The following statement was released on May 25 from LGCT and GCL.
The Longines Global Champions Tour and GCL announces that the 2020 season will restart next year due to the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Photo by LGCT.
In these exceptional circumstances, it is not realistic to safely stage our global championship circuit this year. We must follow the laws of national governments and public health authorities, which change regularly and at short notice, having a major impact on international planning.
Restrictions on travel vary around the world, so not all riders will have the freedom to compete. There is also the risk of a second wave later this year, in the absence of a cure or vaccine, which further complicates logistical planning.
In this complex environment, the responsible decision is to start the Longines Global Champions Tour and GCL top-level show jumping championship series afresh in 2021.
Jan Tops, LGCT and GCL President, said: “We sincerely thank our event organizing partners, our Title Partner Longines, the GCL team owners and our partners around the world for their tremendous support and understanding. None of us could have foreseen the scale of this global emergency and the suffering so many people are going through. Our priority must continue to be the health and safety of our fans, our staff, the athletes and their teams and those living in the locations of our events. So it is with great regret we have decided to cancel the remaining shows this year. Now we must all pull together to build a positive future after the pandemic, adapting and adjusting to deliver incredible sport in 2021 and beyond.”
Neil Moffitt, Owner of the London Knights team which won the GCL championship two years’ running in 2018 and 2019, said: “As a Founding GCL Team Owner, this is the right decision as it is more important to maintain the integrity and quality of the League than to try to stage a few shows this year in this extremely challenging and uncertain environment. GCL is not a one-off event, it is a prestigious Championship with knock-out stages like the Champions League in Europe. We look forward to continuing our successful campaign in the seasons ahead.”
If it is permitted by the government in the Netherlands, several shows will take place behind closed doors later this year in Valkenswaard, which is a permanent facility where strict safety policies can be followed. In the meantime, LGCT and GCL is bringing fans worldwide weekly entertainment shows with top show jumping guests on The Insider at Home, Edwina Tops-Alexander’s 20Qs, In the Saddle, and Tips & Tricks; and re-living the fantastic highlights and replays of the blockbuster 2019 season all on GCTV here.