The 2023 GCL season is ablaze with anticipation as some of the biggest names in equestrian sport join the highly-anticipated 2023 roster through dramatic mid-season transfers. With the highest number of mid-season transfers to date, the infusion of exceptional talent will ignite the competition to new heights. The injection of fresh talent and horsepower will be critical in the second half of the season.
Team tactics have been sharpened for the big push to the GC Prague Playoffs where €10 million will be up for grabs in the GCL Super Cup.
Current Championship leaders, Riesenbeck International powered by Kingsland Equestrian have taken team owner Ludger Beerbaum off the squad and capitalised on the mid-season transfers to acquire Patrick Stühlmeyer away from the Shangahi Swans to Riesenbeck International. In an interesting tactic from Shanghai Swans, they make the same move as last year recruiting current world number 5 Martin Fuchs for the second half of the season. Fuchs' outstanding track record makes him a valuable addition to the Shanghai Swans which they need after an unlucky start to the year.
Riyadh Blue powered by AlHilal make a huge signing of Jessica Springsteen to replace Dalma Malhas. The squad hoping the enhanced horsepower will enable them to get off the bottom of the championship table. Cian O’Connor will add depth to the Cannes Stars' lineup and bolster their competitive edge as he comes onto the team for Yuri Mansur.
Two familiar faces to GCL make a return for new teams during this transfer period. Italian superstar Lorenzo de Luca joins the Stockholm Hearts powered by H&M We Love Horses and Lillie Keenen steps off. While Rome Gladiators powered by Clip My Horse.TV have opted to change one Belgium rider for another as Jos Verlooy moves to the bench and Jérôme Guéry comes in.
4 teams remain untouched retaining their star strikers including Madrid In Motion who make no transfers indicating the team's confidence in their current roster to continue delivering impressive results as they sit second overall at the halfway point of the season. New York Empire powered by Lugano Diamonds Team Owner Georgina Bloomberg adds Bertram Allen to her squad and will be cheering her team on all season.
The only U25 swap of the year is Natalie Dean to be replaced by Joseph Stockdale on the Paris Panthers. Stockdale's expertise and competitive spirit will be a valuable asset to the team as they try to overtake to top spot on the Championship standings.
Prague Lions powered by Czech Equestrian Team and Istanbul Warriors powered by Carpe Diem are happy with their firepower and make no transfers in the 2023 mid-season opportunity.
Full Mid-Season Transfers:
1. Riesenbeck International : Ludger Beerbaum replaced by Patrick Stühlmeyer
2. Madrid In Motion: no transfer
3. Paris Panthers: Natalie Dean replaced by Joseph Stockdale
4. Stockholm Hearts: Lillie Keenan replaced by Lorenzo de Luca
5. St Tropez Pirates: Athina Onassis replaced by Gerrit Nieberg
6. Prague Lions: no transfer
7. New York Empire: Georgina Bloomberg replaced by Bertram Allen
8. Istanbul Warriors: no transfer
9. Rome Gladiators: Jos Verlooy replaced by Jérôme Guéry
10. Scandinavian Vikings: Alexa Ferrer replaced Richard Howley and Simon Yde replaced by Nicola Pohl
11. Valkenswaard United: no trasnfer
12. Mexico Amigos: Sergio Nieto replaced by Mouda Zeyada
13. Shanghai Swans: Patrick Stülhmeyer replaced by Martin Fuchs
14. Monaco Aces: Holger Hetzel replaced by Paris Sellon
15. Cannes Stars: Yuri Mansur replaced by Cian O'Connor
16. Riyadh Blue: Dalma Malhas replaced by Jessica Springsteen
The pressure is on the squads to strategically play to their strengths in the diverse arenas and unique scenarios across the remaining events of the season. Heading into leg 9, GCL Monaco 29 June - 1 July, all eyes will be on the teams to see who they will field, with the spotlight shining on those who can gain the most number of points to shake up the overall order.