He did it for the fourth time. Daniel Deusser won the Super Grand Prix in Prague
German representative Daniel Deusser is the only rider who has managed to qualify for all four Super Grand Prix, which have closed the Longines Global Champions Tour season since 2018. He only managed to win this year.
It is an unattainable dream for most drivers, but Daniel Deusser managed to qualify for the Super Grand Prix at the gala show of the world parkour GC Prague Playoffs in the O2 arena in Libeň in all previous years. No one else has done it, not even three-time Longines Global Champions Tour regular season winner Ben Maher of Great Britain.
Deusser was very successful in the very first year of this spectacular competition, which is only open to the winners of the individual LGCT Grand Prix, possibly to the so-called lucky losers in cases where the winner has already qualified in some of the previous rounds. In 2019 and 2021, he took the same sixth place, so this year he hoped to finally look at the podium.
However, twelve of the original fourteen announced opponents had to be defeated first. Even before the start of the Prague Playoffs, Sweden’s Malin Baryard-Johnsson withdrew due to an injury to her mare, and Ludger Beerbaum decided not to participate at the last minute, as he set his priority to build the best possible line-up of horses for Sunday’s Super Cup Global Champions League final.
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Seven riders passed the first round of the competition with obstacles up to 165 centimeters high without mistakes, but they had one penalty point for slightly exceeding the set time limit. Austrian Max Kühner with the stallion Eis Coriolis Des Isies added eight penalty points in the second round and finished ninth. On the other hand, the American McLain Ward, who qualified for Prague only at the penultimate round in New York, moreover only from fifth position, drove to the finish line zero for the second time and took the overall lead.
However, he did not enjoy his position as the leader for long, as the following German rider Katrin Eckermann with her mare Cala Mandia repeated her clean ride. Another of the Germans – Christian Ahlmann on the gelding Mandato van de Neerheide – registered two faults and finished eighth. The Dutchman Harrie Smolders, starting in a pair with the gelding Monaco NOP, did not avoid one mistake. As a result, four points in combination with a time of 64.22 put him on the fifth line of the results list.
The last two participants were already left at the start. Daniel Deusser with the stallion Scuderia 1918 Tobago Z registered another zero and a time of 65.22 catapulted him into the lead ahead of his compatriot Katrin Eckermann. However, he did not rejoice too much, because he knew that in the end a very strong opponent would start – the Belgian Pieter Devos in the saddle of the mare Mom’s Toupie de la Roque, who was greatly encouraged by the packed aisles of the O2 arena, also thanks to his membership of the Prague Lions team in the team league . But he made a mistake at the fourth obstacle and as a result had to settle for a non-medal fourth position. Daniel Deusser thus achieved the desired victory in his fourth participation in the Super Grand Prix.
Photo: Kateřina Návojová
Source: Global Champions Prague Playoffs press release