As the sun shone down on the spectacular Ramatuelle, St. Tropez, the GCL turned it on for the fifth stage of the GCL season for 2023, and the 99th stage of GCL ever. In an exhilarating equestrian extravaganza, it was Scott Brash and Spencer Smith of New York Empire powered by Lugano Diamonds who took their first win since 2019.
Strategic changes with horses and riders in between Round 1 and Round 2 resulted in an impressive double clear for Scott Brash aboard Hello Jefferson and Spencer Smith and Theodore Manciais and left them ahead of Championship leads Madrid In Motions Maikel van der Vleuten and Eduardo Aznar.
After making his comeback from injury, Ben Maher proved just why he is a crucial member of the Paris Panthers, bringing home a clean sheet and securing the Panthers the final spot on the podium with teammate Gregory Wathalet just having a single rail but slower than New York and Madrid.
Long-standing New York Empire team member Scott Brash explained:
This is fantastic for the whole team, we are delighted for Georgina [Bloomberg], she’s really backed the GCL for many years so it is brilliant to get a win for the New York Empire. It’s been a while since our last win. Both rounds were big, and both rounds were tough as we saw with no teams on double clear. “
Team rider and owner Georgina Bloomberg plays a crucial role in the success of New York Empire, Spencer Smith explained:
I think Georgina is the biggest part of our whole team, you know, we are obviously New York Empire for her home town, she’s riding on the team, and our last win was with her on the team – she’s the one that clutched the win for us there. She’s kind of the captain, and just a super person – she adds a lot to it. This is a great win for all of us, we have a top group of guys and girls, and Georgina has really been a great supporter of the team, and rides on it.”
Just meters from the glistening waters of the Mediterranean Sea in the iconic French Riviera, 16 GCL teams took on Grégory Bodo’s challenging yet fair courses over 2 rounds at the 5th stage of the season.
Championship standings after stage 5:
1. Madrid In Motion: 111 points
2. Paris Panthers: 109 points
3. Riesenbeck International: 102 points
4. St Tropez Pirates: 94 points
For the full results click here.