THE Longines Global Champions Tour Super Grand Prix lived up to all the hype in Prague, Czech Republic, last weekend, when a spectacular production at the venue ended with a thrilling victory for Sweden’s Henrik von Eckermann in the class with €1.25 million in prize money.

Von Eckermann has been on fire this season, earning a team gold in Tokyo and finishing second overall in the GCT standing. His loyal partner throughout was King Edward and the diminutive chesnut gelding duly delivered once again on Saturday night when he was the best of just two clear rounds in the huge 1.65m Grand Prix to take the top prize of €300,000.

He edged out Spain’s Sergio Alvarez Moya and Alamo, while Olympic champions Ben Maher and Explosion finished third when they knocked the penultimate fence in the second round, despite having the fastest time of the class.

Offaly’s Darragh Kenny placed fourth with his Tokyo Olympic mount VDL Cartello. The pair were the first to produce a clear – one of just five – in the first round, and were ultra-fast second time out, but four faults meant they finished fourth and picked up a massive €125,000.

Some 15 of the best riders in the world qualified for this big final through winning a round of the LGCT Grand Prix this season. Uliano Vezzani’s track was big and technical and the tight arena also had a part to play as there were plenty of faults spread across the course.

World number one and 2021 GCT champion Peder Fredricson had a surprise refusal in the second round with H&M Christian K, while his Tokyo teammate Malin Baryard-Johnsson was eliminated aboard El Barone 111 Z.

In the end, it was von Eckermann’s day when, last to go, he knew was needed to be done and duly delivered.

“To be back in this atmosphere for me is amazing, it was a special moment with this crowd,” the winner said afterwards. “I had a goal the whole time to qualify for here because I knew I would have a good chance. It is a fantastic feeling when it fits like it did today.”

London Knights victorious in €3.5 million Super Cup

LONDON Knights were crowned champions of the third GCL Super Cup, which had a phenomenal prize fund of €3.5 million, at the O2 Arena in Prague on Sunday evening.

In what was a nail-biting final, the squad of U25 rider Emily Moffitt and brothers Nicola and Olivier Phillipaerts faced down phenomenal pressure to reign supreme. All three kept a clean sheet the final round to finish with just seven faults from round one and earn a massive €1.2 million in prize money. It was a weekend of almosts for Darragh Kenny who helped the Paris Panthers team to second place in the big final. Alongside Harrie Smolders and Gregory Wathelet, he guided VDL Cartello to a clear in the final and the team will split the €900,000 prize money.