14-16 August 2014
- 14-16 August 2014
Show jumping stars prepare for a fierce battle at Horse Guards
Release date: 01/01/1970
Longines Global Champions Tour of London is just over a week away and the upcoming competition promises to be a real fire cracker as the very best riders in the world come together for one of the most highly-anticipated show jumping events of the year. The Championship race could not be more intense as we head into Round 11 of the season with four star riders all battling for the top spot as the Tour approaches the final few legs and the €1million bonus prize fund. With live coverage from the BBC, Eurosport, beIN Sports and GCT TV, show jumping fans around the world will be able to follow all the action as it unfolds at Horse Guards Parade Ground next week.
The British duo of 2013 Longines Global Champions Tour Champion and World No1 Scott Brash and 2013 London Grand Prix winner Ben Maher will be tough to overcome on home soil, particularly with the winner’s share of the €450,000 prize fund up for grabs. British legend Michael Whitaker will also be competing, and with the World Championships less than a month away Britain, as the reigning Olympic and European Team Champions, will be looking to put in an impressive performance on this international stage. Also, Brash currently sits 8th in the LGCT Ranking, over 70 points off the lead, so if he is to mount a serious title defence he needs a win in London.
Last weekend’s Round 10 hosted by the home of the Tour, Valkenswaard, saw a shake up at the top of the leaderboard - Sweden’s Rolf-Goran Bengtsson, runner-up to Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS) in 2012, took the ranking lead from his two-time LGCT Championship-winning Australian rival following a strong performance from a new addition to his team Unita ASK. Tops-Alexander collected an uncharacteristic 12 faults in the first round with Old Chap Tame at Valkenswaard and did not collect any points, allowing Bengtsson to take a 20 point lead.
One of the stand out performances of the season so far this year has come from Qatar’s Bassem Hassan Mohammed, who launched his series campaign in April with a personal best performance by finishing fourth in Antwerp and he has then gone on to two more 4th places and a win in Monaco. Mohammed became the first Qatari ever to win an LGCT Grand Prix when he rose to the top of the podium at Port Hercule last month. The rising star now sits in 4th on the Championship leaderboard exactly 40 points (one Grand Prix win) behind Bengtsson.
Germany’s Ludger Beerbaum is not far behind the leading four in 5th place. The legendary rider has been gaining momentum and really looks ready to put in a big performance. He had some bad luck in Chantilly when his horse slipped in the jump-off costing him time and putting him 4th. In Valkenswaard Beerbaum admitted that he miscalculated just how fast the eventual winner Christian Ahlmann was and just didn’t go fast enough. There is no doubt that the four-time Olympic Gold medallist will be looking to right some wrongs in London and he is hitting top form at just the right time.
However, Beerbaum will face a big challenge from his teammate and last weekend’s Valkenswaard winner Ahlmann who was lacking in horse power towards the beginning of the season due to the injury of Taloubet Z. But since his incredible stallion Codex One has returned from a rest and the former European Champion is looking unstoppable. Winner of the Aachen Grand Prix a few weeks ago and in Valkenswaard, Codex One look fresh and fit. Ahlmann finished 3rd in London last year with Taloubet Z behind Ben Maher with Cella and Nick Skelton with Big Star. Can he make it to the top step this year?
There is a mouth-watering selection of top names gearing up for London next week: reigning Olympic Champion Steve Guerdat (SUI), 2008 Olympic Champion Eric Lamaze (CAN), reigning European Champion Roger-Yves Bost (FRA), 2014 German Champion Daniel Deusser, 2014 Dutch Champion Maikel van der Vleuten and two-time Olympic Gold medallist Beezie Madden (USA) to name but a few. All of the Top Ten riders in the world will be competing for one of the biggest prize funds in the show jumping calendar. For tickets click here. For more information on the broadcast schedule click here.