The gladiators of show jumping will descend on the world famous port of Antwerp from 22nd to 25th April for the second leg of the 2015 Longines Global Champions Tour series.
A heavyweight turnout of eight out of the Top 10 riders in the world, World, Olympic and European champions, will be in contention at the dramatic port setting in this historic and fashionable Belgian city.
The mission will be to halt the early runaway success of 2013 and 2014 Tour champion Scott Brash, of Great Britain. Scott and his Olympic gold medal-winning Hello Sanctos, have already chalked up a stunning victory at the opening leg of this season in Miami Beach putting them on top of the Longines Global Champions Tour rankings with 40 points.
The battle between Scott and new World No1 Daniel Deusser will be intriguing as the two young guns square up for the €300,000 Grand Prix on Saturday evening. They will face a determined challenge from Qatar’s on form Bassem Hassan Mohammed who is on 37 points just behind Scott in the Tour rankings and Belgian rider Pieter Devos who has 35 points after the Miami Beach opener.
The lively home crowd expected in Antwerp will no doubt be cheering on the local stars including Pieter, Gregory Wathelet, Constant van Paesschen and Gudrun Patteet. The event will be staged at an impressive new venue, the Cockerillkaai (Cockerill Quay), along the grand River Scheldt with extra facilities for spectators, VIP guests and competitors. Last year over 20,000 spectators and guests witnessed a thrilling Grand Prix, which was won by American rider McLain Ward (pictured above).
With the standard of competition soaring ever higher each season, there will be no room for error in the closely fought 1.60m Longines Global Champions Tour of Antwerp Grand Prix. Leading riders from France, Germany, Switzerland, the United States, Ireland and Qatar will be represented along with top names from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Sweden, Portugal, Spain and the UK.
After the opening leg on the sands of Miami Beach earlier this month, where swimmers and tourists joined spectators in scenes never before witnessed in show jumping, the circuit hits Antwerp, Madrid and then Shanghai, China, before a fast and furious whistle-stop tour around Europe during the summer months.
For full riders list click here.
The Longines Global Champions Tour was founded in 2006 by Dutch Olympic Team Gold medallist Jan Tops. The series attracts the top ranked riders in the world who compete for ranking points and the highest prize money in the sport. World-class sport in breathtaking locations has become the hallmark of the Longines Global Champions Tour experience. All of the 2015 season’s exciting Grand Prix action will be broadcast on Eurosport and BeIN Sports or can be viewed live on GCT TV at globalchampionstour.com.