05 July 2024

Cannes Stars race to victory in GCL Monaco reclaiming Championship lead

Cannes Stars race to victory in GCL Monaco reclaiming Championship lead

In sensational style Cannes Stars powered by Iron Dames rocketed to the top of the podium for the third time this season under the lights in GCL Monaco. U25 rider Sophie Hinners onboard Iron Dames Singclair and Kim Emmen with Imagine secured maximum points to reclaim the overall Championship lead again by 6 points. 

In the tightest of battles, Prague Lions powered by Czech Equestrian Team took home second place as the only other team on double clear. Dream team of Pieter Devos with Casual DV Z and Niels Bruynseels riding Origi vd Vosberg were just 5 seconds off the pace this time but still picked up crucial championship points. 

Rounding off the podium was legends John Whitaker with Equine America Unick du Francport and Edwina Tops-Alexander on Fellow Castlefield for Valkenswaard United in the heart of the Monaco port. 

The picturesque city-state of Monaco, famous for its glitz and glamour, served as the perfect venue as H.R.H. Princess Alexandra of Hanover presented the awards. The iconic Port Hercule provided a stunning backdrop to the thrilling competition, creating an unforgettable atmosphere for the sold-out crowd.

Having just reclaimed the championship at stage 10 of the 2024 Championship Race, Kim Emmen candidly spoke with GCTV. She explained, “It is really incredible. We had a little chat before the first course walk where you asked me what our plan was, I said ‘to fight back’, and that we did!”

Sophie Hinners added, “The Prague Lions put a lot of pressure on us, so we had to go fast, and luckily it worked out for us. I am so proud of my horse, and really the whole team behind us.”

The Prague Lions powered by Czech Equestrian Team retain their 5th position on the 2024 Championship leader board following their second place at stage ten in Monaco. A frustrated yet pleased Pieter Devos commented on the team’s performance, “We did what was expected from us, I think all four horses jumped great, and we were first to go so we went for the clears. It was such a difficult course with faults everywhere so we were hoping the other teams would make a fault.”

A third place today from Valkenswaard United have cemented the team into fifth place on the 2024 Championship standings. Double clear from none other than John Whitaker in Monaco left the team fighting for top spot right until the end. He told GCTV: “It was a tough course in there today, the problem was, the teams that were in the lead made it look easy.”

In terms of the pursuit of that elusive championship title? Edwina remarked, “We’re for sure chasing the championship… We’ve got a lot of fighting to do and we are looking to make our way up the standings. 

WINNERS INTERVIEW : Cannes Stars powered by Iron Dames

GCL Championship standings after stage 11:

Cannes Stars powered by Iron Dames: 199 points

Stockholm Hearts powered by H&M We Love Horses: 193 points

Doha Falcons: 182 points

Riesenbeck International powered by Kingsland: 175 points

Cannes Stars Powered By Iron Dames Winning Team Rounds GCL Monaco 2024

Uliano Vezzani produced a tight and technical course, with athletes racing up and down the arena and in a tight time. The design was challenging from the start, with almost every line being a related distance. The course suited sharp and horses, those who were able to change direction and pace in a heartbeat. Just two teams produced double clears in round one and two teams also sat closely behind on a single rail. 

There was drama from start to finish in the exhilarating first round of GCL Monaco.

Coming off the back of two sensational wins in Paris and Stockholm Doha Falcons pulled out all of the stops with a world class line up to try and make history with three wins in a row. Unfortunately it all fell apart from the word go and even a rider swap for round two couldn’t save them ultimately finishing with 30 faults down the bottom of the order for Simon Delestre, Jerome Guery and Wilm Vermeir.  

New mid season signing for the Monaco Aces powered by Lion of Porches, Edward Levy proved just how crucial signing he was with a foot perfect clear in round 2 on Catchar Mail. An unclucky two down for Gregory Cottard and Cocaine du Val left the team on 16 faults after both rounds pushing the home squad just outside of the top 5. 

Pulling Edwina Tops-Alexander off the bench for round two Valkenswaard United were almost off to the perfect start until four faults and one time fault clocked on the board for Fellow Castlefield. Next up, John Whitaker and Equine America Unick du Francport played a tactical game of a steady pace to make sure no poles fell crossing the line with just two time faults and an agonising wait to see if it was good enough for the podium. 

Having won in Monaco last year Riesenbeck International powered by Kingsland knew what victory tasted like but it wasn’t to be today. Just a single rail behind the leaders going into round two it was an unusual three down for Eoin McMahon and Cornest before another rail fell for Philipp Schulze Topphoff and Carla NRW knocking their chances of the win today. 

The first of the teams on a clean sheet, Prague Lions powered by Czech Equestrian Team took it all in their stride. Stepping up first Niels Bruynseels riding Origi vd Vosberg punched the air as they crossed the finish line on a clean sheet. Pulling in fresh horse power for round two teammate Pieter Devos with Casual DV Z also finished faultless forcing Cannes Stars to have to go quick and clear if they wanted to take home maximum points in Monaco.

As if it was written in the stars, Cannes Stars powered by Iron Dames converted their pole position into a fairy tale win for th third time this year. First up U25 rider Sophie Hinners put the pedal to the metal on Iron Dames Singclair leaving the Prague Lions in the dust jumping a lightning-clear round. Under immense pressure, Kim Emmen held her never in the tightest arena of the season coming home on a clean sheet with Imagine to snatch the win as the kiss and cry erupted with cheers. 

GCL now has a 2 week break before heading to Germany for the 11th round of action as the championship race hots up from 18 - 21 July. 

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