Capturing hearts and headlines alike, Jessica Springsteen rocketed to victory in the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of London CSI5* with Don Juan Van De Donkhoeve on Sunday. Olivier Philippaerts of Belgium had to settle for second place for the second consecutive week on H&M Miro. Picking up his 24th LGCT Grand Prix podium finish, Dutch Olympian Harrie Smolders and the incredibly consistent Moncao N.O.P. took third after a battle of the best.
Springsteen’s triumph not only claimed her the coveted top spot on the podium, it also earned her the esteemed “golden ticket” to the LGCT Super Grand Prix in Prague, a showcase of international show jumping prowess.
There was no stopping Springsteen and the 14-year-old Belgian Warmblood (Bamako De Muze—Diva Van Donkhoeve, Heartbreaker), who had the sold-out crowd behind their every stride. After taking a flying start and risking it all with the tightest of turns back to the double, Springsteen clearly had entered the ring chasing one thing: the win.
“I’m so happy with ‘Don’ today,” she said Sunday. “I took some risks, but it paid off. I’m so excited; I’m honestly in shock. This is my first five-star grand prix win with Don, so I’m so thankful. It means so much to win here, especially in front of this incredible atmosphere and crowd in London. It’s an incredible venue and an incredible crowd; they really give you the energy—they’re really cheering you on, and I think you and your horse, they really feel that, which is special.”
Watch Springsteen’s winning round, courtesy of GCTV:
Taking second place for the second year in a row, Philippaerts is on form at the LGCT of London, particularly following his Stockholm Hearts team’s win in the GCL of London on Saturday.
“I’m incredibly happy; I’ve just got to work a bit harder to bring home a win,” he said. “I’ve been hungry for it for a very long time already, so I will keep pushing it, keep trying, and hopefully one day we will pull it off.”
As one of the most consistent horses on tour this year, Monaco N.O.P. with Smolders added a crucial 35 points to his championship total of 229 and is firmly in second place on the overall championship standings.
“ ‘Monaco’ jumped outstanding again,” Smolders said. “I am very grateful; I have two superstars at the moment in Uricas [V/D Kattevennen] and Monaco.”