Gregory Wathelet and Eldorado van het Vijverhof. ph: GCL / Stefano Grasso
In Round 1 of the Global Champions League CSI5* Monaco in Monaco, France, a speedy performance delivered by the St. Tropez Pirates earned the team a position at the top of the leader board going into Saturday’s final round.
But after finishing in 2nd place to the Pirates, teammates Gregory Wathelet and Niels Bruynseels of the Vienna Eagles came back with a vengeance, closing out competition with clear jumping rounds for 1st place.
On Saturday, June 24, 2017 the duo returned for the GCL Final aboard their partners from Friday’s competition, with Wathelet riding the 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood stallion Eldorado van het Vijverhof (Thunder van de Zuuthoeve x Omarsecured) and Bruynseels aboard the 11-year-old Zangersheide mare Cas de Liberte (Cracky Z x Chellano Z). Aside from Bruynseels’ unlucky time fault, the Pirates were the sole team to produce a clear jumping round in both halves of the competition. The Pirates now sit in 3rd place on the current, overall GCL standings with 122 points.
“It was not a walk in the park, and it felt quite difficult,” said Bruynseels, with Wathelet adding that he hoped to “come back well in Paris.”
Luc Musette of Belgium designed the 1.60m course that featured 12 obstacles. The original time allowed of 68 seconds was extended to 71, though three riders picked up an agonizing time fault to end their hopes of making it to the feature event of the competition, the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix Du Prince De Monaco, which also served as the jump off round.
The time allowed proved to be too timely, and in pursuit of beating both the clock and the course, many riders ended up making costly mistakes. Of the 18 teams, only 7 riders were able to produce faultless rounds and earn a spot in the jump off.
The Shanghai Swans rotated teammates Jessica Springsteen, Roger Yves Bost, and Daniel Deusser over the course of both days, and in round 2 they finished in 2nd place after Bost and the 14-year-old Selle Francais stallion Pegase du Murier (Adelfos x Le Tot de Semilly) produced an essential clear round. The duo also produced the fastest of the faultless rounds with a time of 61.58. The Swans are now in 6th place in the overall GCL rankings with 106 points.
Christian Ahlmann and Yuri Mansur of the Mexico Amigos captured 3rd place with a score of 135.51. Over the two days, Ahlmann rode the 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare Dolcia (Verde x Furore) to a total four faults, while Mansur closed out the weekend with double clear rounds, rotating the 11-year-old Concorde mare Babylotte (Dollar du Murier x Concorde) and Unita Ask, the 13-year-old Holsteiner mare (Corrado I x Carentio). The Amigos are now in 5th place with 107 points on the overall GCL ranking.
For the Monaco leg, the St.Tropez pirates fell to 4th place in Saturday’s Round 2 with a combined 9 faults. On the GCL ranks, they are in 3rd place with 122 points. Valkenswaard United remain at the top of the leader board with an impressive 133 points.
Following the team competition, the top 25 riders from the GCL class—including individual riders—went immediately on to compete individually in the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix Du Prince De Monaco.
For the team results of the Global Champions League competition, click this link.
For the individual results of the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix Du Prince De Monaco, click this link.
For the current GCL standings, click this link.