The set dressers — or in this case the showjump course designers — did an equally amazing job with jumps that would be at home in a Broadway production. The Roman theme was put to abundant use with many spectacular jumps, such as a Colosseum jump, a Roman Forum jump, a Gladiator jump, a Pantheon jump, Roman Coins and, for any Roman Holiday movie fans, you would have recognised the “Bocca della Verita” (mouth of truth) jump, just spectacular.
The Rome event ran for four days from Thursday through Sunday and gave many showjumpers a chance to compete. As well as the CSI 5* there was CSI 2* and there were plenty of Australians flying the flag in Rome. Fantastic for the sport to see Amy Graham, Georgina Harvey and Julia Lynch as well as Edwina Tops-Alexander all competing at this incredible venue.
After four days of gorgeous weather and fabulous competition, the CSI 5* came down to a jump-off, which, to the local spectators’ delight, included two Italians — Luca Marziani and Roberto Turchetto against Ludger Beerbaum (Germany), Ben Maher (UK), Pieter Devos (Belgium) and Marlon Zanotelli (Brazil). The atmosphere was amazing and the crowd incredibly excited but it was not to be Italy’s day.
The incredible combination of Ben Maher and the brilliant Explosion W won (and went on to win the entire series including the Prague Playoffs). Such a privilege to see this horse in action and watch the sentimental lap of honour.
An Italian opera singer starts Time to Say Goodbye (Andrea Bocelli), the sky is pink, the sun is setting, the evening is warm, Ben and Explosion start to canter their laps of honour and the crowd is on its feet. It was a goosebump moment. La Dolce Vita!
Sadly, the Longines Global Champions Tour only had one event in Doha in March 2020 before the season was cancelled due to Covid19. At this stage they hope the Season to restart in 2021 — we can’t wait for its return! Follow the tour at www.globalchampionstour.com/about EQ
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