St. Tropez Pirates are the new leaders of the Global Champions League after winning this today’s round in Paris. Two brilliant clears by French ace Simon Delestre on two different horses helped the Pirates to what was their first victory in the league.

Delestre partnered Chesall Zimequest on Friday and Hermes Ryan today, while colleague Jerome Guery rode Grand Cru van de Rosenberg to a zero-fault round yesterday and an eight-fault outing today, which was enough to edge the affair over Hamburg Diamonds who finished with nine faults.

The Pirates’ win knocks Valkenswaard United off top spot and back to third place, with Hamburg Diamonds (Audrey Coulter/Harrie Smolders) being rewarded for their consistency with second place in the overall standings.

Third today went to Chantilly Pegasus (Lauren Hough/Sergio Alvarez Moya) who now occupy tenth place in the league.

The top three positions are divided by only three points (see table below) with a gap of over twenty from third to fourth place, occupied by Mexico Amigos.

Bertram Allen did not jump today for Valkenswaard, who instead were represented by German Marcus Ehning (Comme Il Faut) and Italy’s Alberto Zorzi (Fair Light van t’Heike) who had eight and four faults respectively, with the five incurred by Allen and Izzy By Picobello yesterday giving them a team total of 17 for a sixth-place finish.

Just two Irish riders saw concluding round action. Denis Lynch partnered RMF Echo for Miami Glory and had eight faults, while team-mate Scott Brash had four with Ursula, contributing to a two-day total of 20 for a seventh placing on the day and sixth spot on the league table.

Darragh Kenny lined out for Paris Panthers and had eight faults with Chanel, but the team were hit by the elimination of American Jack Towell, a fate which also befell Berlin Lions’ Anna Kellnerova and Moscow Bears’ Mathilda Karlsson.

The ninth round of the Global Champions League takes place at Cascais, Estoril in Portugal next weekend.

Mike Dunne

Global Champions League Standings after round 8 Paris

(Irish squad members in brackets)

1. St. Tropez Pirates 152
2. Hamburg Diamonds 150
3. Valkenswaard United (Bertram Allen) 149
4. Mexico Amigos 126
5. London Knights 124
6. Miami Glory (Cian O’Connor/Denis Lynch) 119.5
7. Doha Fursan Qatar 116
8. Shanghai Swans 115
9. Cannes Stars 113
10. Chantilly Pegasus 109
11. Rome Gladiators 108
12. Vienna Eagles 105
13. Paris Panthers (Darragh Kenny) 90
14. Madrid In Motion 90
15. Cascais Charms 86
16. Monaco Aces 83
17. Berlin Lions 59
18. Moscow Bears (Michael Kearins) 41.5