Photo: GCL / Stefano Grasso
As temperatures rise, the Global Champions League battle has intensified as the world’s best teams head to the magical destination of Monaco for leg seven in what’s turning out to be a breath-taking Championship fight.
After a dramatic GCL Cannes Valkenswaard United regained their place at the top of the highly fought-over rankings, snatching the place back from Hamburg Diamonds, and adding to their points tally where they sit on 123 overall. The team return to Monaco - where they won in 2016 - this time fielding Alberto Zorzi and Janika Sprunger for the first round as they look to extend their lead. Hungry to take back the top spot are the Hamburg Diamonds, who currently have 199 points overall, with the team pulling out the big guns for this leg of the Championship with legend John Whitaker teaming up with Jos Verlooy for Round 1.
On 103 points are the St Tropez Pirates who bring back heavy-weight duo of Simon Delestre and Jerome Guery, the long-time best friends relishing in the opportunity to compete together within this Championship series. Just six points behind them, and breathing heavily down their necks are the red, white and blue team of the London Knights, with Ben Maher and Enrique Gonzalez taking up the baton for this leg of the Championship.
The magical back-drop of Port d’Hercule and the iconic Prince’s Palace in Monaco will provide a spectacular venue for midway point in the 2017 Global Champions League season. The spectacular team show jumping competition will take place alongside the world-famous harbour of Monte-Carlo and deliver fantastic entertainment for all as the 7th event on the 15-leg circuit.
The teams will descend on the Principality to face challenges in one of the smallest arenas on the League circuit, where daring, partnership and bravery are the key ingredients required for a successful charge. Watched over by the super-yachts and nestled in the former Formula 1 pit lane, this event is truly unique in the world of show jumping and draws crowds from all around the world.
The ice-cool duo of Scott Brash and Denis Lynch will once again join forces for Miami Glory, with the pair ones to watch after their strong results in the Championship so far. The first round of GCL Monaco will see many of the teams pull out their tried-and-tested pairings, as another strong duo will be the Doha Fursan Qatar pairing, with Sheikh Ali Bin Khalid Al Thani and Bassem Hassan Mohammed who reunite for this leg. Gregory Wathelet and Niels Bruynseels will be back in action for the Vienna Eagles, David Will and Philip Houston will return for the Cascais Charms and Nicola Philippaerts and Lauren Hough will team up again for the Chantilly Pegasus.
Many big names are out in force, as star striker Christian Ahlmann returns for the Mexico Amigos, this time alongside Yuri Mansur Guerios. Fellow top German Daniel Deusser will hope to beat his compatriot, as he competes alongside U25 star Jessica Springsteen for the Shanghai Swans.
Home team Monaco Aces will see Pieter Devos join forces with Danielle Goldstein, with the pressure on the red and grey team to pull out all the stops at their home event. Hardin Towell and Nayel Nassar will return to the arena for the Paris Panthers, with the team looking for a strong result ahead of their home event next week, and Marlon Zanotelli makes his return to the GCL for the Rome Gladiators, teaming up with Abdel Saïd.
Cannes Stars will be hoping for a positive result after slipping down the order following last week’s leg, with Jane Richard Philips and Christian Kukuk in action for the team. Moscow Bears will field a completely U25 combination with Dutch talent Kevin Jochems teaming up with Mathilda Karlsson for the first time this season. Max Kuhner and Anna Kellnerova will unite for the Berlin Lions, and Leopold van Asten joins forces with Gonzalo Anon Suarez.
The enchanting Riviera location and luxurious facilities at the Monaco event combine to deliver a stunning experience for families, VIPs, sponsors, owners and riders. Monaco, which also plays host to Formula One and ATP Masters tennis, is a hub of sport with many high-profile fans in attendance. Over the years, HH Prince Albert II of Monaco and members of the Royal Family have joined business leaders and celebrities to cheer on the riders.
The GCL action kicks off at 16:45 as teams tussle for pole position and low scores ahead of Saturday’s final.
For the full Round 1 Rider List, please click here.