In the heart of the bustling King Abdullah Financial District in the Saudi Arabian capital, equestrian enthusiasts from around the world have gathered for the Final of 2023’s GCL Championship. With the majestic cityscape as a backdrop, the stakes are high, as two formidable teams, Riesenbeck International powered by Kingsland Equestrian and the Paris Panthers, compete for the prestigious GCL Championship title.
GCL CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
AHEAD OF STAGE 15 & THE CHAMPIONSHIP FINALE IN RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA
1st Place - Riesenbeck International powered by Kingsland Equestrian - 302 points
2nd Place - Paris Panthers - 299 points
3rd Place - Madrid In Motion - 264 points
4th Place - St Tropez Pirates - 237 points
5th Place - Stockholm Hearts powered by H&M We Love Horses - 225.50 points
6th Place - Prague Lions powered by Czech Equestrian Team - 205 points
The Season so Far
A lead of 38 points is what Riesenbeck International powered by Kingsland Equestrian held after Stage 9 of the season in Monaco, where the 2022 Champions had just recorded their incredible 5th Stage win after a 7 place comeback in Round 2.
Now, going into the final stage in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, that lead has been reduced to just 3 points and the Championship Title is on the line.
This season saw two teams dominate more than any other team in the history of GCL. Riesenbeck International powered by Kingsland Equestrian and Paris Panthers have put up a tremendous fight - without this battle and challenge for glory, the Championship Title would have been crowned weeks ago. In fact, the performance of both teams is so good that in any other season it would have guaranteed them the crown.
The Scenarios: A Battle of Nerves and Talent
The excitement surrounding the GCL Championship Final is further heightened by the scenarios that will determine who will take the victory. With just 2 rounds of jumping to go, the scenarios are on the table and the advantage is for Riesenbeck International powered by Kingsland Equestrian. Despite a name change over the winter, this team has not lost any of its powers following their win last year.
As the riders saddle up and the horses enter into the arena, the following scenarios will dictate who emerges as the 2023 GCL champion:
Whoever Wins the Stage, Wins the Championship
This year, it's all or nothing. The team that clinches victory in the Riyadh finale will also seize the coveted GCL Championship title. The pressure is on, and the competition has never been fiercer.
Riesenbeck International's Path to Victory
If Riesenbeck International finish ahead of the Paris Panthers in the Riyadh stage of the competition, they will secure the Championship, ensuring that they leave nothing to chance.
Paris Panthers' Hopeful Scenarios
The Paris Panthers are chasing the Championship Title with determination. Sitting 3 points behind the Ludger Beerbaum managed team, Paris Panthers have to finish in front of Riesenbeck International to make up enough ground. A stage win, guarantees them of their first ever Championship Title, and even a 2nd place, without Riesenbeck International winning helps them lift the trophy.
To claim victory in Riyadh, they must strategically achieve the following:
Finish 2nd or 3rd, with Riesenbeck International finishing lower.
Attain 4th position, while ensuring that Riesenbeck International lands in 7th place or worse [two team separation]
Paris Panthers finishing 5th or below, Riesenbeck International finish 9th or below [three team separation].
A Man On A Mission
Speaking to team owner and manager of Riesenbeck International powered by Kingsland Equestrian, none other than Ludger Beerbaum, he expressed his thoughts ahead of the week ahead.
"Before the last stage of the season I honestly have mixed feelings.... on the one hand, its good that we from the first stage of the season in Doha over the entire season ranked first and have partly led by almost 30 points, which is already a sign of strength and some dominance and then the last stage in Rome where we have lost our lead up to 3 points, and now unfortunately without a comfortable lead go to Riyadh.
"If Paris Panthers win and we finish 2nd Paris has won the overall which would be really bitter for us but a scenario which is not impossible.
Of course we come with a strong team and will do our best but in fact I think the outcome is 50:50."
As the GCL Championship final in Riyadh unfolds, the world will witness the dazzling display of equestrian excellence. The tension is high, the riders are ready, and the horses are eager to gallop to glory. The King Abdullah Financial District will reverberate with cheers and applause, and the world will soon know who emerges as the Global Champions League champion for 2023.