26 February '24

Christian Ahlmann and Otterongo Alpha Z score a podium finish in Doha

Otterongo Alpha Z - Christian Ahlmann - ©Lukasz Kowalski

© Lukasz Kowalski

In the beautiful facilities of Al Shaqab in Doha, later this week marks the start of the new season of the Longines Global Champions Tour. The week preceding this first leg of the season traditionally features the five-star competition of CHI Al Shaqab presented by Longines on the schedule, for which Christian Ahlmann had also traveled to the oil state. Ahlmann relied, among others, on our 10-year-old chestnut stallion Otterongo Alpha Z (Darco x Hedjaz – Breeder: Jozef Poets), and after their good performances in recent weeks, they managed to maintain that good form last weekend as well. Ahlmann and Otterongo Alpha Z started their competition strong on Thursday with a top placement in the 1.50m main class. In a race against the clock, they managed to keep all the poles in the cups, earning them a 5th place in the standings. But even during Saturday's 1.50m high-speed class, the successful duo once again took the spotlight. Once again, Ahlmann and Otterongo Alpha Z were flawless, and with a finishing time of 56.16 seconds, they secured a 3rd place in the standings this time.

Otterongo Alpha Z - Christian Ahlmann - ©Lukasz Kowalski (2)

During that 1.50m class on Thursday, the victory went to Irish rider Richard Howley with the 9-year-old grey gelding Zodiak du Buisson Z, a son of VDL Zirocco Blue N.O.P. and Dutch Capitol bred by Haras du Buisson in the Netherlands. Howley and Zodiak du Buisson Z finished in 62.73 seconds, giving them a small lead over the competition. But the 2nd place also featured a Z horse thanks to French rider Simon Delestre and the 11-year-old gelding Dexter Fontenis Z (Diarado x Voltaire – Breeder: S.C.R.I.Ky Horses). They also ensured a flawless round and managed to stop the clock at 63.55 seconds.

Also competing in Doha was Belgian rider Pieter Devos, who also brought blue and yellow success in recent days. During the 1.55m class on Friday evening, he caught attention with his 9-year-old homebred mare Casual DV Z, a daughter of Cornet Obolensky and Cicero Z. They delivered faultless rounds both in the initial course and in the jump-off, earning them a 5th place in the standings. But Devos also showcased strength with the 10-year-old chestnut mare Jarina J, a direct daughter of Cicero Z combined with Harley VDL. During the CSI5* GP on Saturday, they were among the 12 best combinations to qualify for the second and deciding round, ultimately securing a 4th place finish.

Another notable combination in recent days was Thai rider Janakabhorn Karunayadhaj with her 10-year-old mare Maxwin All Pleasure Hero II Z, a daughter of Aganix du Seigneur Z and For Pleasure bred by Horse Invest Ltd HPBNL. Karunayadhaj and Maxwin All Pleasure Hero II Z kicked off their competition with a 6th place during the 1.45m class on Thursday, followed by an 8th place in the 1.45m class on Friday, and a 7th place in the 1.50m class on Saturday.

Lastly, there was success for the bloodline of our chestnut stallion Epleaser Z thanks to Austrian rider Gerfried Puck and his 12-year-old top mare Equitron Melody Vd Smidshoeve, bred by Hugo Stevens who combined the blood of Epleaser Z with that of Thunder van de Zuuthoeve. Puck and Equitron Melody Vd Smidshoeve finished 4th during the 1.45m class on Friday, and on Saturday they concluded their competition with an 8th place in the 1.50m high-speed class.


Otterongo Alpha Z

Aganix du Seigneur Z

Cicero Z