Madrid In Motion Make Waves in GCL Miami Beach
In what was a condensed, tense and impressive GCL in Miami Beach it was Madrid in Motion’s Maikel van der Vleuten and Eduardo Alvarez Aznar who moved it in Miami securing the win by a collective 1.67 seconds ahead of second place getters Prague Lions powered by Czech Equestrian Team.
As the sun shone down on the Atlantic ocean, this year’s event was bigger and better than ever before, featuring top sport, big names, and world-class entertainment. Attracting the very best riders and horses from all over the globe, today was a showcase of the very best in lifestyle with visitors from all over the world who were keen to experience the excitement and glamour of the competition.
With the beautiful Miami Beach as the backdrop, visitors were treated to a feast for the senses, from the thrilling competition in the ring to the luxurious VIP lounges as Donna Karen and team owner of New York Empire powered by Lugano Diamonds’ Georgina Bloomberg.
Before the exclusive after-party hosted by Nikki Beach at the venue 16 GCL teams today faced a number of technical and tactical lines in the Uliano Vezzani built track as show jumping again took to the shores of the world-famous Miami Beach. After a week of challenges brought on by uncharacteristic storms in Miami the formatt saw a last minute change resulting in just 1 round.
Eduardo Alvarez Aznar explained: “We were fighting for it, and after our result we were quiet at the beginning (of the class), so we didn’t expect to get the podium position, and for sure not the top one. It’s a fantastic setting and the crowd, and everything around here it’s unbelievable, it’s a pleasure to jump here, and it looks unbelievable after the three, four days we have had, to have this sport with this weather and this crowd, it’s fantastic.”
The last time Madrid In Motion had a win was back in 2019 so teammate Maikel van der Vleuten added: “Can’t be more proud of our team, it’s a fantastic start to the season. With regards to the championship it is a long season ahead, one thing I know is that we have some good riders with good horses in our team, so we will have some good shows, but also some shows where the luck is not on our side but we try to keep this line forward ”
The competition was fierce, with some of the most exceptional combinations competing for the top prize money. In glory afforded only by himself, Christian Ahlmann of the Shanghai Swans became the first rider in GCL history to collect 500 points for his team. The event is not just about top sport, with the venue providing visitors an unforgettable experience.
In addition to the music, visitors are treated to a range of lifestyle and entertainment activities, including exclusive course walks, gourmet food and drink, and luxury shopping experiences. The VIP lounges are a particular highlight, providing visitors with the chance to mingle with some of the biggest names in the sport and entertainment industries.
Pathfinders Istanbul Warriors powered by Carpe Diem faced a challenging task of being the first team to go, leaving the arena with 24 faults between two riders, Abdel Said and Omer Karaevli. As second team to go, Prague Lions powered by Czech Equestrian Team saw Pieter Devos and his champion mount Moms Toupie De La Roc again proved the track jumpable with zero faults as one of only 6 riders to do so. With teammate Anna Kellnerova and Catch Me If You Can Old collecting an unlucky 8 faults, but fast enough to take second place overall.
The league leaders and GCL 2022 winners, Riesenbeck International powered by Kingsland took to the arena to defend their title. Represented by Christian Kukuk aboard the ultra-consistent Mumbai, and U25 rider, Philipp Schulze Topphoff and Clemens De La Lande, the defending champions brought home an uncharacteristic 24 faults, leaving them way out of the placings and the door open to the other 15 teams to take top position in Miami Beach and in the ultimate teams’ challenges.
Rome Gladiators powered by CLIPMYHORSE.TV put on some serious female firepower with Beth Underhill and Nina Mallevay at the helm for the second leg of the GCL for 2023. Both riders collecting four faults but with neat and tidy rounds meaning they secured third place for the second year running!
The final team to go in the 2023 GCL of Miami Beach saw the Scandinavian Vikings represented by Linda Heed and reigning world champion Henrik Von Eckermann, with the crowd on the edge of their seats.
The GCL now moves to Mexico City 20-23 April, which will also be live streamed on GCTV as the third leg of the Championship race kicks off at the stunning grass arena of Campo Marte.
Full Results here.
Eckermann Wins Back-to-Back Grand Prix
As the sun shone down on the packed Miami Beach, the much anticipated Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix got underway. In a page worthy of the history books, Katrin Eckermann and her 10 year old Cala Mandia took the title for the second year in a row and again collected her ticket for the Longines Global Champions Tour Super Grand Prix.
The LGCT Grand Prix of Miami Beach brought together the best of sport, entertainment, and crowds in a spectacular showcase of equestrian excellence. With the event drawing top riders, celebrities such as Gisele Bündchen and Donna Karen, and enthusiasts from around the world.
In Katrin Eckerman’s LGCT Grand Prix career she has now had a 50% win rate after claiming her third victory. Speaking after today’s win, with tears in her eyes, Katrin said: “What can I say, I did it again and I have no words.. Being here on the beach, with top horse sport I am thrilled. After a tricky start [to the week] for all, with the weather a big thank you to the whole Global Champions team, and to Jan Tops, all conditions were really perfect in the end.”
Today was a true spectacle with some of the world’s best equestrians delivering awe-inspiring performances. Fans were on the edge of their seats as they watched riders and horses execute the challenging course with skill, precision, and speed.
The competition was fierce, and the audience was treated to a display of the highest level of equestrian sport in one of the most picturesque arenas in the world, making for an unforgettable experience. A true sense of community only felt from world class sport was coupled with Miami Beach’s vibrant culture and unique blend of energy and sophistication, as members of the public flocked to the arena to watch the action unfold.
A technical, careful course was jumped by a start list of 40 riders as the sun bore down on the picturesque Miami Beach and neighbouring Pacific Ocean. A tough yet fair track set by Global Champions’ course builder Ulliano Vezzani saw a few results that shocked many show jumping fans tuning in around the world. Names such as Devos, Baryard-Johnsson, Ahlmann, Ward, Von Eckermann and Farrington failed to qualify for the jump off proving the challenge faced by some of the world’s best.
As the sport began to unfold, Kahled Almoboty stole the show in round one, taking to the arena in his first ever Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix. As sixth out, Almoboty and his relatively new mount in Equine America Spacecake, posted the very first clear round of today’s class aboard.
In a fairytale waiting to happen, David Will, trainer of Almobty was the third rider to join what was set to be a quick jump off. Quickly followed Eduardao Alvarez Aznar, who was still tasting the champagne following yesterday’s GCL win with Madrid In Motion.
Joining Almoboty, Will and Aznar in the 7 person jump off saw Saïd, Eckermann, Goldstein-Engle and the master of faster, Maikel van der Vleuten.
Abdel Saïd and Bonne Amie, Khaled Almobty on Equine America Spacecake and David Will riding My Prins van Dorperheide all had a gut wrenching single pole fall, putting them straight out of contention.
As the first of the clear rounds, Eduardo Alvarez Anzar and Bentley de Sury threw the crowd into cheer with a tight and fast round proving the jump off course extremely jumpable. The duo left the question on everyone’s lips, had he done enough to keep a grasp on the win?
Enter: Katrin Eckermann and Cala Mandia. 2022’s LGCT Miami Beach Grand Prix winners, and 2023 crowd favourites. A small, powerful and careful 10 year old mare who clearly thrives in the electric atmosphere of Miami Beach. Posting a time almost an entire second faster than Aznar and securing first place with just two remaining.
Next saw the only American hope of a podium in the impressive Margie Goldstein-Engle, who, aboard her mount Dicas, pulled off an impressive clear round. Taking the outside turn meant she was just off the podium today, but no less a cheer from the supportive crowd was heard.
Last to go saw Maikel van der Vleuten and Beauville Z N.O.P. take to the sand. Giving everything they had but not quite matching the pace left the paid having to settle for third but enough to storm into the Championship lead on 63 points. Only a single point behind is Malin Bayard-Johnsson and Hans Dieter Dreher sits in third on 54 points heading into Mexico.
After a challenging start to the week with the extreme weather conditions, the Longines Global Champions Tour of Miami Beach was a resounding success, and Global Champions expresses their gratitude to everyone who made it possible. The fans, riders, horses and sponsors all contributed to creating an unforgettable experience. The sixth edition of the Longines Global Champions Tour of Miami Beach was a testament to the power of sport in bringing people together and creating a sense of community and the whole team is already looking forward to next year’s event.
(Ed. note) As the Longines Global Champions Tour of Miami Beach drew to a close, it was Canada’s Cassidy Rein that took top podium position in the highly competitive GCTV 2* Grand Prix of Miami Beach.
Aboard her partner Diablotine Jump, the duo were the first to take to the arena on the last day of the event, posting a tidy clear. Heading into the jump-off Rein and Diablotine Jump sped round for a time of 41.20, ultimately the only pairing jumping a double clear round in the jump off.
Proud dad Mark Rein posted on Facebook: “This was Cassidy’s first-ever FEI 2* International Grand Prix so it was especially great. Also she was the only non-American to make it to the jump off so it was really fun to hear O Canada! played during the presentation! It was a great weekend as our Global Champions Tour team had a podium finish (3rd) and Tara also had a 3rd place finish yesterday. Thank you to @laurakraut and Nick Skelton for finding this amazing horse and coaching our team and riders!”
To relive and rewatch all of the action from the Longines Global Champions Tour of Miami Beach, head to GCTV.
Full Results here.