Pieter Devos wins Miami Beach leg of Global Champions Tour

Miami Celtics win the team competition of the third leg of the Longines Global Champions Tour, while Pieter Devos takes the LGCT Grand Prix title.

Posted: Apr 30, 2019 10:00 AM
Updated: Apr 30, 2019 10:00 AM

Belgian Pieter Devos returned to the winner's circle in the Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT) -- for the world's top show jumpers -- for the first time since 2014 with a narrow victory in Miami Beach.

Devos and his 11-year-old Belgian-bred horse Claire Z triumphed in an eight-rider jump-off, producing a clear round that was 0.04 seconds faster than former overall LGCT champion Harrie Smolders and Don VHP Z.

READ: Global Champions 2019: Schedule and results

"It was great sport today, I'm so happy the way my mare jumped, she jumped everything clear this week," said Devos, who had won his first LGCT Grand Prix in 2014 at the inaugural Shanghai event.

His win handed him a ticket to the lucrative end-of-season GC Prague Playoffs.

Visit CNN.com/Sport for more news, features and video

Gates, Springsteen

Watched by rockstar Bruce Springsteen and Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates, the tight course in the compact, sandy arena of Miami Beach saw seven riders retire in the first round while only three went clear in the jump-off on a hot and humid day.

"It was tough sport, it was of the highest level sport, but it's normal, it's Global Champions Tour, the best riders of the world," said Devos.

"It was difficult, it was very delicate jumping, faults everywhere. That's why I was so happy with my mare, Claire, she jumped amazing."

The Global Champions Tour, show jumping's richest circuit, consists of a record 20 stops in 2019, including new venues in New York, Montreal and Stockholm.

The season will finish with the GC Prague Playoffs November 21-24.

READ: Jerome Guery wins LGCT Mexico City

READ: Julien Epaillard edges Ben Maher in Doha

Jump-off

Edwina Tops-Alexander of Australia, a two-time winner in Miami Beach, began the jump-off with a fast ride of 37.38 seconds, but her horse California touched a rail coming out of the double.

Tops-Alexander, a two-time overall winner, watched from the warmup arena as the next four riders -- Olivier Philippaerts of Belgium, Daniel Deusser and Christian Ahlmann of Germany and Britain's Scott Brash -- all failed to jump clear.

Devos entered the arena as the sixth rider knowing that a clear round would guarantee him a spot on the podium. He expertly guided his mare around the course, taking a tight turn into the last jump to finish in the same time as Tops-Alexander, but taking the lead as he made no mistakes.

The seventh rider, Sweden's Malin Baryard-Johnsson, also had a clear round with H&M Indiana, but finished 1.1 seconds slower than Devos, and ended third.

Would the last rider, the experienced Smolders of the Netherlands, spoil the party for Devos? For most of his ride, Smolders was ahead of Devos, only for Don VHP Z to finish in second place in 37.42 seconds as he took a wider turn going into the final jump.

"Considering that the poles were falling quite a lot, I didn't take maybe all the risk but I knew Harrie was also a very fast candidate after me," Devos said. "It was really until the end that I was a bit stressed to be second, but it worked out and I am super happy."

READ: Spectacular Miami Beach hosts Longines Global Champions Tour

Azure blue waters

The scenic surroundings of the Miami Beach course, built against a backdrop of the azure blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean, proved to be an inspiration for Devos, who had been on the podium twice before in the Florida beach resort.

"On the beach here, it always goes well with me, so I am very happy to come back every time," said Devos, who now leads the overall LGCT rankings with 88 points, five points clear of Deusser and 16 points ahead of Smolders.

"It gives me a super-feeling. When you enter the ring here, you see the sea, I don't know what it is, but it gives me a lot of luck here."

Global Champions League

Earlier in the day, the Global Champions League team event went down to the wire after no teams managed to produce a double clear during the first round on Thursday, which saw New York Empire being eliminated.

After Shanghai Swans swept the first two legs of the GCL, Miami Celtics pulled off a sensational home win as the Irish duo of Shane Breen and Michael Duffy produced a double clear on Saturday to finish with a total of six penalties.

"We've had our ups and downs, and it's nice to come back here on home turf," Duffy told a news conference.

When asked if he had felt any pressure after his team mate and friend had gone clear, Duffy said: "Pressure is for tyres."

St Tropez Pirates, with Athina Onassis of Greece and Devos, were in second place with a total of seven penalties, while Emil Hallundbaek of Denmark and Baryard-Johnsson kicked off their new partnership for Berlin Eagles with a third-place finish, on eight penalties.

The Celtics, who had been lying in fourth place after the first round, moved to third place in the overall classification with 59 points, just one behind St Tropez Pirates. The Swans, the winners in Doha and Mexico City, remain the overall leaders with 79 points.

After Doha, Mexico City and Miami Beach, the Global Champions Tour now heads to Asia, with Shanghai hosting the fourth leg on May 3-5.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 751242

Reported Deaths: 13795
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1032931788
Lake556911009
Allen41692692
St. Joseph36990565
Hamilton36588417
Elkhart29398461
Tippecanoe22901226
Vanderburgh22556400
Porter19356325
Johnson18471389
Hendricks17682317
Clark13226195
Madison13149344
Vigo12614253
LaPorte12419221
Monroe12207176
Delaware10966198
Howard10321225
Kosciusko9630121
Hancock8576146
Bartholomew8169157
Warrick7860156
Floyd7811180
Grant7242179
Wayne7162201
Boone6966103
Morgan6761141
Dubois6218118
Marshall6209116
Cass6016110
Henry5900110
Dearborn589878
Noble581488
Jackson509076
Shelby501496
Lawrence4742122
Gibson444894
Clinton442355
Harrison441875
DeKalb439885
Montgomery438090
Whitley406543
Huntington402681
Steuben400159
Miami395269
Jasper388054
Knox375991
Putnam372960
Wabash361983
Ripley347170
Adams345555
Jefferson335886
White331953
Daviess3033100
Wells295281
Decatur289992
Greene286885
Fayette284864
Posey273835
LaGrange273072
Scott270156
Clay267148
Washington246036
Randolph244783
Jennings235349
Spencer234531
Starke228058
Fountain220948
Sullivan214643
Owen211858
Fulton202942
Jay200932
Carroll193620
Orange188255
Perry187237
Rush175926
Vermillion174844
Franklin170335
Tipton166246
Parke149416
Pike138234
Blackford136232
Pulaski120647
Newton113936
Brown104243
Crawford102516
Benton101714
Martin91715
Warren84015
Switzerland8148
Union72810
Ohio57911
Unassigned0420

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1108902

Reported Deaths: 20166
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1287491467
Cuyahoga1158082211
Hamilton814091250
Montgomery525571043
Summit484351001
Lucas43359820
Butler39018606
Stark33338929
Lorain25675505
Warren24595303
Mahoning22376603
Lake21211388
Clermont20124253
Delaware18856136
Licking16663222
Fairfield16576204
Trumbull16551482
Medina15612271
Greene15284248
Clark14237306
Wood13292200
Portage13251215
Allen11914239
Richland11607211
Miami10849225
Wayne9146223
Columbiana9034230
Muskingum8906135
Pickaway8664122
Tuscarawas8650250
Marion8642138
Erie8056165
Ashtabula7161179
Hancock6999132
Ross6945161
Geauga6838151
Scioto6534106
Belmont6157174
Union584649
Lawrence5732102
Jefferson5679158
Huron5546122
Sandusky5442126
Darke5420129
Seneca5350128
Washington5320109
Athens523960
Auglaize502187
Mercer487385
Shelby476895
Knox4572112
Madison444366
Ashland435797
Putnam4336103
Defiance432399
Fulton432174
Crawford4040110
Brown402461
Logan387677
Preble3856105
Clinton379166
Ottawa373681
Highland359865
Williams348278
Champaign344859
Guernsey324953
Jackson318254
Perry297350
Morrow291840
Fayette285450
Hardin275365
Henry273467
Holmes2702101
Coshocton269060
Van Wert247264
Adams243256
Pike242835
Gallia240750
Wyandot234556
Hocking220563
Carroll197348
Paulding176542
Meigs148440
Monroe136344
Noble136239
Harrison114138
Morgan109624
Vinton85717
Unassigned03
Fort Wayne
Partly Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 66°
Angola
Partly Cloudy
° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: °
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 66°
Decatur
Mostly Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 66°
Van Wert
Mostly Cloudy
68° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 68°
Calm and cool conditions are expected across the Midwest through the middle of the work week.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events