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Heavyweights head to Hamburg as LGCT Championship intensifies

Release date: 23/05/2017

Photo: LGCT / Stefano Grasso

The Longines Global Champions Tour of Hamburg will see a formidable line up of show jumping heroes, as the fifth leg of the Championship race puts the pedal to the metal. Last year nearly 90,000 spectators flocked to the event and this year’s edition looks set to be another full house.

Currently in second position in the overall ranking, Maikel van der Vleuten (NED) will be looking to take advantage of the absence of current ranking leader Lorenzo de Luca and shake up the leaderboard. With three podiums out of four events under his belt so far, the on-form Dutch star has narrowed the points difference to just 9, and will be fighting tooth and nail to keep his Championship Title dream alive.

Reigning LGCT Champion of Champions Rolf-Göran Bengtsson (SWE) will return to the Tour with his incredible stallion Casall ASK to compete in their final CSI5* show before the top stallion is officially retired in a ceremony following Saturday’s Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix. With this much-loved pair taking to the track for the final time this weekend, the LGCT of Hamburg is the fitting finish to the 19-year-old’s extraordinary career.Two-time LGCT Champion of Champions Scott Brash (GBR) is a man who knows exactly what it takes to win the prestigious title, and will be back for round five this weekend in Hamburg. Home-grown legend Ludger Beerbaum (GER), wowed the home crowd last year with a thrilling fairy-tale finish in the LGCT Grand Prix. Speaking ahead of the event this week Ludger said: “I am really looking forward to Hamburg, it is always a bit more pressure in front o your home crowd but it is a great feeling to rider there and the public is amazing.”

Joining Ludger is a roster of world class riders, highlighting the top calibre of athletes battling it out on the LGCT circuit. Big names such as Christian Ahlmann (GER), Simon Delestre (FRA), Daniel Deusser (GER) and Marcus Ehning (GER), all hungry for a Grand Prix win and the chance to rocket up the rankings at this early stage on Tour. Local spectators will have plenty to cheer for, with German talents such as Marco Kutscher (GER), Janne-Freiderike Meyer-Zimmermann (GER), David Will (GER), Andreas Kreuzer (GER) and rising star Christian Kukuk (GER) all looking for a home-turf win in front of a knowledgeable and passionate crowd.

At the Derby-Park Klein Flottbeck, families can enjoy picnics in the countryside setting where the German Jumping and Dressage Derby has been held for decades. Or visitors can take a trip into the city to enjoy a whole host of activities from sight-seeing to fine dining, music to museums. The first of two events hosted by the passionate horse country, Hamburg will see four full days of CSI5* show jumping action, with thousands expected to flock to the iconic destination.

Alongside home heroes will be many of the most prolific international names, such as the likes of John Whitaker (GBR), Lauren Hough (USA), Bertram Allen (IRL), Olivier Philippaerts (BEL), Laura Kraut (USA), Gregory Wathelet (BEL), Ben Maher (GBR), Peder Fredericson (SWE) and LGCT Mexico City Grand Prix winner Martin Fuchs (SUI).

All the action will be streamed live via the LGCT and GCL websites, and fans can keep up to date on the official social media channels featuring exclusive content, behind the scenes access and more.

For the full rider list, please click here.