Marcus Ehning conquers Grand Prix Qualifier in GCL Doha, Riesenbeck International takes the lead

Marcus Ehning conquers Grand Prix Qualifier in GCL Doha, Riesenbeck International takes the lead

After the first competition, it was already time for the second round of the GCL in Doha. Unlike the previous class, this class counted as qualification for the Grand Prix, but the results again were calculated for both the individual and team ranking. As one of the last to go, Marcus Ehning had his eyes on the prize and was the one victorious on Stargold (v. Stakkato Gold). 

The win came in the hands of Marcus Ehning and the 12-year-old Stargold (v. Stakkato Gold). At the time Ehning came in the ring, Simon Delestre was leading the way with a time of 68,65 on Dexter Fontenis Z (v. Diarado). Ehning had a clear vision in mind and was almost two seconds faster than the Frenchman. But before Ehning took over the lead, it was his compatriot Christian Kukuk who had put himself on top. In the saddle of Mumbai (v. Diamant de Semilly), the German rider finished in 68,57 and thus was just a little bit faster than Delestre but was defeated right after by Ehning.

The top five was complete with Gerrit Nieberg with Ben (v. Sylvain) at four followed by Henrik von Eckermann on Calizi (v. Cellestial).

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Back with a bang! GCL Season Opener in Doha Win Secured by Riesenbeck International

At the buzzing Longines Arena, Riesenbeck International powered by Kingsland emerged triumphant, securing the ranking lead in 2023's opening GCL leg. The first leg of the thrilling 2023 championship race saw unbeatable performances today in Doha by the team's top guns.

Today’s results set the stage for the next legs of the GCL as horses and riders head across the globe, where the next rounds will play out in the breathtaking destinations of Miami Beach and Mexico City. Over €36 million in prize money is on offer in the 2023 LGCT and GCL season with over €10 million alone in one weekend for teams in the GCL Super Cup at the GC Prague Playoffs in November.

Heavyweights Christian Kukuk and Philipp Weishauppt took full advantage of the extraordinary horsepower of Coby and Mumbai with impressive rounds to seal the coveted first win of the season and took the lion's share of the €300,000 prize money for today's GCL competition.

St Tropez Pirates, featuring brand new signings Simon Delestre and Marlon Modolo Zanotelli also collected just four faults, with an accumulated time of just over a second slower than the winning team, which earned themselves a well-deserved silver trophy.

A mix of team rivalry and competitive spirit shone through with Valkenswaard United finishing in an impressive third, with returning riders Marcus Ehning aboard the on-form Stargold, and John Whitaker and Equine America Unick du Francport leading the team to the final spot on the podium today.

It has been mixed emotions for the Riesenbeck International squad this week as team rider and owner Ludger Beerbaum was taken to hospital yesterday after a fall.

With the unveiling of the new weekend format. Riders were challenged by GCL’s Round 1 and Round 2 being back-to-back, rather than the traditional two-day rollout. Philipp Weishauppt commented to GCTV: "The new format with both rounds in one day and I thought it was great."

After GCL Round 1, six teams entered the arena for Round 2 with a clean score sheet. Four teams took to Round 2 bringing in just four faults, leaving little to no room for error for the leading teams. 

Competition favourites Shanghai Swans star striker Max Khüner dramatically put them out of contention when his horse Eic Cooley Jump the Q collected 12 faults in the second round, leaving teammate Christian Ahlmann and Solid Gold’s double clear void of contention. 

As the first double clear rounds entered, Rome Gladiators powered by ClipMyHorse.TV had just one pole in hand. Represented by the Breen brothers, Shane and Trevor, ultimately left the arena on an uncharacteristic 19 faults from Trevor’s homebred mount Highland President, and four faults from Shane’s Cuick Star Kervec. 

Next, Stockholm Hearts powered by H&M We Love Horses entered the arena. Switching horses for Round 2, Malin Baryard-Johnson took to the Uliano Vezzani built course aboard 2022’s highest performing GCL horse, H&M Indiana. Lilly Attwood and Calvaro’s Up To Date found the last line challenging with the last three fences falling, Leaving 2022’s GCL of Doha winners on 16 faults. 

No team changes for German-based team, Riesenbeck International powered by Kingsland, proved a success with anchor riders Christian Kukuk posting a double clear and Philip Weishaput collecting just one rail. Leaving all to play for as the final three teams entered the arena, the suspense was high. 

A single rail from Valkenswaard’s United John Whitaker saw the iconic duo of Whitaker and Marcus Ehning sit in third with just one team to go. Enter: Istanbul Warriors powered by Carpe Diem. Heading into Round 2 in pole position, but, Round 2 proved a challenge for Omer Karaveli and Abdel Said.

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Source: Press Release
Photo©: GCL