- Belgium’s Jérôme Guery wins Miami event
- Alberto Zorzi finishes second on Cornetto K
- London Knights win team event
(CNN)Riders and horses mixed with surf dudes and sunbathers on Miami Beach over Easter weekend as the world’s best show jumpers rode into town for round two of the 2017 Longines Global Champions Tour.
With more than $300,000 in prize money at stake, there was plenty riding on the performances of the 58 riders and horses taking part.
There was a strong home contingent competing for honors, notably world No. 1 Mclain Ward as well as top-ranked US rider Kent Farrington.
However, two-time Olympic champion Ward was eliminated after his horse Rothchild rolled two early poles.
In the end the competition came down to a battle between two Belgium riders — Nicola Philippaerts and Jérôme Guery — as well as Italy’s Alberto Zorzi.
Philippaerts, riding Chilli Willi, set the benchmark with a speedy clear round of 39.50 seconds before Zorzi on Cornetto K took the lead with a faultless effort, stopping the clock at 37.96 seconds.
But it was Philippaerts’ compatriot Guery riding Grand Cru van de Rozenberg who stole in to take the title with the final ride of the competition jumping clear in a time of 37.39 seconds.
“My horse today was amazing, he jumped the qualification clear and the Grand Prix was clear in the first round,” Guery told the Global Champions Tour website.
“I have a little bit of an advantage in the jump off as I was the last to go. I saw the other riders had three clear, and they were fast but not crazy fast,” he added.
“I tried to go a little bit faster — my horse listened to me perfectly and it was an amazing day for me today. Fast is fast!”
Global Champions League
There was an upset in the team competition, as London Knights upset reigning champions, and winners at the opening event in Mexico, Valkenswaard United.
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Runner up in the individual event, Zorzi teamed up with Ireland’s Bertram Allen for the champions but were beaten by the London Knights’ pairing of Britain’s Ben Maher and American Farrington who recorded the fastest clear round of the competition on his mount Creedance.