In what was a condensed, tense and impressive GCL in Miami Beach it was Madrid in Motion’s Maikel van der Vleuten and Eduardo Alvarez Aznar who moved it in Miami securing the win by a collective 1.67 seconds ahead of second place getters Prague Lions powered by Czech Equestrian Team.
As the sun shone down on the Atlantic ocean, this year's event was bigger and better than ever before, featuring top sport, big names, and world-class entertainment. Attracting the very best riders and horses from all over the globe today was a showcase of the very best in lifestyle attracting visitors from all over the world who were keen to experience the excitement and glamour of the competition.
With the beautiful Miami Beach as the backdrop, visitors were treated to a feast for the senses, from the thrilling competition in the ring to the luxurious VIP lounges as top model Donna Karen and team owner of New York Empire power by Lugano Diamonds Georgina Bloomberg.
Before the exclusive after-party hosted by Niki Beach at the venue 16 GCL teams today faced a number of technical and tactical lines in the Ulliano Vezzani built track as show jumping again took to the shores of the world-famous Miami Beach. After a week of challenges brought on by uncharacteristic storms in Miami the formatt saw a last minute change resulting in just 1 round.
Eduardo Alvarez Aznar explained: “We were fighting for it, and after our result we were quiet at the beginning (of the class), so we didn't expect to get the podium position, and for sure not the top one. It’s a fantastic setting and the crowd, and everything around here it’s unbelievable, it's a pleasure to jump here, and it looks unbelievable after the three, four days we have had, to have this sport with this weather and this crowd, it’s fantastic.”
The last time Madrid In Motion had a win was back in 2019 so teammate Maikel van der Vleuten added: “Can’t be more proud of our team, it's a fantastic start to the season. With regards to the championship it is a long season ahead, one thing I know is that we have some good riders with good horses in our team, so we will have some good shows, but also some shows where the luck is not on our side but we try to keep this line forward ”
The competition was fierce, with some of the most exceptional combinations competing for the top prize money. In glory afforded only by himself, Christian Ahlmann of the Shanghai Swans became the first rider in GCL history to collect 500 points for his team. The event is not just about top sport, with the venue providing visitors an unforgettable experience.
In addition to the music, visitors are treated to a range of lifestyle and entertainment activities, including exclusive course walks, gourmet food and drink, and luxury shopping experiences. The VIP lounges are a particular highlight, providing visitors with the chance to mingle with some of the biggest names in the sport and entertainment industries.
Pathfinders Istanbul Warriors powered by Carpe Diem faced a challenging task of being the first team to go, leaving the arena with 24 faults between two riders, Abdel Said and Omer Karaevli. As second team to go, Prague Lions powered by Czech Equestrian Team saw Pieter Devos and his champion mount Moms Toupie De La Roc again proved the track jumpable with zero faults as one of only 6 riders to do so. With teammate Anna Kellnerova and Catch Me If You Can Old collecting an unlucky 8 faults, but fast enough to take second place overall.
The league leaders and GCL 2022 winners, Riesenbeck International powered by Kingsland took to the arena to defend their title. Represented by Christian Kukuk aboard the ultra-consistent Mumbai, and U25 rider, Philipp Schulze Topphoff and Clemens De La Lande, the defending champions brought home an uncharacteristic 24 faults, leaving them way out of the placings and the door open to the other 15 teams to take top position in Miami Beach and in the ultimate teams’ challenges.
Rome Gladiators powered by CLIPMYHORSE.TV put on some serious female firepower with Beth Underhill and Nina Mallevay at the helm for the second leg of the GCL for 2023. Both riders collecting four faults but with neat and tidy rounds meaning they secured third place for the second year running!
The final team to go in the 2023 GCL of Miami Beach saw the Scandinavian Vikings represented by Linda Heed and reigning world champion Henrik Von Eckermann, with the crowd on the edge of their seats.
The GCL now moves to Mexico City 20-23 April, which will also be live streamed on GCTV as the third leg of the Championship race kicks off at the stunning grass arena of Campo Marte.