Show jumping gladiators take Rome by storm as race to the top tightens dramatically

12 September - Rolf-Göran Bengtsson has dramatically closed the gap on Scott Brash and Luciana Diniz in the 2015 championship race after clinching a scorching victory at the debut Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Rome.

Next to Rome’s Olympic Stadium and in a unique arena surrounded by classical marble statues, the gladiators of show jumping thrilled thousands of fans who lined the natural amphitheatre to cheer on the world’s top riders.

The final podium of the €300,000 Grand Prix was truly world class. Rolf took first place in emphatic style with the extraordinarily consistent stallion Casall ASK. Luciana Diniz and Fit for Fun finished second with Germany’s Marcus Ehning in third position.

German champion Marcus described the venue as “unbelievable” for show jumping and images of the location were beamed around the world to fans of the sport online and on TV.

Today’s result means that three top riders are now locked in a fierce battle at the final two events of the season for the overall championship. Current ranking leader Scott Brash is only 11 points ahead of Luciana and she in turn is only three points ahead of Rolf. As the final stages of the 2015 championship unfold, only the best eight scores of the leading riders will count to the final total. And a fascinating contest is opening up between Christian Ahlmann of Germany of 234 points and Simon Delestre of France on 229 points.


Photo: Stefano Grasso / LGCT