Articles: Press Release
Global Champions Tour Grand Prix Costa Do Estoril
Diana De Rosa for Phelps Media Group, Inc.
at (561) 753-3389 or at email@example.com
Philippaerts Maintains His Lead with a Winning Round on Parco--.a
special report from Diana DeRosa for PhelpsSports.com
Estoril, Portugal - July 23, 2006 - In a brilliant fight to the
finish Ludo Philippaerts rode Parco to victory in the Global Champions
Tour Grand Prix "Costa Do Estoril," presented by CN and CN
Worldwide, in front of a record crowd. Philippaerts triple clear round
in a time of 38.90 seconds sealed his win. Second place honors went to
Australian Edwina Alexander aboard Isovlas Pialotta. Bernardo Alves
(Brazil) was third on Chupa Chup 2.
Californian Megan Lamaze made America proud by negotiating two clear
rounds and only four faults in the jump-off to garner a sixth place
ribbon on Ollandaise. U.S. riders Robin Sweely on Qarco vt Merelsnest,
and Michael Morrissey on Crabamboli never made it to the second round
after dropping too many rails to make the cut off.
The sun shone bright at the Hipodromo de Cascais showgrounds for the
fourth event on the Global Champions Tour. The 1.60m course designed by
Frank Rothenberger (GER) saw a starting field of 45 riders in a speed
competition from which the top 18 would move on to the second and final
"It feels great to win," commented Philippaerts in his always calm
manner. His face lit up with a grin as he added, "It-s always good
but it-s better now because you come closer to the bonus." That
bonus he was talking about was the additional monies that would be
distributed to the top eight riders in the Global Tour Rankings, which
he is also leading.
JUMP-OFF GETS THE CROWD ROARING
A total of seven riders negotiated two clear rounds and advanced to the
jump-off. First to return was Michel Hecart riding Itot du Chateau for
France. He set the pace with a clear go in 42.33 seconds. Next to go was
Brazilian Rodrigo Pessoa aboard Cantate Z, but a rail down for four
faults (41.57) ruined his chances for a victory.
Then it was Alves- turn and he sliced 1.2 seconds off Hecart-s time
finishing clear in 41.15 seconds. Lamaze was in the fourth position with
a rail down but a speedy time of 40.97 seconds put her at the lead of
the 4 faulters.
"I am very happy because this is my first grand prix with this
horse," explained Alves. "I changed horses at the last moment. This
horse has very good scope."
"It was a freak thing in the jump-off," commented Lamaze. "It was
a stupid fault; she barely hit it and it came down. I wouldn-t do
anything differently. I can-t complain. It would have been great to do
better but I am really happy with the result."
Alexander was about to show what the females in the sport can do when
put to the test. She sped around the course with shear determination
finishing clear in 39.61 seconds.
"I had to be a little careful in the jump-off turning back to the
oxer. That-s where I lost my time," commented Alexander. "I was
not very happy with the way I rode to that fence; I came too deep. But
lucky my horse was good enough to save me."
Ludo Philippaerts wasn-t about to give up his lead on the Tour and so
he raced around the course clear in 38.90 seconds, a time that the last
rider in, Daniel Deusser, was not able to beat. German Deusser and
Hooligan de Rosyl dropped a rail for 4 faults in 39.69 seconds.
Said Philippaerts, "in the jump-off I started off very quick but then
was careful at the double (a short in and out combination which was the
fourth fence in the jump-off course) and ended quick."
Philippaerts was thrilled with his horse and with the event and added,
"I think it (the Global Champions Tour) is very good for everybody;
for the riders for the horses and even for the public. I think it can
ROUND 1 & SOME COMMENTS FROM THE RIDERS
As the first of 45 riders to go in the first round, Lamaze showed the
field of horses to follow her how it should be done by setting the pace
and negotiating a clear round. In between there were a few more clears,
4 faulters and lots of rounds with three or more rails down including
Sweely, who had the very first fence, the 4th and 5B down. Morrissey had
problems right from the start and when too many rails fell he opted to
retire Crabamboli. Morrissey had planned to compete on Crelido, but when
his horse flipped over a jump in the schooling area earlier in the week,
he opted to take the cautious route and not compete on him any more this
The riders couldn-t say enough nice things about the show, the Global
Champions Tour, the facilities and the course designs.
"This was three days of top sport," said Philippaerts. "I-ve
never been here but this was one of the best places I-ve ever rode. I
don-t have any complaints."
The Belgian went on to note that he won-t be riding Parco in the next
Global Champions in Valkenswaard (NED), because he is saving him for WEG
Aachen, but he intends to choose another horse and compete so he can
maintain his top placing.
The riders also were pleased with the courses and the way the event is
run. "He is the best course designer," added Edwina. "It is fair
sport in the Global Champions Tour. One of the most important things is
it creates a whole new atmosphere and environment for the whole sport.
It-s lifting everything up and it-s been great sport. Because there
is a lot of prize money the best riders want to be here. Rather than
having to jump in eight shows and win less money, here you jump less
competitions and win more money and then you have your horse for a
longer period of time."
Jan Tops, the creator of the Global Champions Tour is also pleased with
this inaugural year. "We just started. The last four have been very
special. CN Worldwide (the main sponsor) we can-t thank them enough.
They had the confidence to come with us and believe in the project. It
is a new (railway) company in Europe. It-s very established in Canada
and the U.S. They are growing now in other sites of the world so we try
to grow together."
Anita Ernesaks, who was there representing CN Worldwide added, "It-s
been for us a great experience. I am proud to be a part of the tour. The
facilities are fabulous, the venue is fabulous and the riding and the
course were great. We have a vision of growing something globally and I
think today we are very pleased. I think the rewards outweigh the
A CHAT WITH MEGAN LAMAZE
=91It really did work out today," commented Lamaze. "You just stick
to your plan and you go with doing what you normally do and today it
really worked out for me. It doesn-t always go that way."
As the very first rider to go one would have thought that Lamaze was
concerned about that position. "I prefer to go first then really
late," she explained. "I walked the course with Conrad (Homfeld) and
I thought it was really great. The first course asked all the questions
nicely and my horse really jumped well."
Megan spoke about the little ways that Conrad helped, including a
decision she made at a tough water line. She thought she would need to
move right after she landed from a vertical headed to the water but she
explained that Conrad said, "you need to land and wait and think about
it. Thank goodness he told me that. I am really lucky my horse is so
"My horse is really smart," she continued. "She is good at judging
where the poles are. We were both really on the game today."
"I prefer to have Conrad every where. It helps me a lot. I think it is
great to have another pair of eyes and I have so much confidence and
faith in what Conrad says to me. It always helps," she continued.
Megan-s week hadn-t started out that great but she had faith in
Ollandaise. "She-s always better the more she goes. I wasn-t
discouraged. The first day she had two down but I still felt she jumped
well. We really concentrated on putting that out of my mind. I knew she
was more than capable of doing this.-
Megan went on about the mare she has a lot of respect for. "She is an
unbelievable horse. I just have to remember to trust that and normally
it just works out. They are animals. They can-t have their best day
Megan was thrilled but tired. "It is a lot of jumping. It is a long
class and a long format. It-s long for the horses, the riders and the
grooms. But I am really happy. It-s great to come here - this is
what you work for and it is great to have achieved that. It doesn-t go
your way everyday. It-s great to finally be there to achieve that."
Class 6 GRAND PRIX "COSTA DO ESTORIL" - International Jumping
Competition - Tour A - FEI Art. 273.2.2 & 3.1 Table A 1.60m with Two
1 32 PARCO - Ludo PHILIPPAERTS (BEL)-0.00 -0.00 -0.00/ 38.90
2 34 ISOVLAS PIALOTTA - Edwina ALEXANDER (AUS) -0.00- 0.00 -0.00 /39.61
3 51 CHUPA CHUP 2 - Bernardo ALVES (BRA)-0.00-0.00 -0.00/ 41.15
4 45 ITOT DU CHATEAU - Michel HECART (FRA) -0.00- 0.00 -0.00/ 42.33
5 1 HOOLIGAN DE ROSYL - Daniel DEUSSER (GER) -0.00 -0.00 -4.00 /39.69
6 5 OLLANDAISE - Megan LAMAZE (USA) -0.00 -0.00 -4.00 /40.97
7 52 CANTATE Z -Rodrigo PESSOA (BRA) -0.00 -0.00 -4.00 /41.57
8 84 JADIS DE TOSCANE - Philippe ROZIER (FRA)0.00 -1.00 1.00 - 76.75
9 20 THE SIXTH SENSE - Thomas FR=FCHMANN (AUT)4.00 0.00 4.00 - 74.47
10 61 CASTLE FORBES LIBERTINA - Jessica K=FCRTEN (IRL) 4.00 0.00 4.00 -
11 21 AK LOCARNO 62 - Ellen WHITAKER (GBR) 0.00 4.00 4.00 - 75.76
12 77 GALET D'AUZAY - Michel ROBERT (FRA)4.00 0.00 4.00 - 76.15
GCT 2006 - RANKINGS AFTER 4TH ROUND AT ESTORIL
1 111,500 Ludo Philippaerts BEL
2 57,500 Thomas Fr=FChmann AUT
3 50,000 Norman Dello Joio USA
4 36,500 Edwina Alexander AUS
5 33,000 Michel Hecart FRA
6 31,000 Francois Mathy Jr. BEL
6 31,000 Samantha McIntosh BUL
8 30,000 Nick Skelton GBR
9 21,500 Jessica K=FCrten IRL
REMAINING EVENTS ON GLOBAL CHAMPIONS TOUR
Valkenswaard - Netherlands - August 17-20
Lanaken - Belgium - September 15-17
2006 EVENTS ON THE GLOBAL CHAMPIONS TOUR
150,000 CN Worldwide - Wellington, FL - March 1-5
1. Norman Dello Joio - Glasgow
2. Samantha McIntosh - Loxley (BUL)
3. Kim Prince - Couletto K. James
Grand Prix of Cannes - Cannes, FRA - June 8-11
1. Thomas Fruhmann - The Sixth Sense
2. Nick Skelton - Arko III (GBR)
3. Michel Hecart - Itot du Chateau (FRA)
Grand Prix du Prince de Monaco - Monte-Carlo, Monaco - June 22-24
1. Ludo Philippaerts - Parco (BEL)
2. Francois Mathy Jr. - Ivoire du Rouet (BEL)
3. Richard Davenport - Nelson Z (GBR)
Grand Prix "Costa do Estoril" - Estoril Portugal - July 21-23
1. Ludo Philippaerts - Parco (BEL)
2. Edwina Alexander - Isovlas Pialotta (AUS)
3. Bernardo Alves - Chupa Chup 2 (BRA)
The event in Estoril Portugal was an outgrowth of the involvement of the
local Tourism Board and the vision of its president Duarte Nobre Guedes.
It began even before the GCT became a goal. The Hippodromo de Cascais,
where the event was held, had been vacant for around 30 years and Duarte
wanted it to get requalified. When that happened they then held their
first CSI**** and invited key equestrians hoping to get their opinions.
Duarte-s goal is to increase the interest in coming to Estoril as a
tourist destination and he believed by bringing a variety of high
profile sports events (among them equestrian) to the area he could do
"I invited a lot of opinion leaders and all the world was very happy
and saw the potential of the show," he explained. "Jan Tops came to
me and said I have a train that is already starting and he invited us to
be on the Global Champions Tour which of course is a great honor. I told
him okay but that I want it to be at the top level. He told me this is
top top top. And we started like that.
"I must say that I am very glad," continued Duarte. "We have top
riders, top sport, top officials, and a top course designer. Even in the
social part it is very good.
A few very supportive sponsors have been the key to the success of this
event. The main sponsor is CN, a leader in the North American rail
industry and CN Worldwide, headquartered in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
(CN is also the title sponsor of the $1 million CN International held at
the Spruce Meadows 'Masters' in Canada.) CN believes the goals of both
organizations are similar. They both focus on world-class performance,
agility and precision. In their case, those qualities refer to
delivering their customers- shipments via the railway. CN also likes
the fact that the GCT spans two continents since its business also
focuses on the transport of containers between Europe and North America.
Anita Ernesaks, Global Managing Director of CN Worldwide explained,
"One of the things in terms of similarity is you have to have a plan
and you must execute that plan. It has to be seemless and precise and
you have to overcome barriers and obstacles to achieve your goals."
Ernesaks continued, "Each venue has its own differences in terms of
the course itself - sand versus grass and size, which adds another
dimension. You have those same similarities in doing business for CN in
different countries. You have to adapt to the customer, culture and
CHUM International is handling the television rights.
The GCT also has a philanthropic approach and has partnered with
JustWorld International, a charitable organization working in
impoverished countries for the benefit of underprivileged children. They
are hoping that by naming JustWorld International the official charity
of the GCT, they can give it more exposure and gain additional support
from the equestrian community for its projects.
If you want more details about the GCT, Estoril, or CN, here are a few
web sites you should visit. www.globalchampionstour.com
, www.cn.ca ,
, www.scg-nl.nl,www.monacohorseshow.com, and www.stadiumjumping.com
PhelpsSports.com is coming in August!!!
Join the family now and save 10% off of the regular price for yearly and
lifetime memberships. Visit www.phelpssports.com