Showjumping’s Global Champions Tour is taking riders on a tour of the world’s greatest cities this year, with Paris, London and Shanghai on the calendar.
The Longines-sponsored series will host new events at the Eiffel Tower in Paris and in the diamond city of Antwerp, Belgium, while the Horse Guards Parade Ground is the venue for the London round.
In the tour’s ninth season, the best riders and horses in the world will take part in 14 events from April to November leading up to the championship series climax at Al Shaqab in Doha, Qatar.
Starters this season include World Number One and 2013 LGCT Champion Scott Brash, four-time Olympic Gold medalist Ludger Beerbaum, World Cup Final winners Christian Ahlmann and Beezie Madden, two-time Olympic Silver medalist Gerco Schröder, European Champions Rolf-Göran Bengtsson and Roger-Yves Bost, two-time LGCT Champion Edwina Tops-Alexander and World Championship Silver medalists Laura Kraut and Pénélope Leprevost.
“This is a fantastic series for riders who come to all these fantastic cities around the world and jump for very good prize money,” said 2013 champion Scott Brash. “It is great for owners and sponsors and all those people who watch. You have to be at the top of your game, the level of the sport is going higher and higher.”
The bar was raised during the 2013 season when different riders won each leg. The Tour’s hugely popular and entertaining GCT TV live streaming, prestige shopping villages and world-class VIP hospitality will once again be featured at every event. The highest prize money in any equestrian series will intensify the competition. In addition €1 million will be split between the top 18 at the final leg.
Jan Tops, Longines Global Champions Tour President, said: “2014 represents a groundbreaking year with our events staged in some of the great cities of the world. We always aim to raise show jumping to higher levels and to attract more fans to this great sport. This season is set to be another landmark in the evolution of equestrian sport for riders, spectators, sponsors and most importantly for our fans worldwide.”