Seven out of the world’s top ten riders will go into battle at the spectacular opening event of the 2016 Longines Global Champions Tour season in Miami Beach, USA from April 7-10.
The high-calibre field of riders will ensure a fantastic long weekend of top-level competition for fans and newcomers to the sport at a unique showground next to the Atlantic Ocean shoreline.
The line-up includes last year’s LGCT of Miami Beach Grand Prix winner Scott Brash (GBR), 2012 Olympic Champion Steve Guerdat (Switzerland), 2010 World Gold medallist Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (Germany) and 2012 Olympic Gold medallist Ben Maher (Great Britain). The USA’s highest-ranked riders, Kent Farrington (World Number 3), McLain Ward (World Number 4) and Beezie Madden (World Number 8) will also be competing.
Last year’s debut event was a resounding success, with former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg commenting “I think this is a wonderful thing for Miami. This could become like the Formula 1 is to Monaco.” Guests and spectators were stunned as they took their seats overlooking the arena, only metres from the Atlantic waves with swimmers and sunbathers in the background. Once again, entry will be free to the public, with a larger grandstand capacity this year to make the sport more accessible to new audiences.
Other world-famous names on the list are young star Bertram Allen (Ireland) and show jumping legends Rolf-Göran Bengtsson (Sweden), John Whitaker (GBR), Michael Whitaker (GBR) and Roger-Yves Bost (France), Pius Schwizer (Switzerland), Harrie Smolders (Netherlands), Daniel Deusser (Germany), Kevin Staut (France), Gregory Wathelet (Belgium), Emanuele Gaudiano (Italy), Sheikh Ali Bin Khalid Al Thani (Qatar) and Christian Ahlmann (Germany). With top USA contenders Laura Kraut, Lauren Hough, Audrey Coulter, Georgina Bloomberg and Quentin Judge also taking part, the scene is set for an incredible opening round to year’s LGCT.
The Longines Global Champions Tour brings together top ranked show jumpers to compete in prestigious locations for unprecedented prize money. The 15-event tour offers some of the most explosive and exciting competition of any equestrian series. Watch live online via GCT TV and on Eurosport or national networks; millions of people will be tuning in.
We understand New Zealand’s Samantha McIntosh has been invited to ride at the Chantilly leg of the tour May 26-29. That’s exciting!
The full list of riders and horses competing at Miami can be found on this link.