Credit : LGCT
Friday 12 April - 11h02 | Edited press release
Valkenswaard United’s duo of Bertram Allen with Molly Malone V and Alberto Zorzi with Contaga took pole position in a tantalising first round of GCL Mexico City. Video below the break (depending on browser) or link at end of the text: Allen riding Molly Malone V.
There was an atmosphere of intense focus in Mexico’s capital city as teams pulled out the big guns with top horsepower on show today. And with plenty of new signings showing their worth by producing flawless rounds under sky-high pressure, the competition provided a fascinating insight into many exciting combinations to watch as the season unfolds. Paris Panthers’ pairing of Harrie Smolders and Gregory Wathelet finished just behind the blue and orange team in second, with current GCL ranking leaders the Shanghai Swans’ Peder Fredricson and Shane Sweetnam taking third. Speaking after his team’s win Bertram Allen said: “We were out to get a good start today. Alberto was clear and Molly was quick so we’re in the lead. But there are a few clears, and quite a few on four faults so Saturday will be very important. "It’s such a beautiful place and the horses jump fantastic here - that’s why there’s so many clears. It’s a big and tough enough track, but so many horses are really jumping fantastic, it’s good to see.” Course designer Javier Trenor set a flowing but big track, using the full expanse of the 125m x 75m grass arena. A roll back to a delicate GC vertical, followed by a big Banorte oxer required the riders to plan their turn perfectly - too tight and they might not have enough power for the line, too long and they risk loosing momentum and clocking up a time fault. Other challenges included a Massimo Dutti triple combination, an imposing Longines double set away from the in-gate and a Mazda oxer. At over 2,000 metres above sea level the second event in the GCL Championship would prove a thriller as teams battled for pole position ahead of Saturday’s showdown. Under sunny skies fans flocked to the stunning arena creating a vibrant buzz from the word go. New signing for the Berlin Eagles Malin Baryard-Johnsson made her debut for the team today, and spoke of the picturesque area ahead of the competition: "It’s fantastic - what a place, what a ring. It’s beautiful. It’s a big enough track today, but it’s fair." She was joined on the course walk by new teammate Lorenzo de Luca, who said: "It’s great to ride with Malin, and we have a strong team with many good horses. So I’m very much looking forward to the year.” But it was Valkenswaard United who would take pole position today, with the long time pairing of Bertram Allen and Alberto Zorzi putting the team in the best possible position ahead of Saturday’s showdown, where today’s faults will carry through. To watch, see here. The first round is here.
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