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Paris Panthers pounce on pole position in GCL opener

Saturday, 24 March 2018
CSI5* LGCT Mexico City 2018

Photo (c) GCL / Stefano Grasso Darragh Kenny of the Paris Panthers. Photo (c) GCL / Stefano Grasso.

Paris Panthers powered to pole position in an intensely competitive GCL season-opener, as riders Gregory Wathelet and Darragh Kenny vowed to convert their strong position into a win on Saturday. “It’s a very good start for us — Gregory did a great job and I had to follow,” said Darragh. “For sure we can do it tomorrow!”

The new-look GCL series kicked off with a thrilling first round on Friday, providing a fantastic spectacle for the crowds at the Campo Marte in the heart of Mexico City. The season-long battle has begun for 19 teams, all of whom are eyeing up glory at the final of the regular season in Doha and a golden ticket to the GC Prague Play Offs in December. 

The Paris Panthers duo of Gregory Wathelet with Coree (Cornet Obolensky x Liberty Life) and Darragh Kenny with Cassini Z (Cassini II x Capone) produced a spell-binding double clear from first draw in Friday’s opening round and they proved unstoppable as poles fell for their rival teams, leaving them overnight leaders ahead of Saturday’s crucial decider. “It was a good start, it was a nice course to ride and my mare jumped perfect,” said Gregory.

The eye-catching scarlet coats of the London Knights are another returning team for 2018 with new recruits, the twins Olivier Philippaerts and brother Nicola, taking the spotlight for this opening leg incurring just one time-fault sitting second ahead of Saturday. 

Another returning team, and inaugural champions in 2016, Valkenswaard United brought back the elite duo of Bertram Allen and Marcus Ehning, who span generations but their team score of four puts them still well in the hunt, breathing down the neck of the leaders as they go forward to round two. “First of all the team is important so maybe I could be a bit faster but we’re in a good position going in to tomorrow,” said Marcus.


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

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