Stunning new international destinations join the Longines Global Champions Tour in 2015 marking the 10th anniversary of the world’s premier show jumping series. The championship circuit makes a strategic expansion to the American continent with the first event of season being launched in Miami Beach in April. For the first time ever, Olympic-level equestrian sport will take place on the golden sands of Miami Beach as one of the most vibrant cities in the world celebrates its Centennial.
It can also be announced that Rome will join the stellar line up of destinations on the Longines Global Champions Tour with a landmark event in September. The Eternal City, with a sporting heritage stretching back over two millenia, will provide a thrilling stage as the championship battle heads towards its climax.
2015 will see 15 events across three continents as the FEI-approved Longines Global Champions Tour circuit reaches out to more equestrian fans around the world. Events consistently attract more Olympic, World and Continental Champions than any other show jumping series. The Tour offers over €10million (US$11.8million) in prize money across the season, with a guaranteed €1million bonus going to the top 18 riders in the overall championship.
Jan Tops, Founder and President of Longines Global Champions Tour, said: “2015 is set to be a landmark year for our series as we expand to the spectacular destinations of Miami Beach and Rome bringing a new continent and a new capital city into our calendar. I am proud to be celebrating our 10th anniversary in an environment of continued growth for show jumping worldwide as our events become a fantastic sporting and social fixture around the world.”
The 2015 season will be packed with some of the brightest stars in the sport, including World Number One and reigning two-time Longines GCT Champion Scott Brash (GBR), four-time Olympic Gold medalist Ludger Beerbaum (GER), World and Olympic medalists Beezie Madden (USA) and Gerco Schröder (NED), former European Champion Rolf-Göran Bengtsson (SWE), two-time LGCT Champion Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS) and Olympic Gold medalists McLain Ward (USA) and Marcus Ehning (GER).
Combining world-class equestrian sport with a glamorous social occasion, Longines Global Champions Tour events attract fans from all over the globe and high profile figures from the worlds of business, entertainment, sport and culture. Taking place in major cities and spectacular venues in Europe, Asia and America, the series is televised live on Eurosport and BeIN Sports all season, as well as on national TV networks and via GCT’s own live streaming channel.
For us, Belgians, the two events nearby are Antwerp and Valkenswaard. The diamond city of Antwerp welcomes the best riders in the world for the second consecutive year from 23-26 April. The stunning new development at Stal Tops in Valkenswaard, home of the Tour, will be an impressive stage for the 10th anniversary year from 13-16 August.