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Prague Lions win in Mexico City and take GCL championship lead

Sunday, 14 April 2024
CSI5* LGCT Mexico City 2024

Photo © GCL. Fernando Martinez Sommer and Thibeau Spits won the GCL of Mexico City for the Prague Lions, powered by Czech Equestrian Team. Photo © GCL.


Edited press release from Global Champions League



The Prague Lions, powered by Czech Equestrian Team, secured the win as the only team to finish on five faults in a nail-biting finale of the GCL of Mexico City presented by GNP Seguros. The Lions – Thibeau Spits (BEL) and Impress-K van'T Kattenheye Z (Indoktro K van'T Kattenheye x Vagabond de La Pomme) and Fernando Martinez Sommer (MEX) aboard Lady van de Haarterhoeve (Casall x Clarimo) – clinched victory as last to go, propelling themselves to the top of the championship leaderboard after the third leg of the 2024-season. 

For nearly two years, the Prague Lions powered by the Czech Equestrian Team had not claimed the top spot on the podium. Thibeau Spits, beaming with joy, shared his reasons for triumph with GCTV: "I knew Fernando was really motivated, so I just couldn’t let him down. It’s just amazing… really, it’s unbelievable."

Riding in front of a home crowd, Mexican rider Fernando Martinez Sommer of the Prague Lions was feeling the pressure. Full of elation in the post-class interview, he spoke of the support from afar, and the game plan heading into round two. He said: "I focused and walked the course with Thibeau several times… I really want to speak with the rest of the team back in Europe, Anna [Kellnerova] and the boys… they’re going to be so happy back at home." 

Photo © GCL. Fernando Martinez Sommer and Lady van de Haarterhoeve jumped double clear on home soil. Photo © GCL.

Second place in Mexico City went to New York Empire powered by Lugano Diamonds, with riders Denis Lynch (IRL) aboard Brooklyn Heights (Nabab de Reve x For Pleasure) and Spencer Smith on HHS Seattle (Pacino x Cavalier Royale) delivering in round 2 to jump up eight places finishing on 12 faults that they picked up in round 1. 

Meanwhile, the Monaco Aces powered by Lion of Porches secured their first podium in a while, with Duarte Seabra and Luiz Felipe Cortizo Gonçalves De Azevedo Filho opting to change horses for round two. Aboard Dourados 2 (Diarado x Cornet Obolensky) and Sierra du Piedroux Z (Hunter's Scendix x Contefino) respectively their time fault from round 1 left them on a team total of 13 to slide onto the podium.

With their win in Mexico City, the Prague Lions now hold a commanding lead on the 2024 GCL standings – boasting a 12-point advantage early in the season ahead of Cannes Stars powered by Iron Dames who sit on 58 points. Keeping consistent, the home team Mexico Amigos stay in third place on 57 points, with Stockholm Hearts powered by H&M We Love Horses in fourth place on 57 points as well. 


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