Riesenbeck International made it exciting, the three riders from Riesenbeck International. To reach the final of the 2023 GCL Super Cup in Prague in front of 12,000 spectators in the impressive O2 Arena, they first had to overcome tough competition in the semi-finals. That was hard enough. But Ludger Beerbaum, the head of the GCL team, was confident before the start of the decisive jumping competition and gave the team the thumbs up: "We will be competing with the same riders and horses as in the semi-final."
So far, no GCL overall winner of a year has managed to win the Supercup final. This season's record holders from Riesenbeck wanted to do just that. And they have added another record to their success story! Riesenbeck International also won the GCL Super Cup2023 after an incredibly exciting course!
Philipp Weishaupt and his brilliant partner Zineday were the last pair in the competition to secure this success for the best team ever in the Global Champions League ahead of Valkenswaard United. Both teams were tied on points, but the "Beerbaum boys" were 3.5 seconds faster in the end. Philipp Weishaupt said: "The pressure was so high. It couldn't have been more exciting. We are over the moon and this is by far the best tournament in the world." Colleague Christian Kukuk was jubilant: "We came here to win. That was historic. We deserved to win". And the usually taciturn Eoin McMahon, who had made a significant contribution to the victory with Beerbaum's former successful horse Mila with two very fast and clear rounds, said with tears in his eyes: "I was on what I consider to be the best horse in the world today." Team boss Ludger Beerbaum was also emotional: "I have no words. These guys are unique. It doesn't get any better than this. My thanks go to our whole team for making sure that these three riders can shine here!"
Six teams qualified for the final, which course designer Uliano Vezzani once again made very challenging and difficult. After all, there was an almost unbelievably high prize money of 2.5 million euros up for grabs for the winning team after the two rounds to be completed. And if that wasn't hard enough, three riders from each team had to complete the course and every mistake counted. If a rider is disqualified due to a fall or double refusal, the entire team is excluded from the competition.
The team from Riesenbeck can handle this kind of pressure. They set off as usual: Eoin McMahon piloted his 11-year-old grey mare Mila through the course confidently, quickly and without faults. He was followed by the "GCL Rider of the Year" Christian Kukuk with his 13-year-old gray gelding Checker. Both made a mistake, but this was ironed out by the final rider Philipp Weishaupt with what is currently probably the best nine-year-old show jumper in the world, the gelding Zineday. The son of Beerbaum's former top horse Zinedine more than made up for his slip-up in the semi-final and showed himself to be in impressive form. Faultless, fast, blessed with incredible talent!
In the intermediate classification, Riesenbeck International was in first place as usual. Ludger Beerbaum was pleased with the fact that his team was now allowed to start last before the redesigned final round, but was also realistic: "The show is not over yet....", meaning: it's not over until it's over.
In fact, the decision had to be made in the last ten minutes: Valkenswaard United had a mistake by John Whitaker. His two colleagues Marcus Ehning and Gilles Thomas remained penalty-free. This put the pressure on the last team, as Riesenbeck International could only make one mistake and had to be faster. Eoin Mc Mahon delivered the second clear round and Christian Kukuk's horse Checker dropped a pole at the steep jump. So it was up to Philipp Weishaupt and his brilliant partner Zineday. Both showed their class. After his second clear round, he threw his helmet in the air, cheered with the crowd and was so happy he didn't want to leave the arena.