds.

Another day of five-star action from Berlin on Sunday before the tour moves on to London for the 14th show of the season next weekend.

Anna Goodrum

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