The battle for the 2021 GCL Championship intensified dramatically today with Valkenswaard United taking over the overall ranking lead from Shanghai Swans.
In the tense final moments of the GCL of Valkenswaard, Monaco Aces Jos Verlooy and Laura Kraut powered to victory after overnight leaders Paris Panthers failed to achieve the double clear they needed. Valkenswaard United finished in second spot catapulting them into the ranking lead after a top-level team competition full of jeopardy as the temperature hots up in GCL series.
Uliano Vezzani’s course was a thoughtful, flowing track, using the full width and breadth of the expansive sand arena. The Italian course designer provided the riders with plenty of options, with choices of strides to many of the combinations and the chance to take tight turns. A curving line to the GC Prague Playoffs upright caught out those who took it too tight, and the final line was a double combination before a wide oxer to the finish. This was a track best suited to larger-striding horses, careful at the fences but able to cover the ground effortlessly in the distances between.
Glory went today to the Monaco Aces, with the team taking their first win of the season. A delighted Verlooy said: "The horses jumped great and everything went to plan today. It is amazing to have grass back at Tops International Arena, it is super, the horses love it, and there is nothing more beautiful than jumping on a nice grass arena."
His teammate Laura Kraut agreed: "Picking up the ranking points is brilliant especially in my first team event of the year. The footing is brilliant here, it is like jumping off a trampoline, it really couldn’t be better."
Source: Press Release Global Champions Tour