Pius Schwizer threw down the gauntlet today and declared his dream is to win the 2015 Longines Global Champions Tour series. He spoke after winning the Mercedes-Benz Championat von Hamburg aboard the 10 year old mare Amira. Pius set a strong early pace in the 17 horse jump-off, as fourth to go he made the most of Frank Rothenburger’s galloping course, starting strongly and making all turns to finish clear in a very fast time of 41.63 seconds.
Incentivised by the €59,000 Mercedes-Benz on offer for the winner, the world’s top riders were in a determined mood to try to catch him. Christian Ahlmann, victorious in the Longines Global Champions Tour of Hamburg Grand Prix two years ago, mounted a strong challenge in front of the packed grandstand. Pushing on between fences and mastering the tight turn to the penultimate vertical the crowd thought he had done enough, cheering their countryman home, however his time of 42.03 seconds went into second place.
Last to go, four-time Olympic gold medallist Ludger Beerbaum, on the mighty Chaman looked like he might place the leader’s position in jeopardy, however despite a masterful display of show jumping, he could only manage third position with a time of 42.42.
Speaking after the class, a jubilant Pius said: “I am the third ranked rider on the Longines Global Champions Tour leaderboard since the last stage in Shanghai and I have a lot of good horses this season so the dream is to win the 2015 series.” The feature Longines Global Champions Tour of Hamburg Grand Prix presented by H&M will take place on Saturday with the world’s best riders, including Pius, all vying to usurp world No1 Scott Brash at the top of the leaderboard.
The US express continued at full steam ahead as Kent Farrington followed on from a historic three wins at the Longines Global Champions Tour of Shanghai with victory in the opening 5* class of the Longines Global Champions Tour of Hamburg.
With 15 combinations achieving a maximum score of 65 points in the points based accumulator class, speed became a big factor once again, with two of the fastest on the circuit making up the top pairing. Last year’s winner Emanuele Guadiano and Cocoshynsky finished just under half a second off the eventual winner Kent Farrington, who chased home another win with the nine year old Belle Fleur 38 as last to go in the competition.
The star American is fresh from success in Shanghai, twice victorious on the speedy Blue Angel, with his 12 year old bay mare Waomi making it a triple for the show.