Longines Global Champions Tour News

10 April 2017

Longines Global Champions Tour Official Press Release, 10th April:

Eight out of World’s Top Ten at Power-Packed LGCT Miami Beach

Photo: LGCT / Stefano Grasso
A formidable eight out of the world’s top ten ranked riders, including all of the top five, will head to the breath-taking destination of Miami Beach for the second leg in the 2017 Longines Global Champions Tour season. Home hero and World Number 1 McLain Ward (USA) will lead the star-studded field to the highly anticipated venue, alongside World Number 2 and fellow American Kent Farrington (USA) and World Number 3, Daniel Deusser (GER).
In the Global Champions League, home team Miami Glory will be looking to make waves on the team Championship, after a strong result in Mexico see them rocket up the rankings to 4th place overall. Looking for a home advantage, the dynamic team will be hoping for a repeat of their podium position from 2016 and knock current leaders Valkenswaard United off the top spot.
Speaking about the unique event at Miami Beach, Georgina Bloomberg (USA), who returns to the show after a stunning result in the 2016 Grand Prix and also competes for GCL team Miami Glory, said: “Miami is unique and special to American riders because it’s the only US Global Champions Tour stop. It’s a beautiful setting and it gives spectators who don’t usually get the chance to see our sport be exposed to it. It’s rare that we get to ride so close to the ocean and have people wandering by and maybe stopping to check it out. It’s a special place to ride and between the setting and the importance of the competition, it has established itself as one of the premier shows in the world.”
Current LGCT Ranking leader Martin Fuchs (SUI) will be hoping to keep his Championship dream alive, as he heads to Miami Beach fresh from his LGCT Grand Prix of Mexico City win. Olympic Gold Medallist, Scott Brash (GBR) will return to the venue where he wowed the crowd in a sensational Grand Prix win in 2015 with Hello Sanctos. Fresh from his CSI5* win in Mexico City with Hello M’Lady, the top British athlete will battle it out against the likes of Christian Ahlmann (GER), Eric Lamaze (CAN), Lorenzo de Luca (ITA), Simon Delestre (FRA) and Harrie Smolders (NED), all of whom proved they were in stunning shape with strong results during the first leg of the season.
The Championship battle will take a dynamic turn, as riders move from the expansive grass arena of Mexico City to the smaller sand arena of Miami Beach, balancing all the challenges and advantages that may bring. With the sparkling Atlantic ocean just metres from the arena’s edge, the setting has become one of the most iconic in the sport, with riders, guests and fans flocking to the unique set up. With it’s vast array of cocktail bars, art houses and chic elegance, Miami Beach is one of the most iconic cities in the world - a fitting backdrop for a three day display of top calibre sport and entertainment.
American fans will also have plenty of local talent to cheer for as Laura Kraut (USA), Lauren Hough (USA), Jessica Springsteen (USA), Jennifer Gates (USA), Jack Hardin Towell (USA), Audrey Coulter (USA), Kimberly Prince (USA), Lucy Davis (USA), Todd Minikus (USA) and Margie Goldstein-Engle (USA) all take to home turf hoping to impress in front of a home crowd.
Entry to spectators is completely free, and fans will be able to enjoy a luxurious shopping village as well as top class sport, providing something for all the family. Last year saw a packed out grandstand with a fantastic passionate crowd cheering the riders as they battled it out for the prestigious top spot. With spectacular views, a unique set up and great support from the City of Miami Beach, the second leg of the Championship promises to be another exceptional stop on the 15-event series. 
Further key names such as Roger-Yves Bost (FRA), Darragh Kenny (IRL), Gregory Wathelet (BEL), Steve Guerdat (SUI), Kevin Staut (FRA), Nicola Philippaerts (BEL), Maikel van der Vleuten (NED), Jérôme Guery (BEL), Marco Kutscher (GER), Sheikh Ali Bin Khalid Al Thani (QAT) and Max Kühner (AUT) to name just a few, add to the star-studded line up, where it’s set to be another incredible event of top class sporting action as the world’s premier show jumping series heads to Miami Beach.
For the full rider list, please click here.

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Longines Global Champions Tour Official Press Release, 9th April:

Valkenswaard United Triumph in Stunning GCL Mexico City

Image: GCL / Stefano Grasso
Reiging Champions Valkenswaard United powered to victory in the first leg of the Global Champions League after an electrifying second round which went down to the wire in Mexico City.
While fans enthusiastically packed the grandstands, dancing to the team theme music and cheering on their favourite combinations, many of the world's best joined forces and once more took centre stage to decide the highly anticipated first round of the 15-leg Championship. 
Top riders hailed the new format, and with the likes of Christian Ahlmann (GER), Daniel Deusser (GER), Simon Delestre (FRA), Eric Lamaze (CAN) and Jérôme Guery (BEL) all joining the GCL for the new season, the anticipation and excitement around the Global Champions League continues to grow.
Speaking during an interview with CNN World Sport, World Number 3 Daniel Deusser (GER) said: “For me it’s the first time that I’m in a [GCL] team, in the team of the Shanghai Swans with Alexandra Thornton, Jessica Springsteen, Roger-Yves Bost and Janne-Friederike Meyer-Zimmermann. To be honest I’m really excited. In my opinion we have a very good team."
Talking about the innovative competition, Daniel said: “It’s a new format, and not easy to bring it into the world of show jumping - a new format to make it straight away very famous. But I think for the second year it’s already very famous, a lot of riders are really, really excited to do that this year. The format changed a little bit compared to last year, which in my opinion is much better like that.”
Top British rider Scott Brash (GBR) of team Miami Glory agreed: “It's great to have a difference in the sport. I think that when you do something for the first time you're going to need some tweaks and I'm happy to see how the format has changed this year. It's going in the right direction and the whole sport is moving in the right direction which is really exciting for all the riders, the fans and viewers."
Christian Ahlmann (GER) spoke of his excitement of joining the GCL and new team Mexico Amigos, “I’m really looking forward to the whole season - I’m really proud to be in the team. I think we have a strong team and we are really, really motivated.”
Top French rider Simon Delestre spoke during the press conference of the opportunity to ride alongside fellow top riders from different countries. Speaking about St Tropez Pirates teammate Jerome Guery, he said: "I know Jerome since we were juniors together and it’s really fun to jump with him.” Jerome agreed: "Simon is my best friend, to make a team with him it’s really nice for me. I’m also really lucky to be in the team with him because he’s one of best riders in the world."
Leading going into today’s second leg of the competition by just one penalty ahead of the St Tropez Pirates, the Valkenswaard United team of Alberto Zorzi (ITA) and Bertram Allen (IRL) soon found themselves down in second place after four faults from Alberto and Cornetto K handed the lead to their closest rivals, whose first rider Simon Delestre (FRA) and Hermes Ryan produced a copy book clear. 
Pressure was then heaped onto the shoulders of the penultimate combination, Jerome Guery (BEL) and Grand Cru van de Rozenberg, who had the chance to secure the win for the Pirates. Agonisingly, an exuberant performance from the 11-year-old chestnut gelding saw them collect eight faults, including knocking down the final fence, to put Valkenswaard United back in front.

Final competitors Bertram and Hector van d’Abdijhoeve showed nerves of steel during their round, which included a hairy moment when the grey gelding bucked going into the final line which caused them to have the penultimate fence down, but the unflappable Irish rider managed to successfully negotiate the one remaining fence and claim victory for Valkenswaard United.

Chantilly Pegasus and Miami Glory both completed on 12 faults but it was the Chantilly Pegasus team - which boast the youngest rider combination of all the 18 teams - with Nicola Philippaerts (BEL) and Martin Fuchs (SUI), who claimed third spot due to their quicker time.

Miami Glory couldn’t have done any more after both their riders, Paris Sellon (USA) and Scott Brash (GBR), produced clear rounds to help them climb the order from sixth to fourth. It was an impressive turn around in fortunes for the American rider and her stunning grey Cassandra as they improved on their 12 faults in Thursday’s opening round to leave the arena fault free today. Scott Brash and the flamboyant Hello M’Lady then produced a masterful display in the quickest time of the day to win the individual competition.

Harrie Smolders (NED) and Emerald NOP didn’t look quite at their brilliant best around the vast grass arena at Campo Marte, eight faults from them plus a gut wrenching four from Eric Lamaze (CAN) and Fine Lady 5 at the final fence, put pay to Hamburg Diamonds chances in this opening leg.
London Knights shot up the leader board after Eduardo Menezes (BRA) and Quintol and Enrique Gonzalez (MEX) and Chacna both produced fault free performances to add nothing to their first round score of 16 to move from ninth to fifth.
But it was reigning Champions Valkenswaard United who stole the show, throwing down the gaunlet to the rest of the field ahead of the 14 remaining legs. All eyes are now on Miami Beach, where home team Miami Glory will hope to enthrall their home crowd. 
Jan Tops, Co-Founder Global Champions League: “We had an incredible week. The whole picture was like you wish a horse show was, even the ring if you walk in the morning and see around the nice colourful fences, everything was very, very special. The new format is fantastic for riders and horses. You are jumping two less classes and you have more possibilities, more options. The first round changed from the GP into the League final which is very interesting until the end, you saw how exciting it was. It’s very exciting until the last fence and it’s very easy to follow. Once you have a fence down there is no drop score which is much easier for the people to understand. As rider sometimes have tactics, you can change your horse and that makes a big difference. I think the new format is only a win win position. You saw a young man like Fuchs coming to the podium and it’s great to see. He’s been a talented rider for many years.”
Winning Team Valkenswaard United
Bertram Allen: “Following on from last year we knew how important it was to get off to a good start as it’s so competitive. We came here all set to go and were very good the first day, it was very big, and thankfully we could hold on to it.”
Alberto Zorzi: “I’m so happy to win the competition today with Bertram.”
Second Place St Tropez Pirates
Jerome Guery: “I'm really happy to be with Simon. Simon is my best friend, to make a team with him it’s really nice for me. I’m also really lucky to be in the team with him because he’s one of best riders in the world. His horse is amazing and jumped a double clear. For me I started well. In the first round my horse jumped really well but I did a bad choice I changed the bit for the second round and I lose a little bit the control. I had two down but I’m lucky to be with Simon as he did really well.”
Simon Delestre: “The show is really impressive and amazing arena, it’s really fantastic. It is one of the first shows for Ryan since Rio after his injury. He did two rounds with fantastic jump so I’m really happy with that. I know Jerome since we were juniors together and it’s really fun to jump with him.”
Third Place Team Chantilly Pegasus
Martin Fuchs: “Nicola is one of my best friends at the shows. We have a very young team. We support each other. I went to look at his warm up a bit, told him what should be the plan for the class. He came to me and told me better I should do a nice round as we could still be good in the team. Chaplin is a very fast horse, I saw that Scott was really fast with Hello M’Lady so my plan was to ride for the second place of the class and for sure to make the clear round for our team.”
Nicola Philippaerts: “We can be very happy in the team. We get along very well. We always have fun together at the showground. I’m just happy that we can ride again together and I’m looking forward to the rest.”

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Longines Global Champions Tour Official Press Release, 3rd April 2017:

World’s Best Gear Up for Thrilling 2017 Season Opener LGCT Mexico City

Photo: LGCT / Sportfot
With just days to go until the 2017 Longines Global Champions Tour and Global Champions League seasons hit full throttle, many of the best riders in the world are preparing themselves for kick-off in the thrilling destination of Mexico City. As anticipation builds for what promises to be one of the most explosive and high octane LGCT and GCL years yet, the full rider list for the first leg of the 15-event Tour can today be revealed. 
World Number 1 Daniel Deusser (GER) will lead the star studded field to Mexico City, which debuted the circuit last year as part of LGCT’s strategic reach across The Americas. Joining the Shanghai Swans GCL team this season, Daniel will be looking to throw down the gauntlet to the rest of the top calibre field, making his mark both on the LGCT Rankings board and setting the scene for the season to come. In previous years the first leg of the 15-event Championship has held a significant place in the overall battle result, with winners of the first round on the calendar consistently in the fight for the title right the way through to the last event in Doha.
New Swans teammate and former LGCT Grand Prix of Mexico City winner Roger-Yves Bost (FRA) will be back in action with his heart set on a repeat of his 2016 success, which saw him fend off young guns Bertram Allen (IRL) and Jos Verlooy (BEL) to take a breath-taking gold in front of a packed-out audience at the Campo Marte.
Featured on CNN International and Eurosport, plus with a host of new digital ventures and behind the scenes access and exclusive content via the live streaming platform and social media channels, fans around the world will be able to tune in and engage with this unmissable event.
Another rider who wowed the crowds in Mexico City last year was British Olympic Gold Medallist and two-time LGCT Champion of Champions Scott Brash (GBR), after a phenomenal weekend with Hello Forever saw the pair take home two first class wins and left spectators on the edge of their seats. Hot on his heels will be World Number 3 Christian Ahlmann (GER), who came agonisingly close to taking the overall 2016 title after leading the LGCT Rankings for much of the season. With unfinished business and a clear determination to add the LGCT Championship title to his ever-growing list of accolades, Christian will be one to watch with his impressive string of horses and formidable consistency at the different arenas around the world.
Also hungry to make their mark on the 2017 LGCT Ranking board and battle it out for the prestigious Mexico City win will be many of the world's top riders, including the likes of Simon Delestre (FRA), Kevin Staut (FRA), Steve Guerdat (SUI), Eric Lamaze (CAN), Harrie Smolders (NED), Lorenzo de Luca (ITA), Gregory Wathelet (BEL), Nicola Philippaerts (BEL), Maikel van der Vleuten (NED) and Jerome Guery (BEL), all of whom will be looking to come out on top at the season opener.
Last year over 20,000 spectators flocked to the stunning event at Campo Marte in Mexico City, with passionate fans cheering on the leading riders in the world. Local talent Enrique Gonzalez (MEX) will be hoping for a home turf win as he is joined by compatriots Jaime Azcarraga (MEX), Federico Fernandez (MEX), Jose Antonio Chedraui E (MEX), Patricio Pasquel (MEX) and Andres Azcarraga (MEX).
As the world turns to Mexico City, all eyes will be on the first leg of the Championship this April 6-9th as the curtain raises on the 2017 season. Spectacular new destinations in London and Berlin have been added to the unique 15-event calendar, and with an increased 18 GCL teams taking part in second season of the League, this year will host world class sport and top entertainment as LGCT and GCL once again raise the bar in show jumping.
For the full rider list, please click here.
For more information on Mexico City, and how to book tickets, please click here.

2nd April 2017

Official Press Release:

Connolly’s RED MILLS & Foran Equine - Official LGCT Feed and Supplement Sponsor

Connolly’s RED MILLS is once again the official feed sponsor for LGCT Mexico City, LGCT Miami Beach and LGCT Shanghai.

CRM-_FE-Website-body.jpgThis, the third year of the sponsorship since the inauguration of the LGCT in 2015, sees Connolly’s RED MILLS continue to provide a consistent, quality supply of performance horse feed at each leg of the Longines Global Champions Tour. Its global availability means that horses can stay on the same diet for the duration of the competition, with the support of the onsite RED MILLS Nutritional team.

Connolly’s RED MILLS, a fifth generation Irish owned family business, has based its entire manufacturing plant in Goresbridge, Co Kilkenny since 1908 and have developed some of the most technologically advanced manufacturing processes in the world.

With over 100 years’ experience in developing quality high-performance feeds, Connolly’s RED MILLS understand what is required to keep horses nourished from the inside out, especially while in elite competition.

The tried, tested and trusted formulations provide the complete nutritional package for high-performance animals, using the finest fresh, natural and safe ingredients to support digestion, wellbeing and performance.

All Connolly’s RED MILLS feed is NOPS and UFAS assured and undergoes rigorous testing throughout the manufacturing process, with all testing taking place in the onsite state-of-the-art laboratory. 

The Precision Nutrition strategy, offers confidence to the rider that they feeding a fully balanced diet, perfectly tailored by expert nutritionists, to deliver the horse's dietary needs.

The exertion of elite competition, the strains of travel and the challenges of new environments means that some horses need that extra nutritional support.

Connolly’s RED MILLS have confirmed that for the first time their partner company Foran Equine will be the official supplement sponsor for LGCT Mexico and LGCT Miami, working with the LGCT team to ensure all horses receive premium nutritional care while on tour.

Foran Equine was established in 1974 and was taken over by Connolly’s RED MILLS in 2012 and has grown to become a market leader in equine healthcare products worldwide. Foran Equine now boasts a comprehensive range of over 60 supplement products.

longines-gct.jpgGareth Connolly, Sales and Marketing Director, Connolly’s RED MILLS and Foran Equine, said; “Foran Equine specialises in healthcare and performance supplements. As Connolly’s RED MILLS we took over Foran Equine at the end of 2011 and have spent the last number of years really getting to know the products and the equine supplement business. It’s been a great joining of the two companies, the synergies between both have allowed us to get really specific when targeting issues or boosting performance or aiding and supporting the horses welfare.”

“We are delighted to be the official supplement sponsor for the LGCT Mexico City and LGCT Miami Beach and alongside Connolly’s RED MILLS as the feed sponsor, our products offer the complete nutritional package for the high-performance horse.”

Each of the Foran Equine products is developed and formulated by an experienced multi- disciplinary team, which includes veterinary surgeons, chemists, veterinary nurses and equine nutritionists. All Foran Equine products are rigorously tested and refined to confirm efficacy and industry compliance and are manufacturer to GMP standard, using only the highest pharma grade ingredients, to meet the nutritional demands of the high performance horse.

In addition, all Foran Equine products with the S.A.F.E. mark are free from prohibited substances and are safe for use in high performance competition animals.

To find out more about Connolly’s RED MILLS and Foran Equine, visit our team at in the retail village at Mexico City and Miami Beach.

For further product and nutritional Information
Nia O’Malley, International Sales & Nutritional Support, Connolly’s RED MILLS
Onsite Mexico, Miami and Shanghai
Carolina Arbelaez, International Sales & Nutritional Support, Connolly’s RED MILLS
Onsite Mexico and Miami

For further PR Information
Jane Davis, Equine Brand Manager, Connolly’s RED MILLS
Goresbridge, Kilkenny, Co. Kilkenny
On site Miami
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