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Cannes Stars jump to victory in GCL Doha

Saturday, 02 March 2024
CSI5* LGCT Doha 2024

Photo © GCL The first stage of the 2024 GCL season took place in Doha on Friday night, and it was Cannes Stars, powered by Iron Dames, that triumphed under the lights in the Longines Arena at Al Shaqab. Photo © GCL.


Edited press release from the Global Champions League



The first stage of the 2024 GCL season took place in Doha on Friday night, and it was Cannes Stars, powered by Iron Dames, that triumphed under the lights in the Longines Arena at Al Shaqab. This was the first time an all-female team jumped to the lead in the GCL, setting the stage for an exhilarating season ahead.

In a thrilling showdown, the Cannes Stars propelled to victory, led by the stellar performances of Sophie Hinners aboard Iron Dames Singclair (Singular LS La Silla x Cardento), Janne Friederike Meyer-Zimmermann with Messi van 't Ruytershof (Plot Blue x For Pleasure), and Sanne Thijssen riding Con Quidam RB (Quinar Z x Cardino). The squad's impeccable form led them to finish with just four faults after two rounds, clinching the win with a quick performance, two seconds ahead of their closest competitors, Mexico Amigos. Riesenbeck International finished third, after recording eight faults over the two rounds. 

Team owner Deborah Mayer spoke of how proud she is to secure her first win: “As the founder of the Iron Dames project, I am incredibly proud and honored to see our team, Cannes Stars Powers by Iron Dames, clinch the first round of the 2024 GCL, the pinnacle of equestrianism. Being the first all-female team to compete in this prestigious championship makes this achievement even more moving and meaningful. This result is not just about winning; it's a celebration of the values that each Iron Dame embodies: passion, determination and excellence. I congratulate Janne, Sophie, Sanne and all the team on their success from the bottom of my heart. It's a truly emotional and historic moment for our project and for the equestrian sport as a whole."

An emotional Janne Friederike Meyer-Zimmermann said: “I am lost for words. We are just so happy. It was great teamwork. We have a huge team around us. Also this weekend we have the race for the drivers so now we can also give our support to them.”

Sanne Thijssen smiled: “This weekend it’s the first time for us competing as a team together for the Cannes Stars powered by Iron Dames. The team is unbelievably motivated. We support each other and I think today we pushed each other to the limit and that’s how we got this result. I had a good feeling already yesterday with Con Quidam and today we gave it our all. I am looking forward to the following competitions together with the other Iron Dames.”

U25 rider Sophie Hinners told GCTV: “Last week was my horses first 5* show so I am thrilled and I am just really looking forward to the rest of the season.”

Founder and President of GCL Jan Tops said: “Tonight was very exciting until the last moment. For the new Cannes Stars team to come here and win straight away it is not easy so it’s very special in this arena. We saw with John Whitaker that in this sport it is so exciting until the last moment and the growth here in Doha each year is just fantastic.”


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