Tidigare under dagen såg han till att hans lag Shangahi Swans vann laghoppningen i Global Champions League.
H&M Christian K hoppade suveränt både i grundomgång och omhoppning.
Däremot hade segraren Jerome Guery, Belgien hittat en vinnande växel. Tvåa var Abdel Said, Egypten, som har arbetat många år i Europa och som hade framgångar i Göteborg under världscupfinalen.
Nästa stopp i Global Champions Tour är Miami, Florida, USA.
Belgium’s Jerome Guery and Quel Homme de Hus pulled off a glorious victory in the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Mexico City.
Guery and his powerful bay stallion emerged triumphant after an exhilarating 12-strong jump off at the stunning Campo Marte show ground earning him a precious ticket to the LGCT Super Grand Prix at the GC Playoffs in Prague in November.
Guery threw up his hands in sheer delight when his victory was confirmed after he pipped Egypt’s Abdel Said (EGY) who came in second with Dutch champion Harrie Smolders (NED) in third.
Speaking after his win, he said: “I have only been riding this horse for two months, so the combination is really new for me. The horse comes from my best friend. He gave it to me as he knew this is a special horse, and he deserved to go to 5* shows. I didn’t expect to win today and I’ve never had a feeling like this about a horse. For me Mexico City is my favourite LGCT - it’s an amazing show, I like the big arena and as my first LGCT this year to start with a victory is amazing.”
Compatriot Niels Bruynseels (BEL) shot to the top of the overall ranking as the strong contingent of Belgian riders on the LGCT and GCL circuit shine in the early stage of the 2019 season. After learning he was on top of the ranking Niels said: “I’m very happy. To be the leader of the ranking of competitions with the best riders, best horses and best shows in the world is something very special.”
It was a thrilling crescendo to three days of colourful celebration of Mexican culture at the incredible LGCT of Mexico, with riders wowed by the intensely passionate support of the crowd and the vibrant festival atmosphere. Commenting on the event Daniel Bluman said: “The atmosphere is breathtaking, its everything you want for a horse show. It doesn’t get better.”
Stunning views of the expansive grass arena to the burgeoning City skyline set the scene for a Grand Prix thriller. With the giant Mexican flag flying overhead fans lined the arena and guests took their seats in the large hospitality lounges as 31 rider and horse combinations went into battle.
In the first round there were disappointing exits including the USA’s Kent Farrington, Jos Verlooy of Belgium, Beezie Madden (USA), Shane Breen (IRE), Olivier Philippaerts (BEL), Denis Lynch (IRE) and Pieter Devos (BEL). Ben Maher (GBR) and Madame X had a round to forget ending in 12 faults. Last year’s Mexico City LGCT Grand Prix winner Scott Brash (GBR), this time riding Hello Senator, didn’t quality for the jump off.
But a dynamic dozen of the world’s finest riders did win through to the climax of the 1.60m competition.
Simon Delestre (FRA) and the chestnut gelding Uccello de Will delivered a faultless clear under bright blue skies setting the time to beat at 42.65 to the delight of the big crowd.
Niels Bruynseels (BEL) set off in top gear but finished on 8 faults. Germany’s Daniel Deusser and Calisto Blue hit the accelerator but finished in 43.29 despite a superb effort.
There was delight from Eric van der Vleuten (NED) riding the big striding chestnut mare Wunschkind as he took the big Banorte fence on an angle and continued to finish clear in 41.71 and into the lead.
But it was to be short-lived as fellow countryman Harrie Smolders and the formidable Don VHP Z made easy work of the course to come in a second faster and take over the lead in 40.74.
Laura Kraut (USA) and Zeremonie set off at a blistering pace but picked up 4 faults at the GNP water tray and another 4 at the Longines vertical. Bertram Allen suffered a similar fate with Molly Malone V clocking up 8 faults as they chased the leading times without success.
As the temperature rose around the arena Abdel Said (EGY) and Venise du Reverdy set off at a cracking pace and executed super turns at key points in the course to take the lead in 40.53 to loud cheers around the arena.
Ireland’s young star Michael Duffy and the bay gelding Quintano could not capitalise on their impressive first round and finished on four faults at the Longines combination.
Jerome Guery and Quel Homme de Hus set off at a scorching pace and pulled off a brilliant handbrake turn after the second fence and the Banorte obstacle before stopping the clock at a winning 39.57.
Sweden’s Peder Fredricson and H&M Christian K were swift and polished but put in a time of 41.14 and the final rider Maikel van der Vleuten and Dana Blue picked up 4 faults at the Longines combination.
The third leg of the LGCT and GCL Championship race takes place next week in the dazzling destination of Miami Beach on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean as the 20-event circuit gathers pace.
Peder vinnare i GCL i Mexiko City
Peder Fredricson är i storform. Efter framgångarna och bronsplatsen i Göteborg i världscupfinalen fortsätter Peder med felfria ritter. Nu med H&M Christian K i Global Champions League i Mexiko.
Laget vann och Peder var fyra individuellt.Även Malin Baryard Johnsson var felfri i denna laghoppning med H&M Indiana. Hon landade på en sjundepkats och båda svenska ryttarna är vidare till Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix senare ikväll.
Shanghai Swans have thrown the gauntlet down to the rest of the GCL teams by extending their Championship lead by 25 points today in Mexico City. Daniel Deusser with Calisto Blue and Peder Fredricson with H&M Christian K took a convincing win in the picturesque grass arena, with new star striker signing Peder immediately proving his worth for the squad.
A delighted Daniel said: “This was a really different team compared to Doha. The expectations are high for this season, it is only the being but we are a very strong team and have I got a lot of confidence in us."
Teammate Peder agreed: "This is my first time competing for the Shanghai Swans and it couldn’t have gone better!"
Hamburg Giants’ Simon Delestre with Uccello de Will and Bart Bles and Israel v.d.Dennehoeve took second place today, while Laura Kraut with Zeremonie and Jos Verlooy with Igor claimed the final podium position for the Monaco Aces.
Thousands of fans flocked to the brilliant Mexican arena to see the GCL showdown unfold today, and the teams did not disappoint in a spell-binding display of edge-of-the-seat sport.
Course designer Javier Trenor put together another flowing but challenging course, with options of lines for riders, and galloping distances requiring complete control, trust and precision. Athletes tackled a huge Massimo Dutto oxer, a Longines double combination, a GNP Seguros double combination, and a very skinny vertical set away from the in-gate caused a few problems. Gerco Schroder summed it up: “You have to pay attention at every second, the course does not allow you to take your eye of the ball.” Throughout the arena were eye-catching ‘Alebrijes’ - the brightly coloured Mexican folk art sculptures of fantastical animals adding flashes of brightness to today’s stage.
Speaking before the start of the class, new signing for the Paris Panthers Harrie Smolders said: "We are a very strong team, with very good riders and a lot of horsepower. I brought my best horses here in Don and Zinius. Don had a break after the GCL Super Cup in Prague, and he’s on fantastic form here. It’s early in the season to say which teams are strongest so far. Every team has a chef d’equipe, it’s growing and growing.”
With a heavy score of 14 carried over from Thursday, the Stars had everything to do today. First to go Jane Richard Philips and Clipper du Haut du Roy produced a brilliant clear, but picked up one time fault. Abdel Saïd and Venise du Reverdy matched their score perfectly, picking up one more time fault to keep the team on 16 overall.
New York Empire
Daniel Bluman and Sancha LS picked up another four faults for the team, before the a strategic swap to field Scott Brash and Hello Mr President paid off with the pair delivering a phenomenal round to jump clear, leaving the team on a score of 16.
The Pegasus team made no horse or rider change, fielding Rene Lopez and Histoire D O up front to see if they could improve on their position. A steady clear was the strategy for the team, and it paid off, just a time fault adding to their score of four faults.
U25 rider Constant van Paesschen brought out top stallion Jilbert van ' T Ruytershof, the pair delivering an impressive clear in the first round of GCL. But it came undone at the GCL double of verticals, and a further pole plummeted them down the order to a score of 17 overall.
Malin Baryard-Johnsson and H&M Indiana set off at a gallop, the fiery mare powering around the course and eating up the long lines with her stride, covering the ground to keep them clear and well within the time. Teammate Lorenzo de Luca took over the reins with Evita van't Zoggehof but an unlucky pole at the Massimo Dutti oxer put them on a total of eight faults.
From one bird of prey to another, the Falcons looked determined to jump clear today. With no horse or rider change, Michael Whitaker and Strides Hilanasterne were first to take up the mantle, but got a little too close to the GC Prague Playoffs vertical, picking up another four faults for the team.
Bassem Hassan Mohammed and Gunder took out the back rail of the Longines double, and the skinny vertical away from the in-gate tumbled to put the team on 16 overall.
2018 Champions London Knights were keen for redemption today, with twin brothers Olivier and Nicola Philippaerts bringing out their top horses again for this round of action. Watched on by team manager Ben Maher, Olivier was first to go with H&M Extra. He delivered a foot perfect clear, putting the pressure on his brother Nicola and top stallion H&M Chilli Willi.
The stallion looked fresh and fit, powering to the first two fences with his ears pricked. Nicola kept the horse together but an unlucky rub at the Longines combination and a pole at the Banorte vertical added another eight to the team’s sore, putting them on 12 overall.
St Tropez Pirates
A strategic change for the Pirates saw Athina Onassis take over the reins with MHS Going Global. But a pole and two faults for time put the score onto 10 with Pieter Devos next to go.
Fresh from his win yesterday, Pieter swapped mounts to Espoir, and the switch paid off - the Belgian rider finishing clear to keep the team on 10 faults overall.
Another team to make a rider change, the Celtics brought out new striker William Whitaker with RMF Cadeau de Muze as team manager Helena Stormanns watched on from the kiss n cry. But eight faults put the team on a total of 12, with enormous pressure on the shoulders of U25 rider Michael Duffy to deliver a clear.
Michael’s horse Quintano jumped his heart out for the young Irish talent, pulling an impressive clear out of the bag to keep the team’s score on 12.
Evelina Tovek kept Dalila de la Pomme for this round of the GCL Mexico City, the mare jumping with an expressive flick of her tail. But the GC Prague Playoffs vertical tumbled, adding four faults to the score.
Anchor Christian Ahlmann made a horse change to his chestnut stallion Take A Chance on me Z. But that fence would prove unlucky for the team, as it fell a second time and put the team on a score of 16 overall.
First of the teams on a zero score, the Giants kept their horse and rider combination unchanged. Simon Delestre was the first to go, but that GC Prague Playoffs fence would prove costly as Uccello de Will just clipped it with his hind hoof. A time fault to boot, and the team found themselves on a total of five overall.
Bart Bles and Israel v.d.Dennehoeve had a moment at the start after his bay gelding spooked dramatically at the brightly coloured horse sculpture. But Bart managed to sooth his mount, and the pair pulled off a brilliant clear to keep the team on five faults.
Madrid in Motion
The GCL Super Cup winners looked in with a chance for a podium today, heading into the second round with a clear score. But a pole from Eric van der Vleuten and Wunschkind at the Longines combination would drop them to four faults overall.
A rider change for the team, with on-form Eduardo Alvarez Aznar taking over the reins from Maikel van der Vleuten would be a point of discussion for the team. The Spanish rider piloted Seringat around the course, but it quickly unraveled after the pair picked up 12 faults and dropped the team to 16 overall.
There was heartache for the Lions after U25 rider Anna Kellnerova and Catch Me if You Can OLD collected a disappointing 12 faults after their brilliant performance on Thursday. The baton was passed to Niels Bruynseels and Utamaro D Ecaussines but another five faults would drop the Lions way down the order.
Jos Verlooy and Igor just rolled up a pole to put the Aces on four faults, before Laura Kraut and top mare Zeremonie took up the pace. But another pole at the GNP combination would put the team on eight overall, crucially behind the Hamburg Giants.
Current ranking leaders the Swans made another strategic rider change, with Daniel Deusser picking up the reins with the on-form Calisto Blue. The little horse flew over the fences, but the skinny pole claimed another victim, with four faults collected for the team.
Peder Fredricson made a horse change to H&M Christian K, with all the pressure on his shoulders to deliver a fast clear to keep in the lead. With his red leader armband flashing in the sun, the duo flew around the course, Peder taking just a daring line to the GCL double of verticals to save time. And the Swedish rider and his horse delivered, finishing clear and keeping the team on a score of four with just two teams left to jump.
New star striker Harrie Smolders and the ever-consistent Don VHP Z had an unusual early pole, putting the pressure on the Panthers to keep a clear score and fast time. The duo delivered, handing over the team’s chances of a podium to Gregory Wathelet.
Gregory absolutely had to finish clear, and brought out his grey stallion MJT Nevados S for this round of action. The Belgian kept his horse’s rhythm smooth, but the double of GCL verticals fell, as did the Massimo Dutti oxer before it all started to unravel to plummet the team down the order to finish on a score of 20.
Valkenswaard United would have a pole in hand, but huge pressure on their shoulders to deliver. The 2017 winning team fielded Alberto Zorzi and Contanga first, but it wasn’t to be after Alberto pulled up his horse. The veterinary team were immediately on the scene and took all precautions to ensure the best care for the horse. Once back at the stables it was confirmed Contanga had a soft tissue related injury, which she is expected to make a full recovery from in due course.
However this would mean the United team were eliminated, leaving the Swans to take a second win of the season and broaden their lead over the rest of the field.
The GCL Championship now looks to Miami Beach, for the third round of electrifying competition in the 2019 season.
Svensk hoppning är i världsklass. Det bevisar ryttarna gång efter gång. I Mexiko City under Global Champions League och Global Champions Tour har Peder Fredricson och Malin Baryard Johnsson ett felfritt facit. I fredagens 155-hoppning red Peder hem en tredjeplats med Zacramento.
Henrik von Eckermann var femma i samma klass med Que Bueno de Hus Z.
Uppmärksamheten kring de svenska ryttarna är stor. Så här skriver arrangören om Peder och Zacramento och omhoppningen:
” Cool customer Peder Fredricson (SWE) and Zacramento travelled to the first two fences and took an easy three strides to the roll back. They galloped to the last, but took over the lead effortlessly - powering to 41.89s and setting a new time to beat.”
Henrik von Eckermann red en säker omhoppning och tog hem femteplatsen.
Malin Baryard Johnsson var sexa i 150-hoppningen, på tid, med H&M Second Chance.
”Märta” som hästen kallas är snabb och Malin är alltid med i toppen med henne.
I kväll – lördag- handlar det om avgörande i laghoppningen GCL och den stora Grand Prix-hoppningen Longines Global Champions Tour, 160-hoppning.
Pressrelease från arrangören
Pieter Devos (BEL) and top mare Claire Z saved the best for last in an edge-of-the-seat jump-off during the second day of the Longines Global Champions Tour of Mexico City.
With fans flocking to get his autograph, a beaming Pieter said: “It is an unbelievable show here. We went last, which is always a good position to go, and it was a fast jump-off with a big ring with long galloping lines. I felt [Claire was] fast in Doha, and I thought I’d try let her go - I’m really together with her now.
"The crowd give you absolutely everything. There’s almost no other show like this in the world, people screaming my name, from the very beginning you can feel the energy, it’s incredible."
The penultimate day of the Longines Global Champions Tour of Mexico City came to a close with many of the top names in showjumping battling it out to win the Banorte Trophy. With €146,000 in the prize pot, all were aiming to land on top of the podium.
Course designer Javier Trenor’s 1.55m track was a tough test for the world’s best, with time allowed of 90s tight enough, given the huge expansive grass arena.
The course featured flowing lines with plenty for the riders to think about, including a few challenging distances. The track featured a wide GNP Seguros oxer early on, a bright red and white Banorte triple combination, and a full height Longines oxer to finish.
Gregory Wathelet explained, "For this course you need to concentrate from the beginning, its tough and not built like any of the other courses this week.” But it transpired that the time allowed would not be a huge problem allowing the riders to relax slightly between jumps, however it was all guns blazing in the jump-off.
The footing in this arena is some of the best in the world, and Jos Verlooy praised the ground; “It doesn’t get better that what is here, no matter where you jump in the class the going is perfect."
It looked tough out there, but Mathilda Karlsson (SRI) was the first to deliver a clear with Chopin VA, punching the air in delight and patting her horse happily after they crossed the finish line. She was soon joined by Italian speed merchant Alberto Zorzi (ITA) and Danique, and Swedish star Peder Fredricson (SWE) with his relatively new mount Zacramento.
Beezie Madden (USA) claimed a spot in the jump-off with her famous horse Coach and Jerome Guery became the second Belgian to go through on Quel Homme de Hus.
Scott Brash (GBR) was on track to try make it two wins in one day however Hello Senator just rolled the last fence denying him a place in the jump-off. A masterclass from Daniel Deusser (GER) landed him in the running for a strong result followed directly by Henrik von Eckermann (SWE) on Que Bueno de Hus Z.
The 11th and final clear in the first round was produced by last to go Pieter Devos (BEL) and Claire Z - the duo always a danger against the clock.
As the shadows lengthened across the arena, nine would return to try their luck for the win.
Mathilda Karlsson (SRI) was first to go, with the young rider aiming for the double clear. She flew around the fences, Chopin VA soaring over the jumps, leaving plenty of air to finish in 44.51s - Mathilda beaming with happiness as she waved to her supporters on the kiss n cry.
Next up Alberto Zorzi (ITA) had focus and intent written all over his face as he took a final look around the arena. Setting off at a bouncing canter, the pair built momentum with every jump, and were tight on the roll back to the GNP liverpool. But it came undone at the Banorte double of verticals, the pair missing a stride and crashing into the first part of the combination, ruling them out of contention.
Cool customer Peder Fredricson (SWE) and Zacramento travelled to the first two fences and took an easy three strides to the roll back. They galloped to the last, but took over the lead effortlessly - powering to 41.89s and setting a new time to beat.
Neils Bruynseels (BEL) looked quick from the off with Utamaro D Ecaussines, but a turn too wide to the Banorte double of verticals kept them behind Peder in 42.41s.
America rider Beezie Madden ate up the ground with Coach’s large stride, perfecting their turn to the penultimate fence to shave fractions off Peder’s time to finish in 41.47s and taking over the lead.
Young talent Emil Hallundbaek (DEN) picked up the pace with the grey Luchino, but they took the turn to the Longines oxer a touch wider, and despite a heartfelt gallop to the last they crossed the line in 42.54s.
Jerome Guery (BEL) and Quel Homme de Hus bounced off the foot-perfect grass arena, the careful horse gaining plenty of air over the tough fences. Another powerful gallop to the final fence couldn’t make up their time and they would stop the clock in 41.95s.
Daniel Deusser (GER) and the eye-catching Cornet soared around the arena, up on the time and looking good to better Beezie’s time. But there was heartbreak at the last as Cornet clipped the Banorte vertical with his hind legs, picking up four faults despite their better time of 39.37s.
Another danger to Beezie’s result, Henrik von Eckermann took the penultimate fence on an angle, but it still wasn’t enough as they finished in 42.15s.
Carlos Lopez (COL) and G & C Arrayan looked up on the clock, but a miscommunication at the final fence saw the pair fall out of contention, and out of the running of a place today.
Final rider to go Pieter Devos (BEL) entered the arena with Claire Z to the “mission impossible” theme tune. But it was anything but as Pieter flew to the first fence with his top mare. Quietly, consistently pushing on the duo covered the ground, making a brave turn to the penultimate fence. The pair would fly through the finish in 39.95s - over a second and a half quicker than Beezie.
Saturday will see the final day of CSI5* competition take place in Mexico City, with the GCL final and LGCT Grand Prix promising to thrill the passionate crowd and fans all around the world. Tune in live via GC TV to watch all the action as it happens - you won’t want to miss this spectacular finale in the heart of Mexico’s capital.
Evelina Tovek och Malin Baryard Johnsson öppnade felfritt i Mexico City i Global Champions League. Individuellt landade de på en åttondeplats för Evelina och en niondeplats för Malin.
Malin red inte under Gothenburg Horse Show utan kommenterade för FEI-tv som expert och hade rader av uppdrag under tävlingarna där.
Hennes topphästar var på väg till Mexico City.
Efter debuten i GCL sa Malin:
- Fantastisk, vilken plats. Det var en tuff och stor bana idag.
Evelina Tovek red sin ”andrauppställning” i Göteborg.
- Oz de Breve har fått komma ut och vädra sig och tycker att det är stenkul, sa Evelina i Göteborg.
Oz de Breve tog också fina placeringar i Göteborg.
Det är hästen hon red som ung ryttare. Han har nu blivit 17 år och tycker det är kul att komma ut på tävling.
Till Mexico fick Dalila de la Pomme hänga med. För ögonblicket Evelinas främsta häst.
Evelina landade det fina stoet felfritt och snyggt för sitt lag. Men tysken Christian Ahlmann hade ner en bom i laghoppningen så laget är bara på åttonde plats inför fortsättningen.
Peder Fredricson surfade in på en tredjeplats i lag i Shanghai Swans tillsammans med irländaren Shane Sweetnam.
Peder red här Zacramento. Båda ryttarna var felfria.
Malin Baryard Johnsson hade ingen tur med sin lagkamrat Lorenzon de Luca som noterade fyra fel.
I ledning i laghoppningen är Valkenswaard United med Alberto Zorzi och irländaren Bertram Allen.
Ställningen i lagtävlingen
Press Release: GCL Mexico City
There was an atmosphere of intense focus in Mexico’s capital city as teams pulled out the big guns with top horsepower on show today. And with plenty of new signings showing their worth by producing flawless rounds under sky-high pressure, the competition provided a fascinating insight into many exciting combinations to watch as the season unfolds.
Paris Panthers’ pairing of Harrie Smolders and Gregory Wathelet finished just behind the blue and orange team in second, with current GCL ranking leaders the Shanghai Swans’ Peder Fredricson and Shane Sweetnam taking third.
Speaking after his team’s win Bertram Allen said: “We were out to get a good start today. Alberto was clear and Molly was quick so we’re in the lead. But there are a few clears, and quite a few on four faults so Saturday will be very important.
"It’s such a beautiful place and the horses jump fantastic here - that’s why there’s so many clears. It’s a big and tough enough track, but so many horses are really jumping fantastic, it’s good to see.”
Course designer Javier Trenor set a flowing but big track, using the full expanse of the 125m x 75m grass arena. A roll back to a delicate GC vertical, followed by a big Banorte oxer required the riders to plan their turn perfectly - too tight and they might not have enough power for the line, too long and they risk loosing momentum and clocking up a time fault. Other challenges included a Massimo Dutti triple combination, an imposing Longines double set away from the in-gate and a Mazda oxer.
At over 2,000 metres above sea level the second event in the GCL Championship would prove a thriller as teams battled for pole position ahead of Saturday’s showdown. Under sunny skies fans flocked to the stunning arena creating a vibrant buzz from the word go.
New signing for the Berlin Eagles Malin Bayard-Johnsson made her debut for the team today, and spoke of the picturesque area ahead of the competition: "It’s fantastic - what a place, what a ring. It’s beautiful. It’s a big enough track today, but it’s fair."
She was joined on the course walk by new teammate Lorenzo de Luca, who said: "It’s great to ride with Malin, and we have a strong team with many good horses. So I’m very much looking forward to the year.”
But it was Valkenswaard United who would take pole position today, with the long time pairing of Bertram Allen and Alberto Zorzi putting the team in the best possible position ahead of Saturday’s showdown, where today’s faults will carry through.
First to go Nicola Philippaerts entered the arena with Chilli Willi, the experienced scopey stallion striding proudly into the grass ring. But an early rail caught the pairing out, the stallion dropping a hind leg in the GNP oxer and putting a costly four faults on their score.
Twin brother and teammate Olivier picked up the reins with H&M Extra, the Knights clearly looking for a strong start by fielding two of their top horses. The pair cruised around the arena in a steady rhythm, delivering a clear for the team to keep them on four overall.
St Tropez Pirates
Another formidable duo, Edwina Tops-Alexander and top mare California looked on fiery form as they tackled the challenging track. The mare travelled over the grass arena with ease, but the roll back to the GC vertical just caught them out, putting the team on four faults.
Pieter Devos and Claire Z knew they would have to deliver a fast clear to beat the Knights today and the experienced combination pulled out all the stops to deliver - finishing clear and crucially in a faster time to take over the top spot.
Another team to field two experienced teammates were the Falcons, as Michael Whitaker took on today’s track with Strides Hilanasterne. But the Banorte oxer tumbled as his horse fought for his head, with a disappointed Michael shaking his head as he exited the arena.
Bassem Hassan Mohammed brought out the ever-consistent Gunder, the pressure on his shoulders to finish clear and keep the team level with the first two to go. And there seemed to be a pattern forming as the pair produced yet another clear, proving their worth as the Falcons’ anchor.
Rene Lopez brought out Histoire D O for his first appearance in the 2019 GCL Championship, the bay horse popping over the fences with an expressive flick of his tail. The duo looked good for a clear, until there was heartbreak at the last - the GCL oxer toppled after Rene put in an extra stride, clipping the front rail and adding four to their score.
U25 rider Constant van Paesschen and the ever-expressive stallion Jilbert van ' T Ruytershof bucked and played their way around the arena, the stallion looking completely at ease, fresh and keen in the expansive grass arena. Keeping with the pattern of scores, they secured a clear, keeping the team on four faults overall.
Another horse looking fresh and keen for today’s course was Jane Richard Philips’ Foica van den Bisschop. But it wasn’t to be as the mare became a little strong, with two poles falling, and collected two time faults to boot to put the team on a score of ten faults.
New signing Abdel Saïd and Venise du Reverdy had all the pressure to not add a single fault to their score. But it came undone at the final fence, the red and white GCL oxer costing the team another four faults after Venise du Reverdy unfolded a little too quickly over the back rail. The team would finish on fourteen faults overall.
Another new signing U25 rider Jos Verlooy piloted his chestnut horse Igor masterfully around the arena. With clear intent written across his face, Jos flew around the course, finishing clear and with a fast time of 74.46s before passing the baton to new teammate Laura Kraut.
Making her debut for the Aces, Laura brought out top mare Zeremonie, fully focused on producing the goods for the team. Their close partnership evident for the world to see, Laura and Zeremonie magicked the first double clear of the day, putting the Aces at the top of the leaderboard so far.
Laura spoke after her round “It’s never easy to follow a clear like Jos’! We felt it was more important to be clear today than fastest, and we went with the pace of our horses, so we’re very happy to be clear today.”
Madrid in Motion
Experienced athlete and team manager Eric van der Vleuten and Wunschkind were the first to go for the GCL Super Cup winning team, and paved the way perfectly for son Maikel, finishing clear.
Maikel van der Vleuten and Idi Utopia had a moment over the first fence, the dark horse reaching to clear the ground. But their luck was in and the duo produced the second double clear of the day, slipping just behind the Aces on time.
Current ranking leaders the Swans brought out new signing Peder Fredricson with his relatively new horse Zacramento - the Swedish rider looking one cool customer as they took on the track. But the team’s tactics to sign Peder proved instantly worthwhile, as they produced yet another clear, with a strong time to put them in contention for the top spot.
Shane Sweetnam picked up the reins with Kirschwasser Scf, powering around the arena to pull another foot-perfect round out of the bag, galloping to the final line to better the Aces' time. The Swans would soar to the top of the leaderboard.
Experienced combination Alberto Zorzi and Bertram Allen won the 2017 GCL Mexico City, and the pair brought out two top horses in Contanga and Molly Malone V, looking to reclaim that accolade.
They may be a young team age wise, but the efficient and experienced pair pulled out all the stops to deliver a fast double clear, with Bertram and Molly taking out strides left, right and centre to put the team into pole postition, seconds ahead of their closest rivals.
It would be a good day for new recruits, after former world number one Harrie Smolders produced a magnificent clear with liver chestnut stallion Don VHP Z - the consistent pair tackling the tough track with ease.
Teammate and long-time Panther Gregory Wathelet backed him up with another clear on Qualido, a touch slower than United but in with a real chance of a podium on Saturday.
Another fresh face on the GCL team series, Malin Baryard-Johnsson and the fiery H&M Indiana also proved their worth to the Eagles, flying to the finish to bring out her first clear for the team at their Championship debut.
However it would be a reverse of fortunes, after Lorenzo de Luca and Evita van't Zoggehof just tipped a pole, collecting four faults for the team and dropping them down the order.
Seasoned team member Neils Bruynseels and Gancia de Muze put in a nice round, clearing the imposing Longines double with ease and securing a clear for the Lions.
U25 rider Anna Kellnerova brought out Catch Me If You Can OLD, the relatively new combination looking in perfect harmony as they soared around the course. The pair cemented a brilliant double clear for the team, with team manager Jessica Kurten punching the air in delight at her team’s result.
Shane Breen and U25 rider Michael Duffy entered the arena for the Celtics together, the team reigning champions of this event and looking to do the double this weekend.
First to go Shane and Ipswich van de Wolfsakker had an unlucky pole, just clipping a wide oxer and giving the team a costly four faults - the Irishman clearly disappointed at their luck today.
Young star Michael Duffy was part of the 2017 winning combination, and today brought out Quintano. Despite the pressure to produce a clear, the young talent delivered, pulling out an impressive round to keep the team on a score of four, fastest of the four faulters, and within a pole of a potential podium.
The Giants brought out the big guns today, with Simon Delestre and Uccello de Will first to go for the team. The huge striding chestnut gave Simon plenty to do, but the French rider managed him perfectly to keep the Giants clear.
Teammate Mathilda Karlsson watched on as Bart Bles took up the mantle with Israel v.d.Dennehoeve. The final vertical of the Massimo Dutti triple combination rattled but the pole stayed put, keeping the team clear.
U25 rider Evelina Tovek and Dalila de la Pomme produced a flawless round, securing a clear for the team in style before passing on the baton to Christian Ahlmann.
Team anchor Christian rode the 11 year old mare Dolocia powerfully around the track, but took the corner to the final line just a little too short, the GC Prague Playoffs vertical falling and costing the team four faults.
New York Empire
Daniel Bluman and Denis Lynch teamed up for the first time in history this weekend in Mexico City, the two new signings for the team keen to prove their worth this season.
Daniel was first to go with Olympic ride Sancha LS. But it wasn’t to be after Sancha came off the bridle a little at the Mazda oxer, taking down the back rail and putting the team on four faults.
Experienced Irishman Denis knew he had everything to do with Hector van d’Abdijhoeve, but a further two poles, including that unlucky Mazda oxer, meant the team would tumble down the order with everything to do on Saturday.