Portugal's Luciana Diniz threw down the gauntlet to Longines Global Champions Tour ranking leader Scott Brash today in the battle for the championship. Luciana is only 10 points behind Scott in the overall ranking and could overtake the British rider in tomorrow's Grand Prix presented by H&M at the big Hamburg Derby show ground.
Luciana Diniz set off like a rocket on the nine year old Sakann to win this afternoon’s CSI5* class by almost two seconds. Italy’s Andre Sakakini set a good early pace over Frank Rothenburger’s forward flowing course clocking a time of 60.03 seconds.
There were a host of clears to follow, but none to match Andre’s time until Luciana’s winning round towards the end of the class. With plenty of ground to cover between the fences in Hamburg’s large Derby arena, Luciana meant business, galloping on and turning tightly aboard the nimble Sakkan to finish on a time of 58.43.
After the prize giving Luciana said: "It was so inspiring today. My son called me and said Mama I just won my tennis game and now you win this class. And I said I am going to win for you. It is always good to win before the Grand Prix."
Luciana will be riding her star grey stallion, Winningmood, recent winner of the Grand Prix at the Longines Global Champions Tour of Madrid, in tomorrow’s feature, the Longines Global Champions Tour of Hamburg Grand Prix presented by H&M.
Luciana has been a solid performer in the Longines Global Champions Tour overall ranking for the past few season finishing 9th last year and 7th in 2013.
Scott will be riding his Olympic gold medal winning champion and World No1 horse Hello Sanctos and will be determined to hold on to his overall ranking lead.
Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum previewed a nail biting contest tomorrow saying all the riders are out to win the big Grand Prix class in Hamburg.
Tens of thousands of spectators have already packed into the Hamburg arena for the Longines Global Champions Tour 5th leg of the 2015 season.
Today saw split second drama as Germany’s David Will, riding Mic Mac du Tillard, crossed the finish line in 34.84 in the 1.50m class beating Emanuele Gaudiano on Cocoshynsky who finished in 34.85.
America’s on form champion Kent Farrington was third on Belle Fleur in 35.43 maintaining the success of his showing last weekend at the Longines Global Champions Tour of Shanghai.
Tomorrow H&M will be Presenting Sponsor of the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Hamburg. See H&M’s sponsored riders Malin Baryard-Johnsson, Peder Fredricsson and Olivier and Nicola Philippaerts speak about being part of team H&M in this exclusive video on the GCT gallery and our YouTube channel.
In an exclusive interview with GCT TV, Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum said of the Hamburg event: “Hamburg has a lot of tradition, it has a lot of prestige and it is somewhere we all like to win.”
Meredith talks about her family, being a mother, her personal ambitions and how she once thought she would be President of the United States. And about her unforgettable champion horse Shutterfly.
See the full interview with Meredith during our live coverage of the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Hamburg presented by H&M tomorrow on www.globalchampionstour.com.