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Miami Glory reign supreme at GCL London

Sunday, 06 August 2017
CSI5* LGCT London 2017

Photo (c) GCL / Stefano Grasso It was Miami Glory that won the GCL-leg in London. Photo (c) GCL / Stefano Grasso.

The formidable duo of local hero Scott Brash and Denis Lynch of Miami Glory won Saturday's Global Champions League leg in London in front of packed crowds at the historic Royal Hospital Chelsea.

A sudden downpour gave way to bright sunshine and blue skies, as the final of the inaugural Global Champions League of London kicked off at the unique venue. Berlin Lions were the only team to keep a clean sheet on day one with a double clear that signalled a remarkable change of fortune for the team, which is currently second from bottom. Overnight changes from Miami Glory, which brought in Scott Brash (GBR) alongside Denis Lynch (IRE), and Valkenswaard United, with Bertram Allen (IRE) joining Alberto Zorzi (ITA), signalled their intent to fight for top spot after both finishing within touching distant of the podium on five penalties the day before.

London Knights brought out the big guns for their home event to better their eighth-place position in the League, but Olympic gold medallist Ben Maher (GBR) and world no. 1 Kent Farrington (USA) had a lot to do going into day two after racking up 13 penalties in the first round. The sell-out grandstand crowd was fully behind them after the pre-competition parade.

Against the dramatic vista of Sir Christopher Wren’s architecture, the big technical course on the South Grounds was built to the maximum height of 1.60m with plenty of questions for horse and rider over the 16 jumping efforts. With the top 25 qualifying for this evening’s Grand Prix, riders had to decide whether to go for it by cutting inside fences and galloping down the related distances or play it safe and secure a clear by shortening their horses to fit in an extra stride here and there.

Spectators could not have predicted the outcome of the competition, as poles fell for those in strong positions and others bettered their rankings with foot perfect rounds. But the tactical changes turned out to be the right ones for Miami Glory and Valkenswaard United, who climbed the table with flawless double clears to finish one and two – the former pipping the latter on time by a mere three seconds.

The crowd went wild for Scott Brash and Hello Forever (For Pleasure x Nimmerdor), as he cantered into the ring for Miami Glory. Scott rode his flashy liver chestnut with deceptive ease to chalk up a clear round in one of the fastest times of 68.17s to signal his intent to fight for top sport in the Grand Prix. Denis Lynch did not let the side down with a clear in a slower time of 73.78s to secure the win.

“Both horses jumped amazingly today, so it was a great team effort,” Brash said afterwards.

Team owner and rider Georgina Bloomberg commented: “I am really proud of the boys today and Paris yesterday. It shows the depth of the team that we can come together and support each other.”

League leaders Hamburg Diamonds were bitterly disappointed as they slid to eighth to see second-placed Valkenswaard United take over the top of the GCL rankings. "Our horses jumped very good today, we had a nice second place and, we went on top [in the rankings]. I think we need to work hard to stay on top," said Alberto Zorzi of Valkenswaard United after.


Source: Press release from GCL / Picture © Stefano Grasso/GCL

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