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Monday, June 30, 2008
Showjumping - Global Champions Tour - Monte-Carlo
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2008 Global Champions Tour - Monte-Carlo, Monaco

Showjumping's Global Champions Tour held the 1st and 2nd rounds of the 2008 Grand Prix du Prince de Monaco event on Saturday evening as part of the Monaco leg of their international tour (26-28 June, 2008). The event was broadcast live on Eurosport to a television audience of over 240 million people and held in incredible style at the Port of Monaco. The photo shows Richard Spooner, the winner of the Grand Prix competing during the event on his horse named Cristallo.

The final outcome of the Grand Prix du Prince de Monaco was determined by the combined result of the 1st and 2nd rounds including a jump-off amongst the four highest placed finishers at the end. The jump-off was spectacular to watch as it placed each rider against the other for the best time over a shortened course with high jumping difficulty. It must have given the Eurosport viewers excellent television to watch.

The Global Champions Tour Awards were presided over by H.R.H. Princess Caroline of Hanover, who personally gave the awards to the Grand Prix winners. The combined result winner of the 1st and 2nd Rounds and the winner of the Jump-Off was Richard Spooner from the United States, riding his horse named Cristallo. Spooner also walked away with 100,000 Euros in prize money for his efforts and skill. In second place was Marcus Ehning from Germany on Vulkano FRH. Third place was taken by Ulrich Kirchhoff, also from Germany, and riding his horse Carino 188.

It was Richard Spooner's first ever victory in Europe, and Spooner replied that it wasn't a bad way to start by winning the Grand Prix du Prince in Monaco. He congratulated Jan Tops, President Global Champions Tour BV, for the excellent work he has done in bringing the GC Showjumping Tour to such a high level in just three years. Richard also thanked his horse Cristallo for being such a gem of a horse that originally people had misgivings about, yet he has been able to reach the level where he could win in Monaco. Spooner said he was off to Spruce Meadows to compete and would be at the next GC Tour event in Estoril, Spain.

Marcus Ehning, finishing in second place, felt Monaco was an unbelievable atmosphere to compete in, and he was proud to compete there. He also thanked his horse Vulkano FRH, who is a 9 year old stallion, and said he was very lucky to have him as a horse to ride.

Ulrich Kirchhoff, finishing in third, gave his technical analysis of the course saying the style was large fences, and somewhat difficult to ride on a smaller circuit. He said he would be competing in Estoril, the next Global ChampionsTour scheduled event.

Jan Tops, GC Tour President, indicated that he was delighted with having Monaco on the Tour Schedule, and that it was excellent for the sport and excellent for the sponsors. Tops said from all the interest, what he saw was the Global Champions Tour moving to even higher levels for the future. He said the Eurosport coverage itself brings the absolute best riders worldwide to compete on the Tour.

The Global Champions Tour is sponsored by CN, CN Worldwide and Rolex, the official timepiece for the Tour. The upcoming events after Monaco for the tour are Estoril (July 12), Valkenswaard (August 2), Arezzo (September 13), Sao Paulo (Round 1 - October 9), and Sao Paulo (Round 2 - October 11).

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