21-24 April 2016
- 21-24 April 2016
Scene is set for a spectacular first European Leg of the Tour
Release date: 23/04/2016
Photo: LGCT / Stefano Grasso
Eight out of the world’s Top 10 riders are in Antwerp for the 3rd leg of the Longines Global Champions Tour with a thrilling showdown expected for tonight’s €300,000 Grand Prix.
World No1 Simon Delestre, winner of the LGCT Antwerp GP last year, has already set the pace in the first European leg of the championship series with a stunning win in the 5* BMW competition. It was a story of split second timing in the competition with Penelope Leprevost and Bertram Allen finishing on identical times putting the top three all within two hundredth of a second of each other.
There were early wins for Eric Lamaze and Abdel Said setting the scene for a hugely competitive Grand Prix where Christian Ahlmann will be fighting to hold on to his eight-point lead (68 points) in the overall ranking after two legs in Miami Beach and Mexico City. Ahlmann will be riding Codex One and will be determined to stay ahead of a high calibre field including supreme equine athletes like Casall ASK, Gotha, Cornet d’Amour, Chiara and Voyeur. Belgian riders will be cheered on by thousands of spectators and guests with Pieter Devos on Candy and Jos Verlooy on Sunshine. The Philippaerts brothers Nicola and Olivier will also be strong favourites with the local crowd
Hot on Ahlmann’s heels is veteran John Whitaker (60 points) followed by youngster Jos Verlooy (56 points) and Sheikh Ali Al Thani of Qatar (56 points). Top riders are also taking part in the Global Champions League competition tomorrow with the exciting new show jumping format already thrilling crowds from the opening leg in Miami Beach to last weekend’s debut event in Mexico City.
The 1.60m course designed by Luc Musette in the sand arena on the banks of the River Scheldt in Antwerp will be a sharp contrast to the sweeping grass ring only a week ago in Mexico City. It will be a new test for rider and horse combinations before the circuit heads to China and the dynamic destination of Shanghai next weekend.