It was a drama-filled GCL Super Cup Semi Final as the ultimate lineup was determined for Sunday’s Final. In the knockout Semi Final, the field was cut in half during the second day of the GC Prague Playoffs.
Anticipation is mounting for Sunday's €4.5 million GCL Super Cup Final, which is set to be a sell-out crowd with over 35,000 spectators this week at the O2 arena. The emotional stakes are particularly intense, with favorites Shanghai Swans and Stockholm Hearts powered by H&M We Love Horses eliminated, and the hometown heroes Prague Lions powered by Czech Equestrian Team securing their place in the Final for the second year running.
Showcased in the awe-inspiring 'Walk of Champions,' the riders participating in today's Semi Final were welcomed by the thunderous cheers of the crowd, a significant indicator of the thrilling spectacle that awaited them in an evening filled with awe-inspiring sportsmanship, triumphant highs, and heartbreaking lows.
GCL Super Cup Final Qualified Teams:
- Madrid In Motion
- Paris Panthers
- St Tropez Pirates
- Riesenbeck International powered by Kingsland Equestrian
- Valkenswaard United
- St Tropez Pirates
In the Semi Final winners interview Maikel van der Vleuten smiled to GCTV: "To be standing here for us with the team is brilliant. It was a fantastic performance for us today, I think everybody could see how tricky the course was but I must say that all three of our horses looked in great shape, and it was a fantastic performance today."
Madrid In Motion’s U25 rider Jack Whitaker smiled and added: "When you come to GC Prague Playoffs riders and horses have to be really on the ball as it’s very challenging. I’m super pleased with our team today, it means a lot to everyone and it is fantastic to see the support we have from our whole team like Alvaro Arrieta Konyay’s reaction from VIP!"
Having made the Final for every GCL Super Cup held, Valkenswaard United continued their legacy after an agonising wait to see if they would qualify. Two rails down from all their combinations of Marcus Ehning on Stargold, U25 rider Gilles Thomas with Luna van het Dennehof and the legandry John Whitaker with Equine America Unick du Francport left the team on 24 faults, but crucially within the top six after the last team.
St Tropez Pirates rode the wave of the epic atmosphere in the O2 arena as Marlon Zanotelli on Grand Slam VDL, Gerrit Neiberg with Ben 431 and Simon Delestre riding Dexter Fontenis Z produced soil rounds to finish on a team total of 16 faults good enough to land them a spot in the coveted Final.