The exciting Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT) series is coming to New York City for the Finals of the 2019 season! The world’s top show jumpers will go head to head at the incredibly unique venue of Governors Island on September 27 through 29. It’s the first time the LGCT has come to New York and the first horse show to take place on Governors Island, so this is a don’t-miss event. The LGCT series encompasses 19 events at some of the most amazing locales around the world, like Miami Beach, FL, in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, next to Monaco’s Yacht Harbor, and more.
1. It’s free to attend! That’s right, there’s no admission fee to watch the world-class action, which includes five-star LGCT classes and Global Champions League (GCL) team competitions as well as two-star competition.
2. Some big-name U.S. riders will be there! Show jumping fans and those new to the sport will be able to witness two-time Olympic team gold medalist and former World Number 1 McLain Ward in action. He won grand prix classes on the LGCT tour in 2007 and 2014, and he’ll be hungry to stand atop the podium in New York. Spectators will also be thrilled to see Olympian and former World Number 1 Kent Farrington, Olympian Margie Engle, and show jumping stars Georgina Bloomberg, Jessica Springsteen, and Jennifer Gates.
Top riders from all over the world, like New York City native Georgina Bloomberg, will be competing at Longines Global Champions Tour of New York. Photo by Sportfot
3. With this the last chance for riders to qualify for the Longines Global Champions Tour Super Grand Prix – a golden ticket only secured with a win in the prestigious LGCT Grand Prix class – the American dream will be to add a home-grown rider to the illustrious list of contenders.
4. Where else can you see a bevy of the top European show jumpers compete? Stay tuned for the full rider list, but riders like Great Britain’s Ben Maher, France’s Kevin Staut, Germany’s Daniel Deusser, Marcus Ehning, and Christian Ahlmann, and Belgium’s Pieter Devos, Niels Bruynseels, and Jos Verlooy are all in the top 15 of the GCT standings.
5. You get to cheer on the New York Empire! They’re the home-city team for the Finals of the GCL, and it’s the final stop of the regular GCL season. Teams will be vying to cement their spots in the GC Playoffs in Prague in November. The New York Empire team WON at GCL Valkenswaard in the Netherlands, in August. Led by team owner Georgina Bloomberg, who also rides for the team, the New York Empire will be the ones to beat in New York!
Daniel Bluman (left) and Georgina Bloomberg celebrated the New York Empire team’s win at Global Champions League of Valkenswaard. Photo by Sportfot
6. It’s easy to get there! The venue is an eight-minute ferry ride across the harbor from Battery Maritime Building in Lower Manhattan to Soissons Landing. Ferries will also bring visitors to Governors Island from Brooklyn’s Pier 6 on Saturdays and Sundays. Ferries before noon on Saturdays and Sundays are free for everyone. At other times, taking the ferry over to the Island is $3 and return ferries back to the city are not ticketed. Ferries are always free for visitors 12 and under and senior citizens, as well as IDNYC holders and current and former military service members.
7. It’s a stunning venue! The 172-acre Governors Island in New York Harbor is car-free and home to public art installations, sport, and culture and a favorite among New Yorkers escaping the city for the weekend. There are unparalleled views to the New York City skyline and across to the Statue of Liberty, along with lovely grass lawns for picnicking and playing.
Governors Island is accessible by ferry from New York City. Photo courtesy of Jump Media.
8. There’s a ton to do in addition to watching the show. There’s a fabulous shopping village at the family-friendly event and a wide variety of food and refreshments on offer throughout the three-day show. The Adventures at Governors Island park has a zip-line, maze, climbing wall, and mini-golf. The Hills park is home to four sliders, including New York City’s longest slide at 57 feet. You can also tour the 200-year-old Castle Williams to learn about its storied past as a military fortress and army prison.
9. It’s an amazing riding lesson to sit and watch the schooling area at a LGCT and GCL event. When you get to watch the top riders in the world prepare to compete, you can learn so much.
10. Did we mention the free admission?!
By Molly Sorge/Jump Media