Cannes Stars Triumph in Thrilling Opening Stage of 2024 GCL Season

cannes stars win season opener in Doha. Podium shot

The equestrian world was set ablaze as the 2024 Global Champions League (GCL) season kicked off in Doha, Qatar, with the Cannes Stars, powered by Iron Dames, seizing victory in a historic display of skill and determination. Under the dazzling lights of the Longines Arena at Al Shaqab, the Cannes Stars made history as the first all-female team of six riders to lead the championship race, setting the stage for an electrifying season ahead.

In a riveting showdown, the Cannes Stars soared to victory, propelled by stellar performances from Sophie Hinners aboard Iron Dames Singclair, Janne Friederike Meyer-Zimmermann with Messi van ‘t Ruytershof, and Sanne Thijssen riding Con Quidam RB. With just four faults after two rounds, the team clinched the win with a breathtakingly quick performance, leaving their closest competitors, Mexico Amigos, trailing behind.

Team owner Deborah Mayer expressed her pride in securing their first win, stating, “As the founder of the Iron Dames project, I am incredibly proud to see our team, Cannes Stars powered by Iron Dames, clinch the first round of the 2024 GCL. Being the first all-female team to compete in this prestigious championship makes this achievement even more meaningful.”

An emotional Janne Friederike Meyer-Zimmermann remarked, “I am lost for words. We are just so happy. It was great teamwork…”

Sanne Thijssen added, “This weekend it’s the first time for us competing as a team together for the Cannes Stars powered by Iron Dames. The team is unbelievably motivated…”

U25 rider Sophie Hinners expressed her excitement for the rest of the season, stating, “Last week was my horse’s first 5* show so I am thrilled and I am just really looking forward to the rest of the season.”

Founder and President of GCL Jan Tops praised the Cannes Stars’ victory, highlighting the excitement of the competition and the growth of equestrianism in Doha.

Despite formidable competition, including last year’s champions, Riesenbeck International powered by Kingsland Equestrian, the Cannes Stars showcased their dominance, securing the top spot on the podium.

The drama unfolded as Valkenswaard United, leading after the first round, faced unexpected challenges, ultimately surrendering their lead to the Cannes Stars in a thrilling turn of events.

With the first stage of the season concluded, the equestrian world eagerly anticipates the next showdown in Miami Beach, where the Cannes Stars aim to continue their reign atop the GCL standings.

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