Returning from injury, Peder Fredricson secured Stockholm Hearts powered by H&M We Love Horses the win after a foot perfect double clear from teammate Olivier Philipperats. The world of equestrian sport witnessed an extraordinary triumph at the iconic Royal Hospital Chelsea in the heart of London.
The remarkable victory by Peder Fredricson added a fairytale dimension to the championship. Fredricson’s remarkable comeback marked his second consecutive win in the GCL team series after his win on home turf in Stockholm earlier this year just before his accident. Highlighting the team’s phenomenal achievement, Olivier Philippaerts also left a lasting mark to beat Madrid In Motion on time.
Perfectly summarized in a concise, and collectively resounding manner, Peder commented: “It is great to feel this adrenaline kick again, and of course the win is the perfect start.”
Surrounded by the historic charm of London, the event created an unforgettable atmosphere for both participants and spectators alike. The sold-out crowd was treated to an unparalleled display of horsemanship. In a poignant fusion of tradition and honour, the distinguished resident pensioners of the Royal Hospital Chelsea graced the awards ceremony, adding a touch of heritage to the occasion. This act symbolized the profound bond between equestrian sports and the rich legacy of the venue, evoking a moment brimming with significance and emotion.
Saturday’s third place was clinched by the 2023 Championship Leaders, Riesenbeck International powered by Kingsland Equestrian. The duo of Christian Kukuk and Philipp Sholz-Tophoff on board Just Be Gentle and Carla NRW secured their place on the podium proving just how continent the team is.
Speaking of his ultra consistent mount Just Be Gentle, Christian Kukuk of Riesenbeck International powered by Kingsland, commented on her form in 2023 so far. He said; “Again, a double clear from her, she did it already in Stockholm, and I think every time I’ve ridden her I’ve been on the podium, so I am very, very happy.”
Meanwhile, Madrid in Motion’s Maikel van der Vleuten and Mark Mcauley soared to second place onboard Beauville Z N.O.P. and GRS Lady Amaro, further amplifying the intensity of the competition.
Team tactics again came into play, with teams opting for both horse changes, rider changes, and some opting for ‘don’t change it if it’s not broken’. Second place getters Madrid in Motion opted for a strategic change heading into Round 2, with Maikel Van Der Vlueten replacing Jack Whitaker. Speaking after the team’s commendable second place, Maikel assured the success was as a result of the whole team effort.
“Today we were all three part of our second place, Mark jumped both rounds, he rode very focused. His horse jumped very well with an unlucky rail which can happen of course. Also Jack, a super clear round the first round, was a big part of the second place today. I must say Beauville [N.O.P] felt very well and was trying very hard.”
With this victory, Riesenbeck International extended their domination, establishing a commanding lead of 27 points over Paris Panthers, who now hold 221 points on the GCL leaderboard. The stage is now set for an exhilarating culmination to the GCL Championship, promising more suspense and spectacle as the league unfolds in the last crucial stages of the season.
The league now heads straight to Valkenswaard for the 13th stage of the season from 18 – 20 August.