The penultimate round of the Global Champions League last weekend saw the mighty duo of John Whitaker and Bertram Allen clinch Valkenswaard United’s fourth win of the season.
Vienna played host to the only remaining leg before November’s grand final in Doha, and it was a crucial scramble for points in the team competition.
Riding his Olympic horse Ornellaia, John and his team mate Bertram, riding top stallion Romanov, delivered four clear rounds between them.
“It’s getting serious now, so it was really good to win today. We’re a good team,” said John.
Bertram added: “It’s an honour to ride with John. We’ve always had good fun and good results.”
Also producing four clear rounds, and taking second place, were Britain’s Laura Renwick with Bintang II, and her team mate Jack Towell on Emilie de Diamant AS, competing for Rome Gladiators, while Monaco Aces gained third place.
The overall rankings stay the same as they have since GCL Estoril in July. However, John and Bertram’s performance at Vienna has opened the gap between them and Monaco Aces from only 1.5 points to 8.5, leaving Valkenswaard United comfortably in the lead.
Meanwhile, the penultimate leg of the Longines Global Champions Tour saw Rolf-Göran Bengtssson narrowly miss out on winning the overall title following a dramatic stop by his horse, Casall ASK. Gold for GCT Vienna went to Germany’s Marcus Ehining, who finished with 38.67sec on his horse Comme Il Faut.
“It was my day today. My horse was amazing, he was flying. He did a brilliant job,” said Marcus, victorious in his second Grand Prix win of the season.
Marcus finished ahead of compatriot, Janne-Friedrike Meyer with Goja, who finished a second in arrears on 39.68sec. Simon Delestre was third with Chesall Zimequest.
The leaderboard remains the same as GCT Rome, with Rolf entering the final phase of the GCT competition only five points ahead of Edwina Tops-Alexander, who sits in second place with only 267.
The final round left to ride is the grand final in November, held in Doha, Qatar.
Watch the GCT and GCL competitions on Horse & Country, available on Sky 253 and online via H&C Play.