Rome Gladiators Seize Victory in Spectacular GCL Showdown on Miami’s Shores

GCL Miami Beach 2024 Rome Gladiators win

In a jaw-dropping race to the finish, Rome Gladiators powered by ClipMyHorse.TV of Laura Kraut, Lorenzo de Luca and Micheal Duffy stood on top of the podium for the GCL Miami showdown (round 2), after climbing an impressive eight places from 1st round. 

Spectators were treated to the highest level of competitive show jumping and to the unique ambience that only Miami Beach can offer. With its blend of vibrant culture, luxurious lifestyle, and breathtaking natural beauty, Miami Beach provided the perfect stage for this unparalleled sporting event.

The dynamic duo from Prague Lions, powered by the Czech Equestrian Team of U25 rider Thibeau Spits and Fernando Martinez Sommer, were the only team not to make a single horse or rider change between the two back-to-back rounds. The tactic paid off as they secured second place with a team total of 10 faults after both rounds.

Stockholm Hearts, powered by H&M We Love Horses, rounded off the podium as the fastest of three teams, finishing on 12 faults added together from Jessica Springsteen, Malin Bayard-Johnsson and Nicola Philippaerts. 

Talking to GCTV the Rome Gladiators Lorenzo de Luca spoke of such a unique destination to compete on the beach: 

“Look at this – it is just an amazing location and amazing facilities. All the team of Global Champions always work their hardest to make the best events, so we are really glad to be here.”

Teammate and local fan favourite riding on home turf, Laura Kraut smiled:

We’re both new to the Rome Gladiators this year, although we were former Gladiators, we are back for 2024! I love being at home and it’s really fun to have the crowd here watching and cheering for me.”

With a smile lighting up Miami South Beach, Thibault Spits was ecstatic with his first-ever podium in the GCL. Standing next to teammate Fernando Martinez Sommer, Thibault said, 

“It’s unbelievable to be honest. Coming here I didn’t really know what to expect. My horse has been in good shape lately, but it’s her first time in a GCL class like this, so I just came here trying to do my best for the team to be on the podium, this is amazing. It’s unbelievable.”

After the day’s rollercoaster of emotions, the overall season rankings have had a huge shake-up with stage 2 drawing to a close. Interestingly, the league now has joint leaders of this leg’s winners, Rome Gladiators and Doha’s winners, Cannes Stars, powered by Iron Dames, who are both on 44 points. Mexico Amigos drop down one place to third on 42 points while Prague Lions and Stockholm Hearts are fourth and fifth both on 40 points. 

Reflecting on the team’s third place, and now fifth overall in the season rankings, Nicola Phillipaerts said: 

“I can not thank my team more than today, they jumped fantastic. Malin jumped fantastic – she jumped an incredible round with H&M Indiana, and Jessica jumped a fantastic first round. This year we have a really strong team, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.”

As the sun sets on this exhilarating second chapter in the 2024 GCL series, all eyes turn to the next destination on the horizon as it now sets its sights on Mexico City, promising a completely different test for riders and horses alike. Nestled within the sprawling metropolis, the upcoming event will take place in a colossal grass arena, offering a stark contrast to the sun-kissed sands of Miami Beach.


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