The second edition of the GCL Season Awards was celebrated tonight with a special ceremony in Prague recognising outstanding achievement in 2021.
With excitement building ahead of the kick-off of the GC Prague Playoffs tomorrow, the Awards ceremony took place during an evening cruise along the historic City’s Vltava River with magnificent views of the ancient Castle.
International guests joined a star-studded gathering of the world’s best riders to applaud the five winners as they received their beautifully designed trophies.
2021 saw the most competitive GCL Championship with tactical planning and horsepower at the forefront.
The winners of the 2021 GCL Season Awards are as follows:
Category: Owner of the Best Horse
Winner: Aurélie Brochard and Olivier Robert - Vangog du Mas Garnier
Vangog competed in 17 rounds throughout the GCL season over 8 stages in 2021 and it was thanks to the double clear of this horse in Hamburg, the team finished on the podium in second place. The stunning equine athlete Vangog du Mas Garnier is ridden by Olivier Robert for the St Tropez Pirates team.
The race for this award was, just like this year's GCL race was very tight. It was a tie for first place but the podium finishes made the difference for Van Gogh du mas Garnier to win but a special gift was presented to Evelina Tovek as the owner of Winnetou De La Hamente Z who drew on the same number of points as Vangog in the Best Horse Category. She has had an outstanding season on this talented gelding who once again produced clear round after clear round for the Scandinavian Vikings. With Vangogh just piping Winnetou to the post with more wins it was a tight race and this combination deserve recognition for their outstanding achievements.
Category: Breeder of the Best Horse
Winner: Dominique and Frederiques Maes - Vangog du Mas Garnier
This Award recognizes the impressive achievement of breeding one of the great show-jumping horses in the world today. The winner of “Breeder of the Best Horse” went to Dominique and Frederiques Maes, breeders of Vangog du Mas Garnier. To breed a horse of such exceptional calibre is, extremely difficult and Vangog du Mas Garnier’s talent, intelligence, power and ability to excel in all kinds of arenas has captivated the equestrian world. Vangog by Cornet Obolensky and with Clinton as his grand sire, is a genuine star and congratulations go out to Dominique and Frederiques who bred him and owned him until he was 8 years old.
Category: Best U25 Rider
Winner: Spencer Smith
When the GCL was launched an important element was to include young riders in the teams as the sport supports the next generation of talent. This year, the winner of “Best U-25 Rider” was Spencer Smith. Spencer has proved his talent and composure this season competing on 7 stages around the world at only 25 years old and helping New York Empire, to 10th overall in the GCL Championship.
Smith smiled: "I am so grateful to Georgina Bloomberg and her team that makes this possible. It is my dream to be jumping the European circuit and this just tops it off."
Category: Best GCL Rider
Winner: Christian Ahlmann
It was Christian Ahlmann's outstanding performances against the best in the world at the highest level of sporting competition that won him “Best Rider of the GCL season.” Christian’s record this season was especially notable as he delivered excellent performances consistently riding a number of different horses in the very different arenas of the GCL global circuit.
Ahlmann said: "I am very honoured to get this prize. I am privileged to have such a supergroup of horses. I want to thank Jan Tops and his team for creating such a great circuit in our sport.”
Tomorrow the GCL Super Cup Quarter Final will get underway at 20:00 with12 teams taking centre stage. All the action will be live-streamed via www.gctv.gcglobalchampions.com