Drum roll, please… Wednesday eve marked the grand celebration of the fourth edition of the GCL Season Awards. The glittering awards ceremony unfolded in Prague, where remarkable accomplishments from 2023 were honored in a special manner.
As anticipation heightened for the commencement of the GC Prague Playoffs tomorrow, the awards ceremony unfolded in the heart of Prague, a city steeped in history and beauty. Distinguished international guests joined a gathering of the world's finest riders, creating an atmosphere of star-studded excitement as the winners were presented with exquisitely crafted trophies.
Throughout the 2023 GCL Championship, strategic planning and the prowess of horsepower remained at the forefront of team managers' considerations.
Without further ado, let's acknowledge the esteemed winners of the 2023 GCL Season Awards:
Category: GCL Rider of the Year
Christian Kukuk from Riesenbeck International powered by Kingsland Equestrian
In a season marked by fierce competition and remarkable performances, Christian Kukuk stood out as the epitome of equestrian excellence. Representing Riesenbeck International, powered by Kingsland Equestrian, Kukuk showcased exceptional consistency, sportsmanship, and a true dedication to help his team win the 2023 Championship. His commitment to the series collected him 131 points this season with 8 podiums, 5 wins and a 65% clear rate which earned him the title of GCL Rider of the Year.
Christian Kukuk smiled: “It has been a very emotional year, we came to the last show in Riyadh where everything was possible but a lot a stake. I have a very very big team behind me and this award is also down to all our owners, grooms, fans and family but one there is one big guy behind it all which is Ludger. He has given us clear direction all season, we wanted to win the Championship and we all stuck to the same plan. The team spirit we had this year was unreal.”
Category: GCL U25 of the Year
Nina Mallevaey from Rome Gladiators powered by ClipMyHorse.TV
The future of equestrian sports shines bright with talent like Nina Mallevaey. As a key member of the Rome Gladiators powered by ClipMyHorse.TV, Mallevaey demonstrated exceptional skill, earning her the title of GCL U25 of the Year. Her achievements not only showcase her individual success but also her contribution to the promising future of the sport.
Stood on stage as she collected the trophy U25 rider Nina Mallevaey smiled: “I have been dreaming to be here at the big shows. I am very lucky to have the team I have around me. I have to thank our team owner Mark Rien and team manager Nick Skelton for this as well.”
Category: GCL Horse of the Year
Beauville Z N.O.P ridden by Maikel van der Vleuten / Breeder: Pascal and Monique Habets Owner: Marta Ortega Pérez*
This year, Beauville Z N.O.P, ridden by Maikel van der Vleuten, has stood out with the pair's extreme consistency as the GCL Horse of the Year. Bred by Pascal and Monique Habets and owned by Marta Ortega Pérez, Beauville Z N.O.P showcased an exceptional GCL season.
Beauville Z N.O.P contributed two wins to the Madrid In Motion team this year with 5 podiums and a clear rate of 69.2% with just a 1.2 penalty per round average.
Collecting the award on behalf of Marta Ortega Perez, Maikel van der Vleuten smiled: “We have worked together with Marta for many years, and it's fantastic to have her supporting us and helping us get the results. These are the moments we do it all for.”
Father Eric van der Vleuten, picked up the award for the breeders Pascal and Monique Habets and explained: “Everyone knows many people are breeding many horses and it’s not easy to breed a horse at this level, we are talking about the highest level. This is a huge achievement for the Habets.”
Source: Press Release
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