The Longines Global Champions Tour returns to action this weekend when it returns to it's spiritual home of Valkenswaard in the Netherlands,with a special team competition forming part of what promises to be an exciting weekend of show jumping action.
The new multi-million euro Tops International Arena will be the stage for the 12th leg of the Longines Global Champions Tour 2015 series from 13 to 16 August.
In a feast of top-level show jumping, to mark the 10th anniversary of the Tour, four days of international competition will see the best riders and horses taking part in the €200,000 team competition on Friday evening and the €300,000 Grand Prix on Saturday, with another world class 1.55m class on Sunday.
Twenty eight out of the world’s top 30 riders will compete in Saturday’s €300,000 Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT) of Valkenswaard Grand Prix, as Great Britain’s Scott Brash looks to consolidate his position at the top of the rankings leaderboard in his pursuit of a third successive title.
Brash looked to have made a crucial move in the battle for the title by jumping to the top of the standings after his performance at the last round of competition in London last month, which was won by last year’s runners-up, Sweden’s Rolf-Göran Bengtsson.
With only three rounds remaining after this weekend’s events in Valkenswaard, Brash holds a 28 point advantage of Portugal’s Luciana Diniz in second and a massive 70 point lead over Germany’s Christian Christian Ahlmann in third.
On Friday evening these and some of the other biggest names in show jumping will also be competing in a thrilling team competition in Valkenswaard.
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the LGCT, the special €200,000 competition will take place at the circuit’s home base under floodlights at the stunning new Tops International Arena.
Star riders including Germany’s Ludger Beerbaum, France’s Kevin Staut, Australia’s Edwina Tops-Alexander, Qatar’s Sheikh Ali Bin Khalid Al Thani, USA’s Lauren Hough, the Netherlands' Maikel van der Vleuten, Brazil’s Doda de Miranda and Belgium’s Gregory Wathelet will be in action in the 1.55m class.
A spectacular opening show on Friday will launch a dazzling evening of sport and entertainment in front of spectators and international VIP guests.
Almost 50 world class riders have so far confirmed their wish to be entered into the draw for the team competition format, which will see 15 teams consisting of two riders make up the grid for this exciting new round. A maximum of 30 riders will be randomly selected and paired up in a special draw ahead of the Friday event, which will be held over two rounds against the clock.
This special competition is a prelude to a new format to the new Global Champions League, which will launch in 2016.
Speaking about the new Global Champions League team competitions being launched in 2016 Jan Tops, President of Longines Global Champions Tour, said: “What we are creating for next year is the new League and team competition and this will bring a new dimension and we are very proud we can announce that.
“Also for the event the top riders in the world are here, not many championships or shows are like that. I am very pleased and honoured they are taking part.”