In what was a condensed, tense and impressive GCL Miami Beach, Madrid in Motion’s Maikel van der Vleuten and Eduardo Alvarez Aznar secured the legs win by a collective 1.67 seconds ahead of second-place Prague Lions powered by Czech Equestrian Team.
In an event that’s not just about top sport, the venue provided visitors with an unforgettable experience. With the beautiful Miami Beach as the backdrop, all were treated to a feast for the senses, from the thrilling competition in the ring to the luxurious VIP lounges. In addition to the music, visitors are treated to a range of lifestyle and entertainment activities, including exclusive course walks, gourmet food and drink, and luxury shopping experiences.
The 16 GCL teams faced a number of technical and tactical lines in the Uliano Vezzani-built track, as showjumping took centre stage on the shores of the world-famous beach. After a week of challenges brought on by uncharacteristic storms in Miami, the format saw a last-minute change resulting in an uncharateristic 1-round leg of the tour.
Madrid in Motion’s Eduardo Alvarez Aznar explained:
We were fighting for it, and after our result we were quiet at the beginning (of the class), so we didn’t expect to get the podium position, and for sure not the top one. It’s a fantastic setting and the crowd, and everything around here it’s unbelievable, it’s a pleasure to jump here, and it looks unbelievable after the three, four days we have had, to have this sport with this weather and this crowd, it’s fantastic.”
The last time Madrid In Motion had a win was back in 2019 so teammate Maikel van der Vleuten added:
Can’t be more proud of our team, it’s a fantastic start to the season. With regards to the championship it is a long season ahead, one thing I know is that we have some good riders with good horses in our team, so we will have some good shows, but also some shows where the luck is not on our side but we try to keep this line forward.”
The competition was fierce, with some of the most exceptional combinations competing for the top prize. In glory afforded only by himself, Christian Ahlmann of the Shanghai Swans became the first rider in GCL history to collect 500 points for his team.
Pathfinders Istanbul Warriors powered by Carpe Diem faced a challenging task of being the first team to go, leaving the arena with 24 faults between the two riders, Abdel Said and Omer Karaevli. Second out was the Prague Lions powered by Czech Equestrian Team, which saw Pieter Devos and his champion mount Moms Toupie De La Roc prove the track jumpable with zero faults as one of only 6 riders to do so. With teammate Anna Kellnerova and Catch Me If You Can Old collecting an unlucky 8 faults, but fast enough to take second place overall.
The league leaders and GCL 2022 winners, Riesenbeck International powered by Kingsland took to the arena to defend their title. Represented by Christian Kukuk aboard the ultra-consistent Mumbai, and U25 rider, Philipp Schulze Topphoff and Clemens De La Lande, the defending champions brought home an uncharacteristic 24 faults, leaving them way out of the placings and the door open to the other 15 teams to take top position in Miami Beach and in the ultimate teams’ challenges.
Rome Gladiators powered by CLIPMYHORSE.TV put on some serious female firepower with Beth Underhill and Nina Mallevay at the helm for the second leg of the GCL for 2023. Both riders collecting four faults but with neat and tidy rounds meaning they secured third place for the second year running!
The final team to go in the 2023 GCL of Miami Beach saw the Scandinavian Vikings represented by Linda Heed and reigning world champion Henrik Von Eckermann, with the crowd on the edge of their seats. Take a look here at the final results.
The GCL now moves to Mexico City 20-23 April, which will also be live streamed on GCTV as the third leg of the Championship race kicks off at the stunning grass arena of Campo Marte.