Paris, France – June 22, 2023 – Soaring to victory, Riesenbeck International powered by Kingsland Equestrian secured their 4th GCL win this season in the presented by La Tour Eiffel in a tightly contested double-round dual on Friday.
GCL of Paris took center stage amidst an atmosphere of unparalleled glamour, star-studded attendees, and the breathtaking backdrop of the Eiffel Tower. Nestled in the heart of the city of love, the GCL of Paris attracted a constellation of famous names from the worlds of sports, entertainment, and fashion like Bruce Springsteen, NBA player Ivica Zubac and Guillaume Canet. International celebrities, renowned athletes, and influential personalities graced the event, making it an extraordinary gathering of global stars. With each passing year, the GCL of Paris continues to solidify its position as a must-attend event on the international social calendar.
Taking the win from the ever-consistent Madrid in Motion, Philipp Weishaupt (GER) and Christian Kukuk (GER) with Coby and Mumbai produced the only four-fault score sheet for the Championship leading team as they make it a 50% win rate this season winning four of the eight stages.
Mark McAuley (IRL) and Laura Kraut (USA) of Madrid in Motion, both collected a single rail each, with Kraut’s single-time penalty aboard Calgary Tame in Round 2 etching them into second place on 9 faults. Rounding out the podium saw the ever-consistent Paris Panthers yet again taking their place on the podium steps with 12 penalties incurred over the two rounds for Ben Maher (GBR) and Gregory Wathelet (BEL).
Speaking to GCTV Kukuk explained about taking their third consecutive GCL podium: “We are surfing on a wave at the moment. It’s unreal, I think we can say this has never happened before in the league, that after eight stages, we won half of them, and two more podiums I think – that’s incredible. We said it before, we are very, very lucky as we have outstanding horses… they are all in the perfect age this year. We try to keep the wave up as long as possible.”
Today’s top three placed teams continue to make their mark on 2023’s Championship standings as we hit the halfway point of the season, making up the top three as they edge further away from the pack of 16 teams.
The GCL of Paris is renowned for its team-based format, where top riders from various nations unite to compete for glory. The event featured fierce competition among the world’s best riders, who tackled demanding courses designed to test their agility, precision, and connection with their equine partners. Each rider’s remarkable talent was on full display, creating moments of pure adrenaline and breathtaking rounds that left spectators in awe.
Last year’s GCL Paris winners and home team Paris Panthers have been chasing a win since their first in Madrid After a surprising elimination last week, the team had to pick their selves up in front of the home crowd. The fans groaned when Ben Maher (GBR) and Ginger-Blue knock a pole meaning it was a long way to go. But Gregory Wathelet (BEL) and Bond Jamesbond de Hay put the pedal to the metal. Showing their experience they were brilliantly quick to finish clear and had to hold their breath as the last few teams went.
Mark McAuley (IRL) pulled out a magnificent clear for Madrid In Motion with 10-year-old GRS Lady Amaro and with the faults of other teams to come close together he left the team in a superb position. Although Laura Kraut (USA) and Calgary Tame had an unlucky rail and time fault the team slid into the lead on 9 faults.
The final three teams all had a two-pole advantage so it was everything to play for. First, up current ranking leaders Riesenbeck International, Christian Kukuk (GER) touched one rail ever so slightly on Mumbai but it fell to the floor not leaving Philipp Weisuapt (GER) and Coby any room for error. They delivered the goods once again and sat with the team owner, manager, and rider Ludger Beerbaum (GER) as the final teams took on the test.
There was heartache for Mexico Amigos as Mike Kawai (JPN) fell off mid-course causing elimination for the team and meaning the single rail from Nicolas Pizarro (MEX) and DMS Enkidu was irrelevant.
It all fell apart for R1 leaders as the pressure got too much for the St Tropez Pirates. Marlon Zanotelli (BRA) riding Like A Diamond van het Schaeck was too focused on the time taking a stride out the double of uprights by VIP knocking the second part and pilling the pressure on Simon Delestre (FRA) to go clear. Then an early refusal for Cayman Jolly Jumper and Delestre handed the win to the German’s for the fourth time this season as the Pirates tumbled down the order and they finished with a combined score of 13 faults for 5th place.
So the win would go to the Riesenbeck International powered by Kingsland Equestrian after a spell-binding afternoon of top sport in Paris. The League now heads straight to Monaco for the 9th round of action in the Championship and the first round after mid-season transfers as the battle hots up.
Stay tuned to find out the big names that will be joining the second half of the season…
Final Results – Global Champions League of Paris CSI 5*
1) Riensebeck International – 0 / 0 / 0 / 4 = 4 / 149.06
2) Madrid in Motion – 0 / 4 / 5 / 0 = 9 / 149.80
3) Paris Panthers – 4 / 4 / 0 / 4 = 12 / 144.37
Source: Press Release from GCT – Global Champions Tour
Photos: © GCL – Global Champions League