No Joy For US Raiders AS LGCT Hits Rome

Tour leader Harrie Smolders
Credit : LCGT

Friday 22 September - 20h31 | Edited Press release

No Joy For US Raiders AS LGCT Hits Rome

There was little joy for the American riders as  the Global Champions League of Rome has thrown the Championship title wide open, after Valkenswaard United secured pole position with the only team double clear of the day. Only Lauren Hough managed to secre a placing, but in the earlier speed class won by Martin Fuchs.

Fans basked in glorious sunshine at the magnificent Stadio dei Marmi, as the 18 teams contested the  14th leg of the series.

The home city team Rome Gladiators drew the proverbial short straw as first to go in the competition, however Brazilian star Marlon Zanotelli, rose to the occasion by putting in a brilliant pioneering round with Celena VDL. Those early to go looked strong, lulling the crowd into a false sense of ease after Julien Epaillard of St Tropez Pirates with Usual Suspect d’Auge, Emily Moffitt of London Knights with Hilfiger van de Olmenhoeve and Max Kühner of Berlin Lions with Chardonnay 79 all jumped clear.
But it was anything but simple as Uliano Vezzani had put together an artfully designed course, testing the riders throughout. A tricky distance down the long side of the VIP hospitality caught out many of the riders, with the imposing fences coming up fast for the horses.
The stadium erupted in cheers after local star Alberto Zorzi proved why he is such a consistent Valkenswaard United anchor, after the Italian rider put in a foot-perfect clear with Fair Light van T Heike. The battle for the Championship soon reached a new level of intensity after high drama saw leaders Hamburg Diamonds collect four faults as Harrie Smolders and Don VHP Z rolled the pole on the oxer placed towards the in-gate.

So it would be Valkenswaard United who take the upper hand as the Championship looks to tomorrow’s second round. Can the blue and orange team regain the lead, will Hamburg Diamonds make a strategic decision to swap in British legend John Whitaker, and which horses are in their best form for the Rome final where every point counts?
Tune in at 12:30 local time Saturday 23rd September to find out.
For the full results, please click here. 

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