Shanghai, China – May 4, 2019 – In a spectacular case of “mission accomplished”, Danielle Goldstein (ISR) was crowned the leading lady of China with a scorching victory in the Shanghai Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix. A delighted Dani, who won the lion’s share of €610,000, said: “We all come here with a mission and I feel I accomplished my mission today.”
Riding the magnificent, big-jumping mare Lizziemary and with trademark feathers flying in her hair, Goldstein rocketed home as the fastest of nine combinations who had qualified from 35 starters for a gripping jump-off in the fourth event of the Championship season. She becomes the first female rider to top the podium in Shanghai and bagged her debut golden ticket to this year’s LGCT Super Grand Prix in Prague in November:
“I am really delighted today. My horse jumped amazing and it all worked out for me. I didn’t nail the first line the way I’d have liked, but I made it up somewhere else. This is the one everyone wants to win — we’ve come a long way, so this has made it all worthwhile and the crowd has been amazing.”
Just eight hundredths of a second separated the top two riders and it was Darragh Kenny (IRL) on Balou du Reventon who claimed the runner-up spot. He endured an agonizing wait as the leader before seeing penultimate drawn Danielle smash his time.
“Dani did one less stride to the last fence and that made a huge difference,” said Kenny. “I’ve been aiming my horse for this for two months now and it’s a great show.”
From early draw, Jur Vrieling (NED) took the final spot on the podium after a brilliant round on the towering VDL Glasgow v. Merelsnest: “I’m really proud with how Glasgow jumped — he was playing with the fences. He’s not the fastest horse for this jump-off and I thought taking out a stride would be too much risk. I was aiming for top three finish so I’m very happy to get it.”
Saturday’s LGCT Grand Prix marked the sixth year that the Tour has brought top level international show jumping to China and in the process the popularity of equestrianism has soared. Spectators have been treated to a feast of world class action across the first two days of this three-day show.
Competitors set off over a massive oxer at fence one and horses were encouraged to go full stretch around the track, with delicate verticals mixed in. The first big test came at fence five, a demanding Longines triple combination of oxer-oxer-vertical, which required breathtaking power jumping. A midway line under the grandstands required precision riding over a vertical before either five or six strides took challengers to a vertical-oxer double combination, resulting in plenty of heart-breaking faults. The final sequence of obstacles looked tricky but proved jumpable, with a Liverpool vertical before four short strides to an oxer, then a drifting swoop to fence 13, a towering airy vertical, and over the finish line for a quick check of the clock, which did little to trouble riders in this competition.
In the jump-off round, first out of the blocks was Portugal’s Luciana Diniz riding the 11-year-old stallion, Camargo 2. The pair soared over first oxer, curled round to the Longines double, propelled forward across the arena, then negotiated a smooth roll back with a twist over the Massimo Dutti fence and over the last for an efficient double clear in 41.53 seconds.
Ireland’s Darragh Kenny took center stage a few trip later on the 13-year-old Balou du Reventon and the pace was immediately increased as every inch of ability shone through to great appreciation from spectators. They nailed a superb angle to the Masimmo Dutti fence and took a phenomenal flyer over the last in 38.06 seconds with all the poles still in tact.
A few rides later, all eyes turned to series leader Pieter Devos (BEL), hoping for back to back wins and calling on extra effort from the 14-year-old chestnut gelding Apart. Devos is always a formidable opponent and riding with supreme confidence but Apart just hit the front rail of the Massimo Dutti fence, soaring home faster in 37.49 seconds but with four faults.
With two left to jump, Danielle Goldstein and Lizziemary looked poised once again to give it their all. They couldn’t quite reach the pace set by some of their rivals but some sensational turns and a pioneering stride out to the last vertical resulted in a sensational clear in 37.98 seconds, some eight hundredths of a second quicker than the Irishman.
As the penultimate pairing from nine starters to attempt Uliano’s shortened jump-off track under lengthening shadows in the evening sunshine, Danielle and the big jumping British-bred Lizziemary gave their all for the second time and with great bravery took out a stride to the final fence to gain the winning advantage. She was quick to pay credit to the 13-year-old, who always displays immense agility: “She’s like a rocket ship underneath you, she’s full of raw power and she tries your heart out for you. Sometimes you have a horse on whom you’re happy to be in the top three but sometimes it’s a privilege and an honour to have one you can have a shot to win with. It’s amazing to ride a horse like Lizziemary and today it worked out. I’m thrilled.”
The LGCT Championship now looks to Madrid for the fifth leg of the Championship race.
Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Shanghai
Place / Horse / Athlete / Country / R1 Faults | Time / R2 Faults | Time
1. Lizziemary / Danielle Goldstien / ISR / 0 | 81.49 / 0 | 37.98
2. Balou du Reventon / Darragh Kenny / IRL / 0 | 79.92 / 0 | 38.06
3. VDL Glasgow v. Merelsnet / Jur Vrieling / NED / 0 | 82.76 / 0 | 40.63
4. Camargo 2 / Luciana Diniz / POR / 0 | 82.23 / 0 | 41.53
5. Apart / Pieter Devos / BEL / 0 | 83.56 / 4 | 37.49
6. Delux van T&L / Niels Bruynseels / BEL / 0 | 82.98 / 4 | 38.21
7. Sterrehof’s Calimero / Marc Houtzager / NED / 0 | 80.37 / 4 | 38.55
8. Atome Z / Titouan Schumacher / FRA / 0 | 78.07 / 4 | 39.12
9. Ulane de Coquerie / Alberto Zorzi / ITA / 0 | 80.31 / 12 | 55.58
10. About A Dream / Pius Schwizer / SUI / 4 | 76.26
11. Chaplin / Martin Fuchs / SUI / 4 | 76.77
12. Cristy / Marcus Ehning / GER / 4 | 77.20
For full results, please click here.