Jumping Ahead

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From Miami Beach to Monaco, Vienna, Rome and Shanghai, the Longines Global Champions Tour is the world’s premier show jumping tour

The prestigious Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT) will return to Al Shaqab, Doha, between November 3-5 for another season finale after hosting the last leg of the tournament in Vienna. After visiting 14 stunning locations around the globe, the tour brings its unique combination of show jumping excellence and glamour to the Gulf region later this year.

Brainchild of 1992 Olympic team gold medallist Jan Tops, LGCT, which brings together world’s top 30 ranked show jumpers and horses to compete for unprecedented prize money in some of the world’s most luxurious and influential cities, was created 10 years ago. Tops says, “We started 10 years ago with six events, and this year we have 15. It’s amazing to see how we have grown and what we have achieved. Our sport has a big future.”

A league of its own

New to the LGCT this year is the Global Champions League. For the first time in show jumping history, riders from different countries unite to compete under the banner of 12 teams. Each team has five members. At every LGCT round, two of the five riders pair together to represent their team. Having some of the biggest names in the sport competing for teams such as Rome Gladiators, Monaco Aces and Valkenswaard United, creates competition that’s as intense as it is enthralling.

Royal Touch

The Royal Family of Qatar attended last year’s magnificent series finale, which saw a nail-biting three-way battle for the title. Britain’s Scott Brash, Sweden’s Rolf Gören Bengtsson and Portugal’s Luciana Diniz, went head to head in a spectacular night of top-level show jumping that left fans on the edge of their seats. Diniz, riding her nimble footed chestnut mare ‘Fit For Fun’, emerged as supreme champion after a tense and thrilling conclusion to the season. With so many of the world’s best show jumpers all having their eyes on the championship, the 2016 finale at Al Shaqab promises to be another sensational event.

Local champs

The Doha Fursan Qatar line up features a mixture of experience and youth, from LGCT Grand Prix winner Bassem Hassan Mohammed through to upcoming under 25 star Hamad Ali Mohamed A Al Attiyah.

Words By: Johanna Husband

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