Monaco, Qatar's Bassem Hassan Mohamed finished second with Gunder at the Global Champions Tour Grand Prix du Prince de Monaco on Saturday night. Maikel van der Vleuten won the event in a tight finish where the top four in the elite show jumping event were separated by a little over a second.
The Dutchman and Beauville Z put in a flawless performance in the 10-way jump off and clocked in at 33.06 seconds, 0.06 seconds faster than Bassem and Gunder. The lightning-quick combination of Julien Epaillard and Usual Suspect d'Auge could only manage a third place finish.
Bassem had made history in Monaco in 2014 by taking Qatar's first ever GCT Grand Prix win with his horse Victoria. This year he had to settle for second, but was delighted nonetheless and the Qatari rider said: Gunder is always very good in the jump-off and today he jumped really amazing. With all these top riders it is never over until the end."
Bassem and Gunder pivoted round the opening few roll-backs. The Qatari rider pushed every button and, accelerating round the latter fences, the brilliant pair scorched home and into the lead, clear in 33.12, to appreciative cheers.
However, Maikel van der Vleuten increased the pace further still with the magnificent nine-year-old Beauvuille Z and the pair clearly had the magic touch. A breathtaking shot to the last rocketed them into the lead with a clear in 33.06.
A thrilled van der Vleuten said: It's incredible this horse really fights for me. I spoke with my dad earlier this week as to whether it was too early to bring him (Beauville Z) here as first horse but it happens sometimes. When I saw Julien on the screen, I could bet on it that he should win; he went full out everywhere. I was just a bit faster and I gave it everything today. I had some nice forward distances and the horse really worked for me."
The Dutchman, who becomes the 10th rider to qualify for the GCT Super Grand Prix at the GC Prague Playoffs in November, said: A few times I've come very close to qualifying, but that was really my goal to be one of the riders to take part in the Super Grand Prix this year, so now it's done it feels good."
There is no change at the top of the leader board in the Championship race, with Pieter Devos still leading the way but Ben Maher jumped ahead of Daniel Deusser and this win in Monaco pushed Maikel van der Vleuten up to fourth position with nine events left.
Source: Qatar Olympic Committee