Monday, Mar. 4, 2024

Watch Why They Won: Eckermann Repeats At LGCT Miami Beach

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While torrential storms last week forced scheduling changes for the opening days of the Longines Global Champions Tour of Miami Beach, the event’s trademark blue seas and sunshine were back Saturday in time for the week’s main event.

And, for the second year in a row, it was Germany’s Katrin Eckermann and her mare Cala Mandia who topped the podium for the $329,295 LGCT Grand Prix of Miami Beach CSI5* to collect her ticket for the Longines Global Champions Tour Super Grand Prix. 

“What can I say? I did it again, and I have no words,” a teary Eckermann said after her win. “Being here on the beach, with top horse sport, I am thrilled. After a tricky start [to the week] for all, with the weather a big thank you to the whole Global Champions team, and to [LGCT founder] Jan Tops, all conditions were really perfect in the end.”

Germany’s Katrin Eckermann and Cala Mandia repeated their 2022 LGCT Grand Prix of Miami Beach CSI5* win on Saturday. Stefano Grasso/LGCT Photo

Eckermann and the 10-year-old Westphalian mare (Capistrano 2—Vicky, Valentino 240) owned by Christian Glanemann were among seven horses, whittled down from a starting field of 40 that tackled course designer Uliano Vezzani’s opening track, to advance to the jump-off.

Among those joining her in the jump-off were LGCT grand prix rookie Khaled Almobty of Saudi Arabia on Equine America Spacecake, his trainer David Will of Germany with My Prins Van Dorperheide, and Margie Engle representing the host country aboard her longtime partner Dicas.

Spain’s Eduardo Alvarez Aznar and Bentley De Sury, entering the ring fourth in the jump-off, got the crowd cheering with the first clean round, stopping the clocks at 41.22 seconds.

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Eckermann followed him, and it was clear that her small, powerful mare thrives in the electric atmosphere of Miami Beach. They posted a time almost a second faster than Aznar to take first place with just two riders remaining. 

Engle, the only U.S. hope for a podium, was next, and while she pulled off a clear round, choosing an outside turn gave her a time of 44.74 seconds and ultimately left her just off the podium when the final rider in the ring, the Netherlands’ Maikel van der Vleuten and Beauville Z N.O.P. posted a time of 41.35 to nab third. 

Click here for full results.

Watch Eckermann’s winning jump-off round, courtesy of LGCT.tv:

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