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Bassem matches Julien for tied 1st finish in opening LGCT class

Bassem matches Julien for tied 1st finish in opening LGCT class


Vinay Nayudu
Doha
Qatar's Bassem Hassan Mohammed made a winning start to the Doha finale leg of the Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT) finishing jointly on top with Frenchman Julien Epaillard in the CSI5* 1.45 m (Two Phases: A + A, Both Phases Against the Clock) class at the brilliant Al Shaqab equestrian centre on Thursday.
The local hero was just flawless, elegant and matched Epaillard in speed in the outings awesomely, to finish with a matched time of 24.85secs. Both the riders won Euros 6625 each in prize.
Applauded by the home crowd for his top show, Bassem later said,"It's very nice to start the weekend with the win. I know Julien is fast and I saw him before I went in. I tried my best and ended up with the win."
Bassem's show was commendable, coming against a field of 51 top riders of the world.
Riding grey gelding Argelith Squid, the 31-year-old astonished everyone by matching Epaillard's time to perfection considered rare in showjumping.
Bertram Allen from Ireland astride GK Casper perfected his second round of the day to grab the third-place finish with a time of 25.16 seconds.
This year's champion Ben Maher of Britain astride on Madame X was slowed down by the tight course and saw himself getting pushed down to sixth.
"I definitely think everyone will try to come inside this jump (fence 5) to this one (fence 11)," explained Maher.
First up, Gerco Schroder's (NED) performance on Glock's Cognac Champblanc demonstrated the technicality of the track produced by course designer Uilano Vezzani."High, wide and handsome", was a commentator's praise after Gerco perfected a clear round.
Marc Houtzager (NED) on board Sterrehof's Baccarat took an early lead with a handsome time of 30.33 seconds only to be beaten three riders later by Ben Maher (GBR) and Madame X whose time of 26.22 seconds was challenged by Lorenzo de Luca (ITA) and Jeunesse van T Paradijs.
Unfortunately it wasn't Lorenzo's day because taking one stride out to the last fence cost him a rail despite a record time of 24.62 seconds.
The second half brought most of the action as riders gleaned from their fellow rider's performances. There was drama at fence 11 for Great Britian's Emily Moffitt. Known for their class and speed, Don Vito decided today wasn't the day leaving Emily to graciously exit the arena on two feet.
Geir Gulliksen (NOR), the 40th rider to enter the ring, knocked Ben back to second place by setting a snappy time of 25.45 seconds on VDL Groep Quatro. Geir would soon be beaten by French speed demon Julien Epaillard and Safari d Auge who edged infront by successfully completing the last line in 8 strides passing the finish line at 24.85 seconds.
The return of the LGCT and the Global Champions League (GCL) Tour to Al Shaqab saw a study flow of showjumping aficianados to the glorious venue.
Familes and kids enjoyed their outing at the kids zone and at the Al Shaqab Bazaar which has some top of the line boutiques selling women wear, perfumes and local food produce.
Result
CSI5* Two Phases 1.45m
1. Julien Epaillard (FRA); Safari d Auge (Horse); Time: 24.85secs; Prize; €6625
1. Bassem Mohammed (QAT); Argelith Squid; 24.85secs; €6625
3. Bertram Allen (IRE); GK Casper; 25.16; €3750.

Friday Schedule
NATIONAL SERIES HATHAB
09:00hrs: Class C (1.15/1.25m) QR10,000
13.45: Class B Invidual + teams (1.20/1.30m) QR20,000each event
Longines Global Champions Tour
16:30: Class 3: CSI5* (1.50m) €50,000
18:30: Class 4: CSI5* (1.55m) €145,000.

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