Berlin Eagles German duo of Ludger Beerbaum and Philipp Weishaupt have secured their first pole position of the season in Preis der Deutschen Kreditbank AG GCL of Hamburg and will be looking to convert it to a win in tomorrow’s GCL Hamburg second-round showdown.
With time a significant factor in today’s knife-edge competition that saw four teams finish on a clean sheet and another four teams just behind on 4 faults it’s all to play for tomorrow. Joining the Berlin Eagles on a clean sheet are Valkenswaard United, Paris Panthers and Prague Lions.
Ludger Beerbaum explained: “Riding on home turf brings extra excitement, it feels good and has a nice atmosphere and motivates us. We brought both these horses here because we knew they really loved big rings and both have proved this is what they most like. We are only at half time so there is still a lot of work to do.”
In the heart of Hamburg, Germany, 15 teams tackled course designer Frank Rothenberger’s track over Hamburg’s Derby field turf. Rothenberger used the full scope of the huge arena, mixing long distances between fences with holding strides, meaning total control and one eye on the clock would be the order of the day.
First to test out the track was Geir Gulliksen and the small but mighty VDL Groep Quatro. They looked to be handling it with ease until they got a fraction too deep to the Idee Kaffee oxer and the penultimate fence fell to pick up 4 faults. Teammate Frank Schuttert and Latina van het Avenhof took the long route to the final DKB jump which proved costly causing him to fall just outside the time allowed and added a single time fault to the Vikings score as well.
Current Championship leaders Valkenswaard United fielded the phenomenal combination of Marcus Ehning and 18 year old Misanto Pret a Tout first. They took all the inside turns and produced the first clear of the day and set Gilles Thomas up perfectly for his debut on the team. Riding 9 year old Feromas van Beek Z in his first 1.55m class, U25 rider Thomas proved his worth as he guided the strong stallion home on a clean sheet and keeping Valkenswaard United in contention for the win.
Local fans had plenty to cheer for today, following a great result from the Berlin Eagles consisting of German riders Ludger Beerbaum and Philipp Weishaupt. The team pulled out all the stops with their talented horses Mila and Coby putting in foot perfect fast clears to shoot them to the top of the leaderboard and head into tomorrow in the strongest position.
U25 rider Eve Jobs made it a perfect debut appearance for the Paris Panthers today with Venue d'Fees Des Hazalles. The combination delivered a flawless round before handing it over to experienced members of the team Nayel Nassar and Darry Lou. Another 0 fault round from Nassar but at a steady pace put the Panthers in third place ahead of tomorrows’ action.
Laura Kraut and Confu looked on elastic form, the grey horse bouncing around the grass arena however giving Laura plenty to do to keep straight to the fences. They gave the team a head start with a clean score before passing the reins to Julien Epaillard and Calgary Tame. The lightning fast combination galloped home in the fastest time but with 4 faults after the Longines double fell but keeping them within touching distance of a podium finish.
The Shanghai Swans took a risk today opting to field their young horses for the challenge. Onboard the 9-year-old Calvino, Christian Ahlmann had an unusual two down knocking the Swans chances of overtaking Valkenswaard United in the Championship race. Also riding a 9 year old Max Kühner and EIC Coriolis Des Isles cruised round the huge arena crossing the finish line on a clean sheet and keeping the Swans on 8 faults.
Madrid In Motion
It was a long way around the course after Michael G Duffy and Vertige de Galarzacs had an early fault on the GC vertical. Another two fences fell to put the team on 12 faults before their second rider had set off. Marlon Modolo Zanotelli delivered under the extra pressure to keep a clean sheet with Urban de Rohan. They produced a flawless clear and kept the team carrying over the 12 faults.
Yuri Mansur continued his sensational clear round form on Vitiki even after losing a shoe at the fourth fence but the Falcons clean sheet didn’t last for long as Constant van Paesschen and Isidoor van de Helle got too deep to the German oxer and the poles continued to fall bringing them up to a total of 12 overall.
The Prague Lions team tactics for round one were slightly unusual with both Leopold van Asten and Jur Vrieling choosing to ride inexperienced 9 year olds. However, the risk paid off with both VDL Groep Hutch and Chabada de l'Esques jumping flawless clear rounds but in the slowest time of 158.02s a whole 10 seconds behind Berlin Eagles time.
Suus Kuyten and the experienced Alfa Jordan opted for a steady clear but were caught out by the time allowed, collecting one time fault for the team. Up next, Bart Bles dropped the team to 5 faults after a late pole fell with Comme-Laude leaving them with extra work for tomorrow’s showdown.
It all fell apart for the Miami Celtics today as a combination of Johnny Pals and Carlotta 12 faults added to Maurice Tebbel and Chaccos’ Son 9 faults mean they sit on a total of 21 overnight with lots to do tomorrow if they want to climb up the ranks.
New York Empire
After taking pole position last week in Valkenswaard Denis Lynch and GC Chopin’s Bushi were aiming to continue their clean sheet record in the first round of GCL competitions this year. Unfortunately, a light touch crushed their hopes and added 4 faults to the scoreboard. It was a total of 8 faults for New York Empire as Shane Breen and Z7 Ipswich also had one down slotting them just outside the top 10 going into round 2.
St Tropez Pirates
2018 & 2019 winners of GCL Hamburg the St Tropez Pirates fielded Olivier Robert and Vangog du Mas Garnier as their first rider followed by young gun Michael Pender and HHS Catwalk. One down for each combination put the team on the back foot and cut their chances of making history by winning the same event three years in a row.
Last event winners the London Knights fielded new signing Douglas Lindelöw first with Cheldon. A disappointing four faults put the pressure on team anchor and manager Ben Maher with 10 year old Ginger-Blue. The experienced rider kept his cool, however, keeping the team on just the four faults and leaving it all to play for.
The final team to go the Cascais Charms brought out midmid-season transfer Roger Yves Bost and Bluemuch Des Baleines. The combination proved their harmony delivering a clear for the team, passing the baton to U25 rider Jodie Hall Mcateer with Kimosa van het Kritrahof. But an agonising four faults would keep them off the zero-score list, but still with a real chance of a strong finish in Saturday’s showdown.