Leonora Smee’s blog: it was an emotional moment that words just cannot describe

The Longines Global Champions Tour Monaco event (23-25 June) takes place in probably the world’s most iconic showjumping location. We were in Port d’Hercule, Monte Carlo with the Prince’s Palace overlooking the ring from one side and the super yachts viewing from the other.

The ring is one of the tightest on the tour, nestled into part of the Formula 1 track requiring total control all of the time — there is never a moment to relax on a Monaco round. Nevertheless, this is certainly one of my favourite competitions.

We kicked off with a fourth place in Friday’s 1.40m speed class, but it was on Sunday in the 1.45m Grand Prix that my horse, Waltons Top Flight excelled.

Nineteen riders took on the challenging course set by Luc Musette. After round one I was lucky enough to be one of just two clears, resulting in a head to head jump off with Lili Hymowitz from the United States.

I was first to go in the jump off and set the target with a clear in 33.03 seconds. Then I had to anxiously wait as Lili took on the jump off. She went clear too and as she crossed the finishing line I looked to see the clock telling me her time was 33.58 seconds! This gave me my first two-star grand prix win!

It was an emotional moment that words just cannot describe. With the iconic setting, the sun shining, my parents among the spectators, so much wonderful support from the spectators, all in a location which has always been special to me — it was simply a dream come true!

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