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.
The high calibre field of riders can be revealed today and promises a fantastic long weekend of top-level competition for fans and newcomers to the sport who will visit the unique showground next to the Atlantic Ocean shoreline.
The impressive line up includes last year’s LGCT of Miami Beach Grand Prix winner Scott Brash (GBR) and the highest ranked US riders Kent Farrington (World Number 3), McLain Ward (World Number 4) and Beezie Madden (World Number 8) at the launch of the 2016 circuit. Horses begin arriving today with just under a week to go until the event gets underway from 7th – 10th April.
Last year’s ground-breaking debut Miami Beach event was heralded 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 to make the sport more accessible to new audiences.
With a high octane weekend of sport and entertainment ahead fans will be able to watch American and international riders in action, including the USA’s local riders Laura Kraut, Lauren Hough, Audrey Coulter, Georgina Bloomberg and Quentin Judge as the 11th season of the world’s premier show jumping series kicks off. 2012 Olympic Champion Steve Guerdat (SUI), 2010 World Gold medallist Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (GER) and 2012 Olympic Gold medallist Ben Maher (GBR) will join the high profile list of riders competing at the highly anticipated event. Young star Bertram Allen (IRL) will join legends of the sport Rolf-Göran Bengtsson (SWE), John Whitaker (GBR), Michael Whitaker (GBR) and Roger-Yves Bost (FRA), and with the likes of Pius Schwizer (SUI), Harrie Smolders (NED), Daniel Deusser (GER), Kevin Staut (FRA), Gregory Wathelet (BEL), Emanuele Gaudiano (ITA), Sheikh Ali Bin Khalid Al Thani (QAT) and Christian Ahlmann (GER) all confirmed to compete, it’s set to be an incredible opening round for this year’s LGCT.
The Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Miami Beach will take place on Saturday 9th April at 15:15 local time. With free entry to the public, a luxurious shopping village, high-adrenaline show jumping action and the debut of the first Global Champions League team competition, next week’s event is set to kick start the 2016 season off in style!
Photo Credit : Steffano Grasso / LGCT