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Vienna Eagles wins GCL of Monaco

Sunday, 25 June 2017
CSI5* LGCT Monaco 2017

Photo (c) Stefano Grasso/GCL. Gregory Wathelet for Vienna Eagles, riding Eldorado van het Vijverhof. Photo (c) Stefano Grasso/GCL.

The seventh leg of the Global Champions League saw Vienna Eagles fly into the top position over a nail-bitingly challenging course in Monaco. Gregory Wathelet added to a weekend of success with a second clear in round two, with team-mate Niels Bruynseels on his best horse Cas de Liberte (Cracky Z x Chellano Z) securing a double clear with just one time fault.

Valkenswaard United keep hold of their overall League lead with 133 points, while Hamburg Diamonds stay in second on 125. Breathing down their necks are the St Tropez Pirates, that sit on a tally of 122 points so far. 

The track was as intense as ever with riders fighting to come in below the 71 second cut off (extended early on from an original 68s), and only seven clears out in total, and three riders picking up an agonising time fault. The course was tight, fast and furious, with jumps coming up fast for the horses and riders. The two combinations away from the gate causing the most trouble for the riders, with poles rolling from across the world class field as a tricky related distance tested the best. But the pace was unrelenting, with riders needing to keep one eye on the clock, pushing some into mistakes.

Plenty of acceleration meant Shanghai Swans took second place, finishing with just four faults for Jessica Springsteen and a blistering clear for teammate Roger-Yves Bost who was best individually aboard Pegase du Murier (Adelfos x Le Tot de Semilly). However, it was their pace that pushed them ahead of Mexico Amigos who collected the same number of penalties, but lost out due to a slower round.

It was perhaps a sense of déjà vu for St Tropez Pirates, who despite heading into round two in pole position as last week in Cannes, dropped to fourth after Simon Delestre and Jerome Guery finished on nine penalties.

"The other team jumped amazing and won yesterday, it was double clear in the team competition, and I did my job," said Gregory Wathelet of Vienna Eagles. "I said to Niels, like he said before, you just have to be clear to get the first podium for us and the win here, then it’s for sure a perfect show for us. Like Christian said, it’s for sure harder than we expected for the season. We need to come here on the first day with a ready horse, a Grand Prix horse, and well, we were the time makers at the beginning of the first show, and I hope now we are in a good way for the next ones.”

About the pressure in the second round, Niels Bruynseels said: “I didn’t know if the other team was clear or not so I just did my round. Gregory told me just jump clear and I tried to do it, it was a little bit tricky with the time fault at the end, so I didn’t know if we won or not.”


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

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