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Riesenbeck International wins GCL season opener in Doha

Friday, 03 March 2023
CSI5* LGCT Doha 2023

Photo © GCL Riesenbeck International won the GCL season opener in Doha. Photo © GCL.


Edited press release from Global Champions League



Riesenbeck International powered by Kingsland emerged triumphant, securing the ranking lead, in 2023's opening GCL leg. The first leg of the thrilling 2023 championship race saw unbeatable performances today in Doha by the team's top guns.

Today’s results set the stage for the next legs of the GCL as horses and riders head across the globe, where the next rounds will play out in the breathtaking destinations of Miami Beach and Mexico City. Over €36 million in prize money is on offer in the 2023 LGCT and GCL season with over €10 million alone in one weekend for teams in the GCL Super Cup at the GC Prague Playoffs in November.

Riesenbeck International's Christian Kukuk and Philipp Weishauppt took full advantage of the extraordinary horsepower of Coby (Contagio x Escudo) and Mumbai (Diamant de Semilly x Nabab de Reve) with impressive rounds to seal the coveted first win of the season and took the lion's share of the €300,000 prize money for today's GCL competition.

St Tropez Pirates, featuring brand new signings Simon Delestre and Marlon Modolo Zanotelli also collected just four faults, with an accumulated time of just over a second slower than the winning team, which earned themselves a well-deserved silver trophy

Photo © GCL The 2023 GCL season opened in Doha on Friday. Photo © GCL.

A mix of team rivalry and competitive spirit shone through with Valkenswaard United finishing in an impressive third, with returning riders Marcus Ehning aboard the on-form Stargold (Stakkao Gold x Lord Weingard), and John Whitaker and Equine America Unick du Francport (Zandor x Helios de la Cour II) leading the team to the final spot on the podium today.

It has been mixed emotions for the Riesenbeck International squad this week as team rider and owner Ludger Beerbaum was taken to hospital yesterday after a fall. Philipp explained: "We are delighted with the day today. We have had ups and downs this week. I was not supposed to jump today at all - Coby was meant to have a day off and Ludger was supposed to ride but unfortunately he ended up in hospital last night. This win was for Ludger and we wish him a speedy recovery. For sure he is watching from the hospital now so we wish him all the best."

After a rapid round from teammate Christian Kukuk he explained: "My strategy was just to jump a clear round. In the first round, I felt we were already fast and we ended up eighth place individually without even trying to be fast. In the second round, I was like wow when we crossed the finish line. I am impressed with how fast Mumbai is. It is a very good day for us. Now we have an evening to celebrate!"

With the unveiling of the new weekend format. Riders were challenged by GCL’s Round 1 and Round 2 being back-to-back, rather than the traditional two-day rollout. Philipp Weishauppt commented to GCTV: "The new format with both rounds in one day and I thought it was great."

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