Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – October 22, 2022 – In the most competitive GCL round 2 of the 2022 season, it was the Berlin Eagles, powered by Fundis who snatched the 2022 Championship title away from the Stockholm Hearts to be crowned the new champions and take home the lion’s share of over €6 million prize money.
It was all about big names, big views and big guns as the Eagles fielded their top horses in their bid to seize the GCL Championship.
Stealing the spotlight in Riyadh, Christian Kukuk (GER) aboard Mumbai and Philipp Weishaupt (GER) with Coby carried the weight of their fellow teammates to post an impressive double clear in immense pressure. Under the watchful and expert eye of team owner, manager and rider, Ludger Beerbaum (GER), Kukuk and Weishaupt rose to the occasion to secure top podium position and take home the enviable title.
An ecstatic and relieved Kukuk revealed: “It feels amazing, I think there was quite a lot of pressure on us this weekend and both of us said well ‘we hope that this day goes over quick’. In the end, now we are very, very happy – we did a great job over the whole season. We took it very seriously and hard work pays always off and I think that’s what it is about today. I think if you look over the whole season, the results, not only us and Ludger, and Eoin and Philipp was a shame that he was injured so early in the season. We took it very seriously and all of us I think had a big big part in this win now and as Philipp said, we should celebrate it enough.”
Second part of the dream team, Philipp Weishaupt (GER) smiled: “We have been waiting three or four days here to prepare for exactly this moment – now it finally happened and I can’t really believe it. I am super delighted, Coby jumped amazing, he showed what a great horse he is and I am very happy we won it now and we are going to celebrate a lot I am sure. I was just praying after Christian jumped B in the trebble, please, please leave rails up. Mumbai finished after the treble very good. I had a stumble in the combination, and thought ‘oh my god it’s not our day today’ and I knew I could only have one down. I did what I usually did, I didn’t go slow or do anything different, and thank god it worked out, otherwise, it’d be a really hard way back home.”
Ludger Beerbaum (GER) then spoke highly of his students saying: “Our main focus was the GCL this year, we didn’t do too many other events also, and the others had more different because they had the World Equestrian Games and they had other obligations like the Nations Cups – we were really focussed as a stable team for the GCL and I think this was our strength.
But I would also like to say that to win the overall title, it’s not only about the last 48 hours here, its been a real team effort the whole season long. Starting in Doha all the way to Riyadh.”
Taking place where the past and future of Saudi Arabia collide, this year’s Final was a spectacle to go down in history. Diriyah, just north of the country’s capital, Riyadh, is considered the center of Saudi Arabia’s rich history. Many local and international spectators alike joined to witness the best of the very best vie for a podium position and HH Prince Abdullah bin Fahad Al Saud – president of the Saudi Arabian Equestrian Federation present the prizes.
Final Standings – 2022 Global Champions League
1) Berlin Eagles – 289 points
2) Stockholm Hearts – 284 points
3) Prague Lions – 258
Source: Press Release from Global Champions League
Photos: © GCL / Stefano Grasso