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Intense team combat sets up dramatic climax for tomorrow’s GCL Berlin final

Saturday, 29 July 2017
CSI5* LGCT Berlin 2017

Photo (c) LGCT/Stefano Grasso. Georgina Bloomberg and Manodie. Photo (c) LGCT/Stefano Grasso.

Tomorrow’s final of the Global Champions League, making its debut in Germany’s dynamic capital city of Berlin, is set for a high-powered showdown after thrilling team combat on day one.

Miami Glory and the duo of Denis Lynch and Georgina Bloomberg clinched the top spot - their third pole position in the 2017 season - in the first round in dazzling split-second fashion. At the end of the competition the three top teams all finished with clean score sheets and were separated by just seconds on time alone.

Adding to the drama there are now nine teams on four faults, all within a whisker of each other. With the top teams right at the sharp end of the grid, there a strong chance of upset in the overall championship ranking after the 11th leg of the season.

Berlin is featuring on the calendar of the GCL and the Longines Global Champions Tour for the first time and the natural amphitheater at the Sommergarten show ground offered prime views to fans keen to witness top sport on a major global city stage.

Taking second today were Valkenswaard United’s pairing of Bertram Allen and Alberto Zorzi, who again ensured they delivered impressive clear rounds. Hot on their heels in third are the current overall leaders, Hamburg Diamonds, with a powerful new combination of Eric Lamaze and Jos Verlooy delivering the all-important double zero scores.

The unusual oval-shaped arena gave course designer Frank Rothenberger an interesting canvas and he filled it with testing distances, dog-leg turns, imposing oxers followed by tricky, delicate verticals and an intimidating wall featuring the Brandenburg Gate.

Jessica Springsteen of Shanghai Swans delivered one of the first faultless rounds with Cynar V (Clarimo x Alcatraz), watched on by teammate Daniel Deusser. The cool German kept his head during his own round, and despite a rub at the first, managed to complete the course with just one down on Clintop (Clinton I x Calvaro Z), putting the team in 8th overall.

Denis Lynch and RMF Bella Baloubet (Baloubet du Rouet x Landadel) laid the groundwork for Miami Glory, putting in a stunning and fast clear. Teammate Georgina Bloomberg had all the pressure to deliver another clear for the team, but managed her grey mare Manodie H (Carthago x Zeus) beautifully, flawless to the last and shooting the team up to pole for the third time this season.

After a final team tactical talk between Hamburg Diamonds’ Jos Verlooy and Eric Lamaze - who ran through the course together before Lamaze entered the ring - the top Canadian rider pulled off a clear with Chacco Kid (Chacco-Blue x Come On), the chestnut horse powering around the arena, clearing the fences with plenty of scope. U25 rider Verlooy took the pressure in his stride, putting in a superb performance with Igor (Emerald Van 't Ruytershof x Nabab De Reve) to keep the team on a clear score. 

Valkenswaard United proved to be a force to reckon with, despite star striker Bertram Allen nursing a bruised wrist from an earlier fall. Both Allen and Zorzi put in flawless rounds with their horses Izzy By Picobello (Cicero Z x Capriano) and Cornetto K (Cornet Obolensky x Calido), shooting them up to second in today’s result and keeping the fight for the overall win wide open.

Four faults proved costly with 9 of the teams separated on just tenths of a second. Agonizingly Bassem Hassan Mohammed of Doha Fursan Qatar had the final fence down, dropping the team right down the order to 11th despite Sheikh Ali Bin Khalid Al Thani’s clear with First Devision (Andiamo x Perhaps v. Molenvondel). Christian Ahlmann of the Mexico Amigos rode a magic clear with the stallion Colorit (Coriano x Capitol), but it wasn’t enough for the team, who would finish the day in 7th after an unlucky rub and four faults from Henrik von Eckermann and Mary Lou (Montendro x Portland L).

Danielle Goldstein of the Monaco Aces with Lizziemary (Cabri d'Elle x Acord II), Simon Delestre and Chadino (Chacco-Blue x Narew XX) of St Tropez Pirates, Leopold van Asten and VDL Groep Miss Untouchable (Chacco-Blue x Aldatus) of Madrid in Motion, Kamal Abdullah Bahamdan with Lacasino (Lordanos x Cassini I) of the Moscow Bears, and Lillie Keenan with Super Sox (Salito x Silvio I), of the Paris Panthers all put in strong clears for their teams, however one fence down from their teammates meant they would miss out on the top three positions. Further clears from Marco Kutscher and Clenur (Carinue x Fernando) of the Cannes Stars, Sergio Alvarez Moya and G&C Unicstar de l’Aumone (Ninio de Rox x Timorrak Des Isles) of the Chantilly Pegasus and Ben Maher with Tic Tac (Clinton x Darco) of the London Knights were also lost after fences from their teammates dropped them down the order to the bottom of today’s results.

With overall GCL ranking leaders Hamburg Diamonds and Valkenswaard United through to tomorrow’s final on a clean score, the battle is on for maximum ranking points and dominance of the overall leaderboard.

The action kicks off at 12:30 local time, with full coverage on GCL TV. 

 


Source: Press release from LGCT // Picture Stefano Grasso/LGCT

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