Pirates Pounce in Nail-Biting GCL Doha Opener

Pirates Pounce in Nail-Biting GCL Doha Opener

St Tropez Pirates kicked off their 2020 GCL campaign in determined style combining speed and pinpoint accuracy to take the lead going into Saturday’s showdown. 8 teams finished on a zero score after this nail-biting first round, with some blisteringly fast rounds from St Tropez Pirates, Scandinavian Vikings and London Knights.

signing Daniel Deusser joined St Tropez Pirates team stalwart Pieter Devos for
the first time at this opening leg in Qatar, and the team’s strategy paid off.
Pieter praised his new teammate and said “We had a very good start, a nice clear. I’m very
happy with my new teammate Daniel who gave us a lot of confidence for the start
of the season”.


of his new team’s chances, after today's dramatic display of firepower, Daniel
Deusser said “It’s a new season, new challenge, new team, we have a very good team
but we need to produce the results”.


half of the teams jumping double clears around Frank Rothenberger’s 1.50/1.55m
exciting track, motivation is high among the team riders, owners and managers
from day one of the GCL team championship at this opening leg and it will be
all to play for in Saturday’s final round.


season’s teams are stronger than ever, with more horsepower and new talent
being added, and some exciting transfers as this year’s battle gets underway.


was clear from the start today that this year’s teams are fiercely competitive
in the race for the 2020 championship, and high calibre combinations not only
delivered clear rounds, but also threw down the gauntlet for the fastest times,
with Scott Brash posting the fastest round in today’s team competition.


teams are eager to make their mark at this early stage of the season, and on
Saturday, the GCL Doha Champions will be crowned in what is sure to be a
thrilling finale.


Madrid in Motion


into the arena in this GCL round 1 competition, the pressure was on for Eduardo
Alvarez Aznar and Legend, riding for Madrid in Motion, and a costly early pole
left him to finish on 4 faults. Second to go for the team was Maikel van der
Vleuten, riding Dana Blue, who really had his foot to the pedal and showed how
it could be done in a fast clear round.


Valkenswaard United


United are looking like a strong team for the 2020 season, and their team
riders in this first round set the standard for other teams. Both Marcus
Ehning, riding Funky Fred, and Peder Fredricson, riding Catch me Not S posted
fast clear rounds to take an early lead.


Cascais Charms


Whitaker was first into the stunning Longines Arena for Cascais Charms at Al
Shaqab with Scenletha, riding in the GCL team competition for the first time.
It wasn’t to be for Cascais Charms in Doha, as Jack was unfortunately
eliminated, as his horse took a dislike to the second fence, jumping outside
the flags. Francois Mathy Jr then picked up the mantle, and finished on 12
faults with Uno de la Roque.


Hamburg Giants


Delestre and Bart Bles both return to the Hamburg Giants again for 2020, and
finished in the middle of the field going into Saturday’s second round. Simon
was first into the ring with Berlux Z, and posted a clear jumping round with
only one time fault to add. Bart Bles had a similarly successful round with
Israel v.d. Dennehoeve, securing a fast clear round to finish the team on a
score of 1 going into Saturday’s competition.


Shanghai Swans


year’s GCL Super Cup winners, Shanghai Swans, pulled out all the stops for a
strong start to their 2020 campaign. Max KĂĽhner and Vancouver Dreams had a
foot-perfect round to finish on a 0 score. Pius Schwizer and Cortney Cox
followed them into the expansive sand arena, and had just one unlucky pole down
to finish the team on 4 faults.


New York Empire


into the ring for New York Empire was Scott Brash and Hello Shelby, who posted
a faultless clear round. Denis Lynch was next up, riding Rubens LS la Silla,
and following their round with just one fence down, New York Empire  were
another team to finish on 4 faults going into Saturday’s second round.


Cannes Stars


Stars fielded Jane Richard Philips and Hans-Dieter Dreher for this opening leg
at Al Shaqab in Doha, Qatar. Jane had a promising round on Victorio des Grez to
finish with just 4 faults, but Hans-Dieter Dreher really pulled out all the
stops and achieved a fast clear round with Prinz. At this stage of the
competition, Cannes Stars became the fourth team to finish on 4 faults.


Scandinavian Vikings


riders Evelina Tovek and Henrik von Eckermann return for the 2020 season, keen
to secure a strong result at this early stage. Evelina Tovek set the pace with
Dalila de la Pomme, posting a faultless clear round, and Henrik von Eckermann
and Best Boy picked up the mantle and achieved an equally foot-perfect round,
to take the team into the lead, and ultimately finish in close second going
into Saturday’s final round.


Monaco Aces


Aces stalwarts Julien Epaillard and JĂ©rĂ´me Guery returned to competition for
this opening leg, and were another team to keep the pedal to the mettle
throughout their rounds. Riding Virtuose Champeix, Julien set the tone for the
team with a clear round, and JĂ©rĂ´me Guery followed his lead with Quel Homme de
Bus, securing another clear and a clean sheet for the team going into the
second round on Saturday.


Berlin Eagles


Kutscher set a strong pace, riding Chaccorina as the first rider out for Berlin
Eagles, producing a great clear round. Following him was Philipp Weishaupt and
Che Fantastisch, who ensured his team’s strong position for the second round,
keeping them on a score of 0, one of 8 teams to go through on a clean sheet.


Paris Panthers


Paris Panthers put in a great campaign to secure the 5th double clear with a
new heavyweight duo. Pénélope Leprevost kicked off the team with a foot perfect
clear on GFE Excalibur de la Tour Vidal. It was then Gregory Wathelet’s turn to
take to the stage with Indigo, and secured another clear round for the team to finish
fourth, in a very competitive position for Saturday’s final.


Prague Lions


Vermier knocked a pole early on in his round with IQ van het Steenje, putting
the pressure on for a fast time if the Prague Lions were to stay in contention
for a good position on Saturday. Making his debut for the Prague Lions, Jur
Vrieling took a risk with KM Chalcedon at the penultimate fence to take a
stride out, however it didn’t pay off and the back rail came crashing down and
to put them on the back foot with a total of 8 faults.


Miami Celtics


gun Gilles Thomas made his first appearance for the Miami Celtics with
Calleryama. The pair had a small hesitation going into the double but Gilles
pushed Calleryama on and they cleared it with room to spare. Maurice Tebbel
also brought home the goods with another clear on Don Diarado, and although the
pair finished the slowest of the double clears they are exciting prospects for
the rest of the year, being the youngest team at only 22 and 26 years old.


St Tropez Pirates


Pieter Devos entered the ring for St Tropez Pirates first with Espoir. He opted
to go for the long 6 strides after the double to the tall upright and his risk
paid off as they picked up the first clear for the St Tropez Pirates of the
year. Up next was new addition to the Pirates, Daniel Deusser and Killer Queen.
Daniel pulled out all the stops and showed everyone what the Pirates are made
of as he took the team to the top spot.


London Knights


year’s overall GCL Season Champions, London Knights put twins Nicola and
Olivier Philippaerts forward to tackle Frank Rothenberger’s twisty 1.55m
course. Olivier rolled the middle fence in the triple combination on Zayado but
luck was on their side and it stayed in place. He proves to be an exciting new
mount for Olivier and the London Knights as Zayado produced the necessary
clear. Performing under pressure, Nicola used the speed of his talented and
competitive mare Katanga v.h. Dingeshof to put London Knights into third place
and on a clean sheet.


Doha Falcons


crowds cheered as the home team rode into the arena. There was drama when
Caletto Cabana didn't like the look of the triple combination causing them to
be eliminated after two refusals. Titouan still chose to jump even though the
home team were eliminated and will not be making it through to the final on Saturday.


Source: press release GCT