Charming LGCT Chantilly Welcomes Seven Out of Top Ten Riders in the World
Release date: 11/07/2017
Photo: LGCT / Sportfot
A heavy-weight line up, including seven out of the World’s Top Ten, will be heading to the magical destination of Chantilly this weekend for the 10th leg of the Longines Global Champions Tour.
Headed up by World Number 1 Kent Farrington (USA), a cavalcade of stars will be out in force on the picture-perfect grass arena, set against the exquisite backdrop of the Château de Chantilly and the beautiful Grand Stables. Joining him from the Top Ten will be World Number 3 Lorenzo de Luca (ITA), World Number 4 Kevin Staut (FRA), World Number 6 Christian Ahlmann (GER), World Number 8 Scott Brash (GBR), World Number 9 Maikel van der Vleuten (NED) and World Number 10 Simon Delestre (FRA).
The battle for the overall Championship could not be more fierce, with the leading riders in the race for the title all in action for round 10 of the season fight. Flying Dutchman Harrie Smolders (NED) is currently leading on 207 points overall, however with only the top 8 results counting, further strategy and tactics will come into play for the latter half of the season. Speaking in an interview last weekend, Smolders said: “It’s a big goal [to win the Championship]. It’s the best of the best, and every year you see also that the winner of the Global Champions Tour is really exceptional - they are an exceptional rider and they have exceptional horses.”
Last weekend Smolders also revealed he will be bringing top stallion Emerald to Chantilly, with ‘consistency’ the key for a chance at the title. Hot on his heels however is compatriot van der Vleuten with 185 points; the popular rider has chalked up an impressive four podiums so far this season, and seems poised for a Grand Prix win in the near future. Third place man, Christian Ahlmann currently sits on 180 points, with the highly efficient top German rider knowing what it takes to stay at the sharp end of the leaderboard.
But up and down the LGCT Rankings there is set to be a serious showdown, as the likes of Alberto Zorzi (ITA), Jos Verlooy (BEL), Jack Hardin Towell (USA), Roger-Yves Bost (FRA), John Whitaker (GBR), Lauren Hough (USA), Sergio Alvarez Moya (ESP), Marcus Ehning (GER), Laura Kraut (USA), Bassem Hassan Mohammed (QAT), Niels Bruynseels (BEL), Julien Epaillard (FRA) and Jerome Guery (BEL) pull out all the stops for this leg of the Championship.
Famous for its impressive, beautiful château, it’s premier racetrack and, of course, Chantilly cream, it is Chantilly’s reputation as France’s ‘Capital of the Horse’ which makes it the perfect venue for the 10th leg of the 15-circuit Tour.
Former LGCT Grand Prix of Chantilly winners Gregory Wathelet (BEL) and Ludger Beerbaum (GER) will return to the unique destination, with defending Grand Prix winner Beerbaum looking to keep hold of his history of success in front of packed out crowds.
Between the top level show jumping competitions, visitors can enjoy the Musée Vivant du Cheval (Living Horse Museum), created by Yves Bienaimé in 1982, where the equestrian world of the past and present is brought to life in visually stunning equestrian shows and dressage demonstrations. Then it’s back to the picturesque arena for a stunning display of horsemanship from the world’s best riders.
Welcoming crowds from around the world, and with an electric atmosphere around the stunning grass arena, the LGCT Grand Prix of Chantilly is one you won't want to miss. With the crowd on the edge of their seats, it's set to be a show down for top honours, watched over by the beautiful Château de Chantilly.
For the full rider list, please click here.