France’s Roger-Yves Bost wowed the crowds on Saturday to earn victory in the concluding grand prix of the 2011 Global Champions Tour (GCT) in Abu Dhabi, but the overall title – and a cheque for 300,000 euros – went to Australian showjumper Edwina Tops-Alexander.
Coming into the final, Edwina stood top of the overall leader board with only Ludger Beerbaum close enough on points to be able to snatch the title away from her.
However, when the German rider crashed through the treble combination on the 12-year-old stallion Chaman, the championship was Edwina’s, despite an uncharacteristic eight faults with her game selle Francais gelding Cevo Itot Du Chateau.
“The [leader’s] armband has been tossed around a lot this season but my horse has been very consistent and that’s what counts,” said Edwina, who won two rounds in Cannes and Chantilly. “There was quite a wait for the final after Rio, my horse had a break and perhaps was too fresh today – I would have liked to end with a better result but I’m already looking forward to next season.”
Ludger finished in the runner-up spot with Brazil’s Alvaro De Miranda in third overall. Ireland’s Denis Lynch and Billy Twomey both enjoyed success earlier in the season, settling for sixth and 12th respectively.
Earlier in the day, Britain’s Ben Maher came third in the 1.45m small tour with Tackeray while Michael Whitaker impressed the previous evening with an emphatic five-star win on new ride Mr Darcy.
Don’t miss next week’s Horse & Hound (out 1 December) for full report and pictures.