The New York Empire team of Georgina Bloomberg, Daniel Bluman, and Spencer Smith claimed victory at the Valkenswaard stop of the prestigious Global Champions League (GCL) tour. The New York Empire (NYE) team finished the two rounds of competition with zero faults and the fastest cumulative time to take the victory.
“I can’t say enough nice things about how amazing my teammates have been all year. I just have the greatest group of guys around me,” said Bloomberg, of New York, N.Y., who owns the NYE team. Also on the NYE team but not competing in Valkenswaard are Scott Brash of Great Britain, Denis Lynch of Ireland, and Hans-Dieter Dreher of Germany.
“They’re all great friends and teammates,” continued Bloomberg. “There’s such good team spirit and friendship between us all that it makes it a pleasure to be on the team no matter what, but to be able to pull through for them was the best feeling. Winning anything on this tour is a huge honor and something you’re going to enjoy, whether it’s a 1.45m class or the grand prix, it’s an amazing feeling. But the best part of today for me was knowing how hard my teammates have worked this entire year and being able to pull through for them.”
On the first day of the GCL in Valkenswaard on Friday, August 9, Smith turned in a clean round on Theodore Manciais to set the tone. Smith, from the United States, is the Under 25 rider on the team. Bluman, who rides for Israel but is based in the U.S., followed it up with a speedy clean round on his FEI World Equestrian Games ™ Tryon 2018 mount, Ladriano Z. Bluman’s round and time put him into fifth in the class as an individual. At the end of round one, NYE sat in second place behind the Cannes Stars team. Bloomberg competed in round one of the GCL competition as an individual and turned in a fast, clear round riding Tulara Colmine to take sixth place in the class.
Bloomberg noted that she left the decision of who would jump in round two up to Bluman and Smith. “I knew my horse was ready and has been going well, but at the same time, it’s hard to take anybody who has jumped a clear round off the team,” she said. “Spencer said that he thought I should be on, and I think that goes to show how well we work together as a team. He was selfless enough to step off and let me go, and it worked out!”
In the second round on Saturday, August 10, Bloomberg, who was jumping on the NYE for the first time since the Miami GCL stop in April, went first on Gotham Enterprizes’ Quibelle. “I knew if we needed to make up some time as a team, Daniel could go in and take some more risks because he and that horse are a little more experienced, while Quibelle has just stepped up to that level. I didn’t want to have to rush her any more than I needed to,” Bloomberg said.
She and Quibelle turned in a clear round in a time speedy enough to keep the NYE team in the lead, so it was all up to Bluman riding Ladriano Z. He had to jump clear to keep the NYE team at the top of the standings, but also had to be quick, since the team’s cumulative time determines the placings between teams with identical scores, and the St. Tropez Pirates team also had zero faults on the scoreboard. Still to go were noted speed riders Eric Lamaze and Margie Engle of the Cannes Stars team. Bluman and Ladriano Z turned in another clean and fast round—a round that kept the NYE team in the lead and ended up putting Bluman in fifth individually.
“Georgina delivered a beautiful round and I knew what time I had to do to be better than the leaders,” Bluman said. “I felt the nerves, but it’s good to feel those nerves. It’s a fantastic feeling and I’m really happy that I’m able to share this with Georgina. She puts in a lot of hard effort for this and for us, and we’ve been really wanting it, so it’s great.”
When Lamaze and Engle both had rails, the Cannes Stars team dropped to 11th and left NYE with their first win of the 2019 GCL season. The NYE team is now in 10th in the season GCL standings.
“I think when you look at the number of clear rounds we’ve had, we’ve had a really good year, but it just hadn’t all come together on the day,” Bloomberg said. “I felt like it was a little bit of vindication for all the clear rounds everybody on the team has put in but haven’t been rewarded for. When Daniel and I stepped on the podium today, we definitely felt like our teammates were up there with us and were just as big a part of it. This win was building up, and it was something that’s been in the making since the first show on this tour.”
There are just three stops left on the GCL regular-season schedule before the Global Champions Playoff in Prague, Czechoslovakia, on November 21 through 24. The New York Empire team have their home-base appearance at the New York stop of the tour on September 27 through 29, which is also the final stop on the regular-season GCL tour. This is the New York debut for the GCL tour, and the horses will jump on Governors Island, with breathtaking views of the Statue of Liberty and the Lower Manhattan skyline.
“I’m looking forward to everything about New York,” said Bloomberg. “Any time we can have show jumping in New York City is something I’m going to be excited about. I think it’s going to be cool to have it in a new venue, and the setting is going to be amazing. This is a tour and a league that I believe in very strongly. I’m proud to own this team, I’m proud to be on this team, and I’m proud to be part of this league. Having it all come together in New York is going to be an amazing feeling. I’m excited to share it with my teammates and to have New Yorkers be able to experience something I’m so passionate about.”
See full results from GCL Valkenswaard.
To follow along with the New York Empire’s GCL season, make sure to follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and see more at the Global Champions League site.
The New York Empire is a team competing on the prestigious Global Champions League worldwide. Owned by top U.S. show jumper Georgina Bloomberg and formed in 2018, the New York Empire team is supported by sponsors Sam Edelman, Mane N Tail Equine, South Beach Brewing Company, Tennor Holding B.V., and The Rider’s Closet.