CSI 5* - Global Champions League of Ramatuelle/Saint-Tropez - victory for Valkenswaard United

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After a lot of suspense, the Valkenswaard United team won the third leg of the Global Champions League, as part of the Longines Athina Onassis Horse Show in Ramatuelle/Saint-Tropez. After the first round, the team, made up of Edwina Tops-Alexander and Peder Fredricson, were neck and neck with the Shanghai Swans (Christian Ahlmann and Max Kühner). The Australian and the Swede, riding Identity Vitseroel and H&M All In respectively, went out of the ring with four faults each, i.e. eight faults in total, after two rounds, following their clear round on Thursday. The Shanghai Swans, who were also clear after the first round, could have eight faults maximum, in a faster time than their rivals. Germany’s Christian Ahlmann with Solid Gold Z was the first Swan team member to go. He had one down and left his team member with the difficult task of jumping clear...or going really fast if he knocked a pole down. Austria’s Kühner was last to go and also had one down with EIC Coriolis des Isles, finishing the class with four faults, making a total of eight faults for the Shanghai Swans. So in terms of penalties Valkenswaard United and the Shanghai Swans had the same score, with eight faults for both of the rounds. In this case, the rules specify that the winning team is the one that has the fastest time for both riders’ rounds in this second round. Valkenwsaard United were more than two seconds faster than the Shanghai Swans, with a total time of 135:59, resulting in the latter being unseated in Saint-Tropez and finishing second. The London Knights made up of Ben Maher and Nicola Philippaerts finished third with twelve faults in total over the two rounds. Both riders chose to compete in the second round with the horses that they had already ridden in the first one: Ginger-Blue for the British rider and Katanga v/h Dingeshof for the Belgian rider.

The Shanghai Swans remain in the lead after this third leg of the Global Champions League, followed by the Valkenswaard United team and Madrid in Motion, third in the provisional overall ranking, and tenth in the Ramatuelle/Saint-Tropez event.