Brits continued to dominate at the Longines Global Champions Tour (GCT). Ben Maher won the Prix E. Leclerc CSI5* on Friday (12 June) in Cannes with Aristo Z.
Coming a close second was world number one Scott Brash and Hello Annie. This pair also took the Prix FFE French Tour Generali on the opening day of the three-day international that started on Thursday (11 June).
French rider Pénélope Leprévost and Germany’s Christian Ahlmann were joint third.
Ben said: “I have some really good horses in my stables, but for this weekend, I took my two best ones.
“Aristo Z is naturally really fast and it’s nice win again in Cannes.”
He added it was “fantastic” to call Aristo Z’s owner in New York Jane Clark and tell her about his victory, which was the horse’s first win this year.
Tenths of a second separated the top riders with six of the seven combinations making it to the jump-off going double clear.
Ben and the 11-year-old gelding sped into first place in a time of 32.76s ahead of his London 2012 Olympic gold medal-winning team mate Scott and Hello Annie, who finished in a time of 33.77s.
Pénélope and her bay mare Nice Stephanie finished on the same time as Christian and Reavnir, 33.83s, to come joint third.
Speaking after his win on Thursday, World number one Scott said Hello Annie “jumped fantastically”.
“She is a fun horse, and she needs to be relaxed. When she feels that way, she can win any competition,” he said.
A total of 47 combinations entered the 1.50m class. Irish teenager Bertram Allen with Quiet Easy 4, Henrik von Eckermann (SWE) with For Sale 6 and Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA) with Status also made it through to the 1.55m jump-off.
Pénélope Leprévost won the grand prix of Cannes on Sunday (14 June), claiming the E99,000 top prize.
“Ratina is a 10 year-old, freshly arrived at the top level,” she said. “It’s the first time I tried to be really quick with Ratina. She is quite hot so I usually try to calm things down with her and ride her quietly, but this has broken all that careful work.”
The next leg of the GCT will be held on 25-27 June in Monaco.