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Championship race at full throttle as show jumping stars shine in Monaco

Release date: 20/06/2017

Photo: LGCT / Stefano Grasso

As the 2017 Longines Global Champions Tour season gallops towards the midway point, the world’s best riders - including six of the top ten - return to the French Riviera and the unique destination of Monaco to battle it out for round seven of the Championship fight. All eyes will be on Saturday night’s €300,000 Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix du Prince de Monaco Presented by Sapinda, as the battle for the Championship reaches top gear. 

The LGCT of Monaco has become a significant lifestyle and entertainment event in the Principality, with the added excitement of the expanded Global Champions League and world class sport over three days making the weekend an important lifestyle fixture on the Monaco social scene.

The star-studded field will be lead by World Number 1 Kent Farrington (USA), who returns to Tour following his electric Grand Prix win in Madrid just a few weeks ago in front of packed crowds. The leading American rider will need to pull out all the stops against the top class field if he is to secure his second Grand Prix win of the season, as World Number 2 Daniel Deusser (GER), World Number 6 Christian Ahlmann (GER) and World Number 10 Simon Delestre (FRA) will all be looking to spoil the American star’s run of success, and take the prestigious win.

Former LGCT Grand Prix of Monaco winners World Number 7 Kevin Staut (FRA) and World Number 8 Scott Brash (GBR) will also return to the picturesque location, where the most decorated show jumpers in the world take centre stage in the purpose built sand arena, nestled between the super yachts and the former Formula 1 pitlane. Watched on by Royalty and high profile VIPs, the long-standing show has always sparkled as a jewel in the crown of the premier show jumping series.

As the Championship battle unfolds, riders will be thinking strategically about which of their top horses they will bring to the seventh leg of the season as they head to the Principality. Riders face challenging technical courses in one of the smallest arenas on the Tour, where daring, scope and bravery are the key ingredients required for a successful charge, while the emphasis will be on riders knowing their horses. Last year’s winner Emanuele Gaudiano’s (ITA) Caspar was a huge striding horse who made short work of the testing course, but previously Scott Brash’s (GBR) agile Hello M’Lady and Bassem Hassan Mohammed’s (QAT) speed demon Victoria both showed the flexibility and variety of winners at this prestigious leg of the Championship.

Experienced names such as Roger-Yves Bost (FRA), Gregory Wathelet (BEL), Sheikh Ali Bin Khalid Al Thani (QAT), Jerome Guery (BEL), Ben Maher (GBR), John Whitaker (GBR), Max Kuhner (AUT), Lauren Hough (USA), Nicola Philippaerts (BEL), Denis Lynch (IRL) and Eric van der Vlueten (NED) will be looking to add their name to the long list of high profile former Monaco Grand Prix winners as the race for the Championship hits full throttle.

This year will also see a host of U25 talent compete on a global stage, with Jessica Springsteen (USA), Gonzalo Anon Suarez (ESP), Kevin Jochems (NED), Philip Houston (GER), Sanne Thijssen (NED), Lucy Davis (USA), Jennifer Gates (USA), Jos Verlooy (BEL), Paris Sellon (USA) and Johan Sebastian Gulliksen (NOR) all in action this weekend.

The three-day feast of top-class show jumping alongside the world-famous harbour of Monte-Carlo will deliver fantastic entertainment for all and luxurious facilities at the Monaco event combine to deliver a stunning experience for families, VIPs, sponsors, owners and riders. Monaco, which also plays host to Formula One and ATP Masters tennis, is a hub of sport with many high-profile fans in attendance. Over the years, HH Prince Albert II of Monaco and members of the Royal Family have joined business leaders and celebrities to cheer on the riders.

For the full rider list, please click here.