Victory gallop for Valkenswaard United teammates Bertram Allen & Alberto Zorzi. ph: LGCT/Stefano Grasso.
To close out the team competition at the LGCT debut in Berlin, Germany on Saturday, July 29, 2017, the Valkenswaard United won the Global Champions League CSI5* Final of Berlin, narrowing the gap between themselves and the Hamburg Diamonds in the overall team title race.
After Friday’s opening round, which saw the Miami Glory at the top of the leader board going into day two, three teams entered the competition in contention for the win. But in an unfortunate end to the competition for Miami Glory, teammates Denis Lynch and Scott Brash racked up a combined 8 faults, dropping them off the podium and into 9th place. Ultimately, the race for the title at the Sommergarten Arena came down to Valkenswaard United and the Hamburg Diamonds.
Frank Rothenberger of Germany set the 11 obstacle course for the event that served as both the team final and the qualifying class for the LGCT Grand Prix of Berlin CSI5* that immediately followed.
Both Alberto Zorzi of The Valkenswaard United and Eric Lamaze of The Hamburg Diamonds put in clear rounds to keep their teams with a score of zero.
In the next rotation that saw Jos Verlooy enter for the Hamburg Diamonds, the crowd watched in anticipation with the knowledge that a clear could grant them a 1st place finish, while a a pole down could cost them the win, and, depending on the severity of the score, their overall ranking. Riding the 9-year-old Belgium Warmblood gelding Igor (Emerald van ‘t Ruytershof x Nabab De Reve) Verlooy galloped to last jump, taking a tight turn at the final vertical. It would prove too costly as the pole rolled, putting the team down on four faults.
All eyes were now on Bertram Allen of Valkenswaard United and the 9-year-old Belgian Warmblood Gelding Izzy By Picobello (Cicero Z x Capriano) to determine the ranking for 1st and 2nd place. A clear round or a fast four faults would secure them the win and earn the team valuable ranking points. The combined time of Zorzi and Allen was enough to keep the team ahead of their closest rivals, securing the win and closing the gap on the Hamburg Diamonds in the overall rankings.
Coming into Day 2 of the competition on 8 faults, teammates Ben Maher and Kent Farrington of the London Knights put in a stunning clear round to secure their team a 3rd place position on the podium.
The third win of the season for the Valkenswaard United puts them tantalizingly close to regaining the GCL Championship lead. The next round of action heads to the new destination of London, England next week where the Royal Hospital Chelsea will be the backdrop for the 12th round of action in the battle for the 2017 Global Champions League title.
For the full results, click this link.