The Principality of Monaco never ceases to amaze: the world’s undisputed capital of luxury effortlessly transforms from superyacht central to race circuit for the world’s most famous grand prix at the blink of an eye. Monaco metamorphosed into a horse-jumping haven when it hosted the 9th round of the Longines Global Champions Tour in the heart of the tiny sovereign state, just metres from some of the world’s most impressive superyachts.
When and Where?
With the spectacular back-drop of the rock – or the old town – where Prince Albert II of Monaco resides in the Palais du Prince, the Jumping International de Monte-Carlo got underway Saturday 23rd, until Monday 25th, under the warm June sun. The area, which has only just been converted from F1 stands, was transformed into a livery yard with lines of luxury horse boxes.
The three-day world-class show jumping event marked the half-way point in the Tour, with the best international riders and horses descending on the Principality to face one of the most challenging and technical courses in one of the smallest arenas on the circuit. The tour consists of 15 individual events, which take place between April and November at more than a dozen venues across the world, from America to China and France.
Jumping International de Monte-Carlo was the ninth event in the tour, and to prepare for the 11th edition, organisers had to ensure that vast quantities of sand was delivered to the harbour to create the water-side ring.
The Successful Riders
Each year, the action takes place over three days. Last year’s winner, Qatar’s Bassem Hassan Mohammed, making history by becoming the first Qatari ever to win a show. Emmanuele Gudiano, the winner of this year’s show-jumping event came from slightly closer to home – Italy – as did the second rider to make the podium. Gudiano clinched his first Grand Prix on the Longines Global Champions Tour, riding his 10-year-old horse Capsar 232. His compatriot Piergiorgio Bucci came second, riding Casallo Z, whilst Rolf-Göran Bengtsson finished third on Casall Ask. By taking the third position on the podium, the Swedish rider, Bengtsson, is currently leading in the tour.
The Pro-Am Cup
Also held over the weekend was the Longines Pro-Am Cup, an event which sees one professional and one amateur rider battle it out over a demanding course to become champion. This year’s Pro-Am Cup was won by the Monaco Aces Inigo Lopez de la Osa on Diamand and Escribano Inigo Lopez de la Osa on Cassunta Z, coached by Daniel Bluman and Schuyler Riley.
Following Monaco’s successful leg, the Longines Global Champions Tour then moved on to Paris for the 10th round, held at La Plaine de Jeux de Bagatelle in the Bois de Boulogne on the banks of the River Seine.