With the movie and F1 thoroughbreds just leaving the Côte d’Azur, their equine counterparts are taking up residence for the season’s most prestigious show jumping events
Barely a fortnight after the close of the 70th Cannes Film Festival and the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Monaco, the two glamorous Rivieran destinations host yet another world class event: from June 8th through 10th, the world’s best horses and riders gather a stone’s throw from La Croisette for the sixth round of the 15-leg Longines Global Champions Tour, followed by the seventh event in the series in Monaco from June 23rd to 25th.
The LGCT brings together the Top 30 ranked show jumpers in the world to compete in prestigious locations for unprecedented prize money, featuring some of the most explosive and exciting competition of any equestrian series. Olympic, World and Continental Champions battle fiercely for the title of overall season Champion of Champions 2017 and the lion’s share of the bonus prize fund.
The three continent / 15 city circuit kicked off in Mexico City in early April, followed by Miami Beach, Shanghai, Madrid and Hamburg before now descending onto Cannes and Monaco. Paris, Cascais/Estoril, Chantilly, Berlin, London, Valkenswaard and Rome are next on the itinerary before the Doha grand finale in November. Olympic Gold Medalist Scott Brash (GBR) is seeking to defend his 2016 title against current favorites Lorenzo de Luca (IT) and Maikel van der Vleuten.
A remarkable combination of glamour and top-class sport, the original “International Show Jumping of Cannes” was one of the world’s richest horse shows, with prize money continuing to increase since the show joined the Tour. Now a regular fixture on the LGCT calendar, the show has grown every year and welcomes over 15,000 visitors through its gates each summer, set in a magical night course with the superyacht-studded bay for a backdrop. The Jumping in the Principality of Monaco faces challenging technical courses in one of the smallest arenas on the Tour, where daring, scope and bravery are the key ingredients required for a successful charge.
One of the Tour’s top priorities is a mobile vet clinic, ensuring the welfare of the equine super-athletes. The fully-equipped clinic truck features state-of-the-art diagnostic and therapy machines, and travels to every event on the Tour.
Jan Tops, one of the most well-recognised and experienced figures in show jumping, is the founder and president of this uniquely prestigious annual event. An exceptionally high achiever in his chosen field, Jan won numerous individual and team championship titles and the distinction of an Olympic Team Gold medal in Barcelona in 1992. Shortly after winning Olympic Gold, Jan launched CSI Valkenswaard and turned it into one of the best horse shows on the international equestrian scene. But his vision and goal was to comprehensively raise standards across the sport as a whole, and his 2006 launch of the Global Champions Tour transformed the world of international show jumping.
Swiss precision watch maker Longines has a long tradition sponsoring sports events that reflect the elegance of its luxury products. Longines’ passion for equestrian sport dates back to 1878, when it produced a chronograph engraved with a jockey and his mount. Today Longines’ involvement in equestrian sports continues to grow, including strong associations with show jumping, flat racing and endurance competitions. Longines is proud to be the Title Partner and Official Timekeeper of the Longines Global Champions Tour.
Courtesy of Mayor David Lisnard, residents of Cannes can obtain free tickets for the evening events on June 8 and 9. Invitations can be picked up in person on Wednesday, June 7 from 2 pm at the town hall. Proof of local residence is required, and a limit of 2 per household applies. The tickets are distributed on a first-come first-serve basis. The competition can also be watched on CCT Live TV.
All images courtesy Longines Global Champions Tour