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European Grand Circuit out; Trotting Masters in
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - by Karsten Bonsdorf, USTA web newsroom correspondent

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The European Trotting Association has decided to close the Grand Circuit series for top trotters and has just launched the successor, the UET Trotting Masters.

Inspired by the ATP tennis system, the Trotting Masters will consist of four Grand Slam races and 101 other Group 1 or Group 2 races in eight different European countries.

In all these races the first five finishers will collect points and every Monday an updated ranking list will be published.

The four Grand Slam races, which will carry double points, are the Prix d’Amerique, the Gran Premio delle Lotteria, Olso Grand Prix and the Elitlopp.

Each autumn, a big final called the Masters du Trot will be organized; the first edition of this race will probably be held at Vincennes in October. The best trotters on the UET rankings will be qualified for the prestigious new race with a total purse estimated at 500,000 Euro -- or $750,000.

As the European Grand Circuit now has been laid to rest, the first Trotting Masters ranking list, which is based on the results over the last 365 days, is published below and the leader is Rapide Lebel, who won the last Grand Circuit series in 2011.

The Top Ten Trotting Masters
1. Rapide Lebel-France–2,700 points
2. Joke Face–Sweden–2,400 points
3. Ready Cash-France–2,350 points
4. Brioni-Germany–2,050 points
5. Roxane Griff-France–2,000 points
6. Libeccio Grif-Italy–1,600 points
    Lisa America-Italy–1,600 points
8. Quaker Jet-France–1,.575 points
9. Mack Grace SM-Italy–1,550 points
10. Commander Crowe-Sweden–1,450 points
     Roi de Lupin-France-1,450 points

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