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Prague Lions roar to success in GCL Miami Beach as Valkenswaard United take overall lead

Sunday, 08 April 2018
CSI5* LGCT Miami Beach 2018

Photo (c) GCL / Stefano Grasso. Photo (c) GCL / Stefano Grasso.

Prague Lions’ Anna Kellnerova and Gerco Schröder took a spectacular GCL Miami Beach win, as 2016-champions Valkenswaard United shot to the top of the overall rankings as the early stage of this 16-event season unfolds.

Set directly on the Atlantic shoreline, clean jumping rounds were few and far between over the technical, twisting track in the second and final GCL team competition at Miami Beach. But it was the Prague Lions — a team unchanged from the first round and sitting in third overnight — whose two explosive performances secured them the coveted gold medal at this leg of the GCL race, banking valuable points in their bid to compete in the GCL Super Cup at the GC Prague Play Offs.

Guests from across the US and around the world enjoyed breathtaking views of the competition with one of the most spectacular backdrops in sport looking across to the turquoise waters of Miami Beach. Tourists and residents made the most of free entry to the event packing the grandstand and lining the arena creating a fantastic atmosphere in the unique venue for show jumping and bringing the sport to new fans.

Both Kellnerova and Schröder sailed clear over all 15 jumping efforts, both picking up a single time fault to take their combined team score from both rounds to eight. The Valkenswaard United team raced up the leaderboard from ninth to finish in second, and took home the silver medal after strong performances from Alberto Zorzi and Bertram Allen. Monaco Aces, the overnight leaders coming into the second round of this leg, picked up 14 faults in this edition, but just managed to hang on to the bottom step of the podium.

“This is a dream,” said the 21-year-old Kellnerova. “I thought we were second but my mum came running up to us and told us we’d won; I was completely shocked.” Referring to winning such a prestigious jumping prize in only her second year of GCL, she added: “I thought this wasn’t going to happen. Classic jumped his heart out for me out there.”

Her team-mate Schröder has only recently returned to the ring with the magnificent Glock’s London after the stallion had time off to recover from an injury. Now 16, he was focused yet explosive in Miami Beach’s unique arena, twisting with effort and responding keenly to his rider at every fence.

“Anna jumped a fantastic round so I knew I had to stay in touch,” said the Dutchman. “Having London back is very nice; it’s a good feeling.”

After two rounds, Valkenswaard United’s meteoric rise up the leaderboard between the two Miami Beach rounds, coupled with their podium place at leg one in Mexico City, means they currently sit atop the rankings at this early stage of the 2018 season. Today’s winners, the Prague Lions, sit second while the Mexico City winners, Miami Celtics, are in third.

The GCL now moves east to Shanghai (28-30 April), which will also be live-streamed as the third leg of the Championship race kicks off.

 


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



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