WEATHER AUTHORITY : Severe Thunderstorm Watch View Alerts

Martin Fuchs and Chaplin earn double victory in LGCT Madrid

Martin Fuchs sealed a double in Madrid as the Longines Global Champions Tour for the world's top showjumpers hit Europe for the first time this season.

Posted: May 20, 2019 8:40 AM
Updated: May 20, 2019 8:40 AM

Martin Fuchs sealed a double victory as the Longines Global Champions Tour for the world's top showjumpers hit Europe for the first time this season with a dramatic stop in Madrid.

The young Swiss rider and his horse Chaplin edged Holland's Maikel van der Vleuten and Dana Blue by just 0.28 seconds to seal his first LGCT victory. Bart Bles, also from the Netherlands, was third.

Earlier in the day, Fuchs teamed up with Britain's Ben Maher to win the Global Champions League team event for the London Knights.

"My horse Chaplin was great, it is an amazing stadium, and an amazing crowd," said Fuchs, who took home €100,000 ($111,674) after winning an 11-rider jump-off. "I was lucky to be the last to go, and I knew what I had to do. And I had the support of all the Spanish fans here, this was amazing."

Visit CNN.com/Equestrian for more news, features and videos

Jump-off

As dusk fell on a cool evening at the vast, grassy arena of the Club de Campo Villa de Madrid country club, Shanghai winner Danielle Goldstein of Israel and her big-striding horse Lizziemary started the jump-off with a fast-paced and clear round, taking the lead with a time of 40.86 seconds.

German Marcus Ehning's horse touched a pole before Bles knocked Goldstein off the lead as he pulled out all the stops on Gin D to finish in 40.11 seconds.

The fifth rider to go, Van der Vleuten, took the lead from his countryman with a high-speed ride, finishing in 39.77 seconds as the owner of his horse, Spanish fashion retail heiress Marta Ortega, watched from the stands.

The next rider, Germany's Daniel Deusser and Calisto Blue, didn't take any risks and went clear in a time of 45.92, good enough for fifth, securing his overall ranking.

READ: Global Champions Tour 2019: Schedule and results

Mission impossible?

After the next three riders, Germany's Ludger Beerbaum, Sweden's Evelina Tovek and Portugal's Luciana Diniz, all failed to jump clear, the only thing standing between Van der Vleuten and a third win in Madrid were the London Knights team mates, Maher and Fuchs.

Although Maher, last year's LGCT overall champion, started off well on Explosion W, they finished with a disappointing eight penalties.

Could Fuchs spoil the party for the two Dutchmen at the top of the leaderboard as the last rider to go?

Riding into the arena to the theme tune of "Mission:Impossible" the Swiss went full throttle on his 12-year-old Dutch warmblood stallion, celebrating wildly and hugging his horse as they finished in a time of 39.49 seconds.

"I wanted to be really quick to the third vertical and to the triple bar, and then obviously the last two jumps, just used the canter of my horse," Fuchs said.

Watching from the warmup arena, Van der Vleuten's face dropped as his father patted him on the shoulder.

"It was close today," said Van der Vleuten, who moved into third on the overall leaderboard, behind Deusser and LGCT leader Pieter Devos of Belgium, who didn't compete in Madrid. "In the end, it just wasn't quick enough. But I think I must be very happy, the way she jumped today."

Van der Vleuten also thanked his new owner.

"I also wanted to say a big thanks to Marta Ortega, she bought Dana Blue for me a couple of weeks ago," said Van der Vleuten. "That's very important, because it is not easy these days to get the right horses for this level, and then to keep the horses for this level."

READ: Jessica Springsteen on growing up in a famous family and her love for horses

Prague Playoffs

Fuchs' first LGCT victory earned him a spot in the lucrative season-ending GC Prague Playoffs November 21-24, which will pit the individual winners of each leg against each other in the season finale.

Staged at a record 20 venues this season, the Global Champions Tour is show jumping's richest circuit. After stops in the Middle East, Mexico, the US and Shanghai, Madrid kicked off a five-month stay in Europe, which consists of 13 events in cities including London, Rome, Saint Tropez, Monaco and Paris.

"My first time competing here, so I am definitely coming back," said Fuchs, whose uncle, Markus Fuchs, won team silver for Switzerland in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

READ: Building a stadium on the sand at Miami Beach

Global Champions League

The London Knights came from behind to clinch the Global Champions League for teams in Madrid for the second straight year, by the smallest of margins.

The Knights, with Maher and Fuchs, won the two-day event, which saw the top three all have double clears, as they finished 0.91 seconds faster than Britain's Scott Brash and Spencer Smith of the US, of overnight leaders New York Empire.

Madrid in Motion, the home team which fielded the Dutch father-son combination of Eric and Maikel van der Vleuten, were third, at 11.08 seconds back.

"I was very pleased to be here with my team mate Ben, who is always a great team mate and he made a double clear like he usually does," said Fuchs, who produced two error-free rounds with two different horses.

The Knights' successful title defense in Madrid pushed them into fifth place on the overall leaderboard.

"We are are very happy to be coming from behind this year so far," said Maher after going double clear with Explosion W. "We played it right today, we both went quick for the class, and we needed to. Probably one of the closest teams I can remember. Just quick enough."

The Shanghai Swans finished in fourth place as Switzerland's Pius Schwizer had a time penalty, but extended their lead in the overall standings to 109 points. The Swans, the winner of the first two legs, are 20 points clear of St Tropez Pirates in second place, and 22 points ahead of the Monaco Aces in third.

The Tour's next stop is in Hamburg, Germany from May 30-June 1.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 35419

Reported Deaths: 1230
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds290851
DeSoto190019
Madison144638
Jones120349
Harrison113616
Rankin108715
Neshoba104577
Forrest99343
Lauderdale96381
Scott81915
Jackson77519
Washington72213
Copiah65315
Leake63520
Lee61222
Oktibbeha61128
Grenada5949
Warren59421
Holmes58641
Wayne56218
Yazoo5536
Lowndes54813
Lamar5347
Leflore53156
Lincoln52935
Pike49920
Lafayette4974
Sunflower4778
Monroe45635
Panola4486
Covington4355
Bolivar40518
Simpson3933
Attala38424
Newton37510
Tate35213
Adams35120
Pontotoc3466
Marion32712
Claiborne30111
Chickasaw29719
Winston29511
Pearl River28832
Noxubee2788
Jasper2776
Marshall2773
Walthall2627
Clay25811
Union25211
Smith24612
Clarke22325
Coahoma2226
Lawrence2092
Yalobusha2079
Tallahatchie1954
Kemper18414
Carroll18111
Montgomery1713
Calhoun1645
Humphreys16310
Itawamba1468
Tippah14511
Hancock14413
Webster13411
Jefferson1263
Tunica1233
Jefferson Davis1204
Prentiss1204
George1163
Greene11310
Amite1103
Alcorn1002
Quitman991
Wilkinson989
Tishomingo971
Perry874
Choctaw754
Stone742
Franklin542
Sharkey480
Benton460
Issaquena101
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 49892

Reported Deaths: 1077
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson6433170
Mobile4753139
Montgomery4430112
Tuscaloosa263253
Madison21199
Marshall192611
Shelby164225
Lee157237
Morgan12695
Baldwin120711
Walker106131
Elmore102920
Dallas9969
Etowah95114
DeKalb9417
Franklin93216
Autauga67614
Russell6750
Chambers67427
Unassigned65328
Butler65129
Tallapoosa62869
Limestone6223
Houston5857
Cullman5716
Lauderdale5686
St. Clair5133
Colbert4956
Calhoun4905
Lowndes48122
Escambia4808
Pike4725
Coffee4244
Jackson4182
Covington41412
Barbour3942
Dale3911
Talladega3897
Bullock37710
Marengo35211
Hale34823
Chilton3232
Clarke3126
Wilcox3038
Blount2961
Winston2965
Sumter29113
Marion27514
Pickens2696
Randolph2589
Monroe2553
Perry2362
Conecuh2308
Bibb2211
Macon2159
Choctaw21212
Greene1959
Henry1533
Washington1418
Crenshaw1273
Lawrence1250
Cherokee1237
Geneva960
Lamar871
Clay852
Fayette821
Coosa651
Cleburne421
Out of AL00
Tupelo
Clear
82° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 86°
Columbus
Few Clouds
83° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 89°
Oxford
Few Clouds
82° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 85°
Starkville
Scattered Clouds
81° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 84°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather