Valkenswaard United wins Global Champions League team title

global champions league final review qatar doha aly vance spc_00001213
global champions league final review qatar doha aly vance spc_00001213

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    Global Champions League: Valkenswaard triumphs

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Global Champions League: Valkenswaard triumphs 02:57

Story highlights

  • Valkenswaard United finish 6th in Doha, but claim team title
  • Dramatic conclusion sees Monaco Aces drop from title race

(CNN)On the day they finished sixth, but for Valkenswaard United it was enough to take the inaugural Longines Global Champions League title at the final event of season in Doha, Qatar.

A blend of youth and experience proved to be a winning formula with youngest member Emily Moffitt, 21 and veteran John Whitaker starring alongside Bertram Allen and Eduardo Menezes.
    The team had won four previous rounds during the 15-leg 2016 championship and were handsomely rewarded for their efforts bagging more than $8 million prize money between them.
    It proved to be a nail-biting climax to the season in the Qatari capital with Valkenswaard United narrowly taking the overall title with 328.5 points, ahead of the Antwerp Diamonds on 326 and the Monaco Aces -- who dropped out of the title race after Daniel Bluman clocked 12 faults -- on 315.5.
    From the beaches of Florida to the floodlights of the spectacular Al Shaqab arena, the Valkenswaard quartet have topped the overall standings throughout the 15-leg series, having won victories in Miami, Hamburg, Monaco and Vienna.
    "It's been brilliant, it's been a long season," said Bertram Allen. "We were battling out the whole year. If you're not consistent and fully revved up and concentrate, you have a bad result and that will compromise the end of the season."
    It was a close-run competition that Valkenswaard United almost lost a grip on in Doha when Allen racked up 12 faults, only just scraping into the second round as eighth-place team.
    "I was really disappointed with my fence down," said Whitaker. "That put pressure on Bertram to get a fast clear to keep us up there.
    "We only just made the second round. I jumped clear and I thought: 'we are in with a shot' again. I'm very relieved to win, we have had a great season."

    Qatar's showjumping palace

    The Doha edition of the GCL was won by the Paris Jets with Rolf-Göran Bengtsson and Nicola Philippaerts jumping seven seconds clear from the rest of the competition to claim their first win of the series.
    Show jumping is rapidly growing in the Middle East state of Qatar. Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani, brother of the Emir of Qatar, was at the Al Shaqab arena to witness the conclusion to the GCL team competition.
    The stadium was founded in 1992, and has gone on to become one of the world's leading equestrian facilities, staging international events in showjumping, dressage and endurance riding.
    It boasts an equine hospital, a swimming pool to aid animals' recovery, air-conditioned stables, and large indoor and outdoor stadia. The venue's floodlights mean that this weekend's competition is taking place at night, too.