Šamorín, Slovakia – October 16, 2021 – Doha Falcons converted their pole position into a sensational win at the stunning X-Bionic Sphere, Šamorín during the penultimate stage of the 2021 season. Bassem Mohammed (QAT) and Caletto Cabana teamed up with Yuri Mansur (BRA) on Vitiki to produce the only double clear of the weekend and help Valkenswaard United stay on top of the overall ranking.
Berlin Eagles duo of Ludger Beerbaum (GER) and Philipp Weishaupt (GER) claimed second place while the Shanghai Swans power pair of Christian Ahlmann (GER) and Max Kuhner (AUT) put in a nail-biting performance to clinch third at this crucial stage of the season.
Last to go, Mansur for the Doha Falcons didn’t just win it for the team but by claiming the maximum points they also made it extremely tough for Shanghai Swans to beat the Valkenswaard United in the Championship race as the points gap closed to 11.
Today’s performances in the huge indoor arena also helped Shanghai Swans and Paris Panthers secure their spots in the final top 4 of the 2021 champions meaning they are guaranteed to fast track straight through to the GCL Super Cup Semi-Final at the GC Prague Playoffs. The battle for the final spot is now hotter than ever as London Knights and Berlin Eagles separate themselves by just 7 points going into next week’s Final.
A thrilled Mohammed smiled: “My horse really jumped well again, everyone has the chance to win, we were just the best this weekend. This weekend we were just the best.”
Smiling next to his teammate Mansur added: “For our team, we always did well the first day and not the second day. We have been working hard to get our performance better and step by step we get there. All the facilities we have here are just fantastic we are very lucky. “
Current ranking leaders Valkenswaard United were looking for redemption today after their shock 14 penalty-points in yesterday’s round 1. Up first current world number one Peder Fredricson (SWE) brought out his top horsepower of H&M All In to tackle Uliano Vezzani‘s 1.55m course. They proved their class once again with a flawless clear round before passing the reins to young gun Gilles Thomas (BEL). Coming off the bench to replace Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS), Thomas delivered the goods with his stunning 9-year-old black stallion Feromas van Beek Z keeping United on 14 faults and leaving them with a long wait ahead watching the remaining teams.
There was drama for the Monaco Aces as first to go Jeanne Sadran (FRA) has a miscommunication coming into the double next to the GC Lounge adding an extra stride and causing a refusal. Turning a circle proved costly as they finished on 5 faults and shattering their chances to climb into the top four today. Laura Kraut (USA) and Confu managed to come home on a clean sheet but the team finished 10th overall losing valuable points.
Berlin Eagles pulled out all the stops and immediately put pressure on the rest of the field to come as Philipp Weishaupt (GER) on Coby and Ludger Beerbaum (GER) and Mila rode flawless double clears meaning the team finished on just 4 penalty-points carried over from round 1.
Chasing down Valkenswaard United, Christian Ahlmann (GER) and Max Kuhner (AUT) set off meaning business. Bringing in extra horsepower of Dominator Z, Ahlmann stepped it up and came home clear. Kuhner then rode a foot perfect round securing the team a podium and most importantly closing the gap to Valkenswaard United.
The Paris Panthers were sitting on the fastest 4 penalty-points going into today’s round. The team had no option but to treat their rounds like a jump-off and hope the final three teams had poles. Unfortunately, the risk didn’t pay off and Darragh Kenny (IRL) on Volnay du Boisdeville were speedy but had one down while Gregory Wathelet (BEL) and Picobello Full House Ter Linden Z were slightly slower on 4 faults as well.
Clinging onto fourth place in the overall season championship London Knights brought out their A-game under the spotlights in Šamorín. Emily Moffitt (GBR) and Winning Good were extremely unlucky rolling a pole and putting the team on the back foot. Nicola Phillipaerts (BEL) and his top horse Katanga v.H Dingeshof followed in his brother’s footsteps from R1 and rode a lightning-fast clear leaving the team just off the podium in fourth and retaining their position in the ranking.
Last to go, the Doha Falcons knew they just had to keep all the fences up to rocket to the top of the podium for the first time this season. They kept their heads under extreme pressure and both Bassem Mohammed (QAT) and Yuri Mansur (BRA) pulled out all the stops to keep a clean sheet and win the dramatic GCL of Šamorín.
The competition couldn’t be closer as the Championships heads into the final week of the 2021 season next week from 21 – 23 October where champion of champions will be crowned in Šamorín.
Final Results – Global Champions League of Šamorín
1) Doha Falcons – 0 – 156.75
Bassem Hassan Mohammed (QAT) & Caletto Cabana – 0 / 0 – 79.24
Yuri Mansur (BRA) & Vitiki – 0 / 0 – 77.51
2) Berlin Eagles – 4 – 145.87
Ludger Beerbaum (GER) & Mila – 4 / 0 – 77.65
Philipp Weishaupt (GER) & Coby – 0 / 0 – 68.22
3) Shanghai Swans – 4 – 146.14
Christian Ahlmann (GER) & Solid Gold Z – 4 / DNP
Christian Ahlmann (GER) & Dominator 2000 Z – DNP / 0 – 72.38
Max Kuhner (AUT) & Elektric Blue P – 0 / 0 – 73.76
Source: Press Release from the Longines Global Champions Tour
Photos: © LGCT / Stefano Grasso