2018 Longines Global Champions Tour and Global Champions League seasons underway in Mexico

Campo Marte
Credit : LGCT

Thursday 22 March - 18h27 | Ian Clayton

2018 Longines Global Champions Tour and Global Champions League seasons underway in Mexico

En sus marcas, listos, ya (on your marks, get set, go)…

 - 2018 Longines Global Champions Tour and Global Champions League seasons underway in Mexico

Credit : Sportfot

The 2018 Longines Global Champions Tour and team-based Global Champions League kick off this weekend in the heart of Mexico City in the grass arena of the Campo Marte, before heading to 16 other destinations across the planet from here to November. New this year, a high-stakes play-off will take place in the Czech capital Prague in December.

The Mexico City competition can be watched live here.

Located 2,000 metres above sea level in the city’s 686-hectare Chapultepec Park with its massive Mexican flag, the Campo Marte (Mars Field) is the first of the emblematic settings which are an essential feature of the CSI5* series. And it has its own special ambiance, said Francisco Pasquel, President of LGCT Mexico City, at a press conference: "The crowd here are incredible - they shout, they cry, they clap - it's very emotional."

The 2018 series will continue in the following locations: Miami Beach, Shanghai, Madrid, Hamburg, St. Tropez, Cannes, Cascais/Estoril, Portugal, Monaco, Paris, Chantilly, France, Berlin, London, Valkenswaard, the Netherlands, and Rome before Doha and Prague.

Last year, the elite Show Jumping Tour was won by Dutchman Harrie Smolders, current World No.2, who was also on the winning Global Champions League squad with Eric Lamaze and others. While Smolders is not on the entry list for this weekend (he has qualified for the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final in Paris at the start of April), Lamaze is in the Mexican capital with Chacco Kid and Fine Lady 5.

There, they will be facing off against many of the best in the sport in the different classes, including Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat, Italy’s Lorenzo De Luca, France’s Roger Yves Bost, Ireland’s Bertram Allen, Australia’s Edwina Tops-Alexander, Great Britain’s Scott Brash and many more. In total, 58 riders and 111 horses from 21 countries are set to ride at the 5* level. Among their targets will be the €310,000, 1.60m Longines Global Champions Tour of Mexico City Grand Prix Saturday afternoon Mexico time. 

Also, as previously noted on GrandPrix-Replay concerning the Global Champions League, “This year a guaranteed overall season prize purse of €35 million will be paid out to the world's best individual and team riders. This includes €12 million to be shared at the new GC Prague Play Offs in Prague in from December 13-16. There will now be 19 teams competing with the addition of the Scandinavian Vikings but only 16 will qualify for the GCL Super Cup at the GC Prague Play Offs. And the Czech capital will also see every individual LGCT Grand Prix winner invited to the prestigious Longines Global Champions Super Grand Prix - the ultimate showdown starring the season’s top performers." The make-up of this year's GCL teams can be seen here. 

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