Daniel Deusser riding for the home team, the Shanhai Swans. PC: GCL / Stefano GrassoRound three and the Global Champions League of Shanghai is gearing up to be another battle of the heavyweights as the teams have revealed their rider combination for the first round of the competition. Fresh from a thrilling weekend in Miami Beach, the world’s best teams are raring to go for another thrilling showcase of top sport and entertainment.
Current GCL Ranking leaders Valkenswaard United are keeping it consistent with formidable duo Bertram Allen and Alberto Zorzi returning to the saddle for the third leg of the Championship. Sitting on 55 points overall, the reigning Champions will be looking to extend their narrow 8 point lead from on-form duo Kent Farrington and Ben Maher of the London Knights. Fresh from their win in Miami Beach, the red, white and blue London Knights combo will be looking to knock the current leaders off the top spot, and take over the GCL Ranking lead. Just one point behind sit the St Tropez Pirates, who will see Simon Delestre team up with compatriot Julien Epaillard for the first time this season.
From the 28th April – 30th April, the Global Champions League will be hosted by the stunning city of Shanghai. Synonymous with glamour and new beginnings, Shanghai is renowned for its record-breaking skyscrapers which have sprung up where just twenty years ago there was only farmland, and the growing number of new show jumping fans in the region is developing just as fast thanks to the ever evolving development of the sport.
Home team, the Shanghai Swans, will also be pulling out the big guns in front of local fans, with the formidable duo of Daniel Deusser and Roger-Yves Bost joining forces again for their event on home turf.
Another top rider who will join the GCL this year is local favourite Ludger Beerbaum, with the multiple Olympian teaming up with Marco Kutscher for the Cannes Stars for this round of action. They’ll be looking to fend off the challenges of friend but rival Christian Ahlmann and Henrik von Eckermann who will be riding for the Mexico Amigos this weekend. Age and youth will combine anew this season, with John Whitaker moving to the Hamburg Diamonds and teaming up with Jos Verlooy, another young talent who is making impressions on the show jumping scene. Last year, John and Bertram became the heroes of the League when they competed for Valkenswaard United, after their 40 year age difference proved limitless as the pair joined forces to win four legs of the Championship.
Former teammates Scott Brash and Kimberly Prince will unite once again for Miami Glory, while Maikel van der Vleuten and Leopold van Asten will combine for Madrid in Motion. Last year’s Shanghai winners, the Cascais Charms, will bring back team star Andreas Kreuzer, this time teaming up with young German star Philip Houston, and Nicola Philippaerts will team up with Lauren Hough for the first time this season for the Chantilly Pegasus.
Another fierce combination to watch will be the Rome Gladiators, with in-form Lorenzo de Luca in action alongside top American rider Laura Kraut, and the Vienna Eagles will field an all-Belgian team consisting of anchor Gregory Wathelet and Niels Bruynseels.
U25 rider Hamad Ali Mohamed A Al Attiyah will return for the first time this season for Doha Fursan Qatar alongside Sheikh Ali Bin Khalid Al Thani, while Ramzy Al Duhami and Kamal Bahamdan will unite for the first time for the Moscow Bears. Max Kuhner and Anna Kellnerova will team up once more for the Berlin Lions, while best friends Jack Hardin Towell and Darragh Kenny will unite for the Paris Panthers. The Monaco Aces will field two Israeli athletes, with Daniel Bluman and Danielle Goldstein taking over the reins for the team this weekend at what promises to be another scintillating round of top sport in what’s turning out to be a high-octane Championship battle.
All the action will be available to watch via the live streaming platform, GCL TV. For all timing and information, please click here.