It’s set to be a magnificent weekend of top sport and entertainment, as a star-studded field head to the effortlessly chic destination of Paris for the 10th round of action in the Longines Global Champions Tour Championship. World Number 3 and defending LGCT Ranking leader Christian Ahlmann (GER) will be back for his 10th consecutive show on the calendar, and looking add to his tally of 209 points. As drop scores now come into play, Christian will battle to keep hold of his 40 point his lead over closest rivals, Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS) who is on 169 points and Rolf-Göran Bengtsson (SWE) who is on 160 points, both of whom will also be in Paris and hot on the heels of the leading German rider. Speaking in a recent press conference about his Championship title bid, Christian said; “It’s time to take the reins and jump clear again!”
The Longines Global Champions Tour – Longines Paris Eiffel Jumping will take place from the 1st – 3rd of July 2016 on the Plaine de Jeux de Bagatelle in the 16th arrondissement, an area of more than 3 hectares of greenery in Paris. The best riders in the world, including those within the French Team, and approximately 250 horses will attend the 10th leg of the Tour, one of the final competitions before take-off for Rio’s Olympic Games.
World Number 2 and leading French rider Simon Delestre (FRA) will be back in action for his home event, with the top show jumper looking for a strong result in front of a passionate local crowd. World Number 4 Pénélope Leprevost (FRA) and World Number 7 Kevin Staut (FRA) will join Simon in the French capital; both have won home LGCT Grands Prix, Penelope in Cannes in 2015 and Kevin in Paris in 2014, and will be looking for a repeat of their previous success. The legendary Roger-Yves Bost (FRA) will also compete on home turf, and Patrice Delaveau (FRA) makes his return to the Tour alongside Julien Epaillard (FRA), Adeline Hécart (FRA), Cédric Angot (FRA), Mathieu Billot (FRA) and Harold Boissonnet (FRA), ensuring the local fans will have plenty of heroes to cheer for over the weekend.
Defending LGCT Grand Prix of Paris winner Bertram Allen (IRL) will return to the city where he made history by being the youngest ever Tour Grand Prix winner, and hoping for a repeat of his win in 2015. He’ll be joined by legends of the sport Ludger Beerbaum (GER) – who has already won two Grands Prix this season alone – and John Whitaker (GBR). Reigning LGCT Champion of Champions Luciana Diniz (POR) will also be in France this weekend, and will battle it out amongst other top names such as Harrie Smolders (NED), Marco Kutscher (GER), Pius Schwizer (SUI), Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (GER), Scott Brash (GBR), Maikel van der Vleuten (NED) and Lauren Hough (USA).
The three day show jumping extravaganza will take place at the Plaine de Jeux de Bagatelle on the bank of the River Seine, with the very best horses and riders in the world ready to do battle on this stunning stage. There will be an impressive €594,600 on offer for CSI5* competitions over the course of the three day festival of sport, with the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Paris offering up a mighty €320,000 in prize money alone. Taking place on Saturday 2nd July at 16:30 local time, the stars of show jumping will take centre stage to battle it out, claiming valuable points of the overall LGCT rankings, and contesting to see who can claim the title from Bertram. The ground-breaking new Global Champions League team competition, will take place on Sunday 3rd July 18:15 local time, and will be a high-octane climax to a weekend of top sport, culture and gourmet experiences in Paris.
There will be top international riders from all corners of the globe at what promises to be an exciting round of action in the French capital. World class riders such as Marlon Zanotelli (BRA), Laura Renwick (GBR), Abdelkebir Ouadder (MAR), Cassio Rivetti (UKR), Jane Richard Philips (SUI), Jessica Springsteen (USA), Athina Onassis (GRE), Sheikh Ali Bin Khalid Al Thani (QAT), David Will (GER), Hans-Dieter Dreher (GER) and Georgina Bloomberg (USA) are just a few of the big names who will head to Paris to jump in front of anticipated crowds of fans.
Entertainment, including a special ‘Good Luck for Rio’ show on Sunday, will take place every day, ensuring there will be something for all the family, with a festival feel for spectators. On offer will be a live band, shows, art exhibitions, a food village with a wide selection of refreshments, the Longines merry-go-round plus a pony rides paddock for children. In partnership with the Mayor of Paris, the event will be completely free to the public once more, with a larger area and more grandstand space to welcome spectators and fans.
For a full rider list, please click here.