VALKENSWAARD UNITED SURVIVE ULTIMATE PRESSURE TO SECURE THE 2021 GCL CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE
The power pairing of world number one Peder Fredricson on H&M All In and Edwina Tops-Alexander with Fellow Castlefield propelled Valkenswaard United to victory in the 2021 GCL overall season Championship yesterday with drama until the final seconds in Šamorín, Slovakia.
After a rollercoaster season, Valkenswaard United delivered yesterday with a podium place and most importantly finished ahead of Shanghai Swans to secure their second GCL title win and become the most successful GCL team over the competition's 5-year life span.
Dominating the majority of the series this year United finished 13 points ahead of Shanghai Swans, with a total of 309 points this year. Paris Panthers secured third in the Championship with 276 points, with London Knights just hanging onto their fourth place meaning they too will fast-track to the semi-finals in the GCL Super Cup at the GC Prague Playoffs in November.
The dramatic lights, music and atmosphere provided one of the greatest stages for top-level show jumping as the world’s top riders and horses competed in the GCL Finals for the first time at the X-Bionic Sphere.
Locals and visitors filled the grandstands and cheered on the teams with a standing ovation as Valkenswaard United lifted the trophy above their heads. Uliano Vezzani produced a masterpiece of a course, featuring a tricky combination set down the long side, delicate verticals, an eye-catching wavy plank as a dogleg to w huge GCL oxer to finish.
It was all about big names, big risks and big guns as United fielded their top horses in their bid to seize the GCL Championship.
Peder Fredricson said: "We like a bit of excitement, it kept us on edge the whole way but today was super exciting and we are really happy we won. I was very lucky that Edwina came in after me and made a clear round."
Edwina Tops-Alexander added: "I am so happy with the final result. As we all know my result last week with the teams was not great so I shook everything up and now I put it back in place. It’s management that helped us win, and we have the best riders in the world on this team, it is a privilege for me to be with these riders."
The third rider for the team in Samorin Marcus Ehning smiled: "I had a much more relaxed weekend than these two but these two did it amazing and it was exciting to watch. We started very well in Doha already and we were super consistent and this year was our year."