Miami, Fla. - The groundbreaking venue of Miami Beach will see a tantalizing lineup of the stars of show jumping as top sport plays out over three days on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. The venue on America's East Coast is one of the most spectacular in the sport and sets a dazzling stage for the second leg of the 2018 circuit from April 5-7 with free entry for spectators each day.
Fresh from his LGCT Grand Prix of Mexico City win and back in action this week will be Olympic gold medalist Scott Brash (GBR), who also won the inaugural LGCT Miami Beach back in 2015. He'll be hoping to carry through the momentum of his recent success, however will face the challenges of previous Miami Beach winners Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS) and Jérôme Guery (BEL), who won in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
American fans will have plenty to cheer for with an exciting lineup of hometown heroes. U.S. athletes Laura Kraut, Jessica Springsteen, Margie Goldstein-Engle, Beezie Madden, Jennifer Gates, Georgina Bloomberg and Lauren Hough will all be looking for a home turf win, and an extra boost from their home fans, as they compete against the top international riders in show jumping.
With just three points difference in the overall LGCT rankings, Brash will want to widen the gap between the high-caliber field behind him in his quest for a third LGCT title. Hot on his heels will be Alberto Zorzi (ITA), Daniel Deusser (GER) and Eric Lamaze (CAN) - all within seven points of Brash and hungry to knock the two-time LGCT champion off the top of the rankings and propel themselves into the lead as the 2018 season picks up pace.
With the world's best riding just meters from the Atlantic Ocean, the second leg of the championship promises an edge-of-your-seat weekend of top sport. The game changing venue of LGCT Miami Beach has become one of the most spectacular show jumping destinations in the world, with fans flocking to the sands to see their heroes up close, while hundreds of thousands more will be tuning in to the live stream online. From all over the world, riders and horses have flown in to the high-profile U.S. destination, with the American stop on the 16-leg championship undoubtedly one of the most highly sought-after.
Big names hoping for the chance to add the LGCT Grand Prix of Miami Beach win to their accolades include Christian Ahlmann (GER), Marcus Ehning (GER), Lorenzo de Luca (ITA), Ben Maher (GBR), Nicola Philippaerts (BEL), Olivier Philippaerts (BEL), Michael Whitaker (GBR), Bertram Allen (IRL), Simon Delestre (FRA), Roger-Yves Bost (FRA), Maikel van der Vleuten (NED), Pius Schwizer (SUI), Sergio Alvarez Moya (ESP), Jane Richard Philips (SUI) and Gerco Schröder (NED), who brings back famous stallion Glock's London after a long period out of the sport.
As well as winning the €300,000 LGCT Grand Prix of Miami Beach, riders are also fighting for a golden ticket to the GC Prague playoffs, where each individual winner will earn a place in the Longines Global Champions Super Grand Prix - the ultimate face-off in December where the season's winning riders will battle for the lion's share of €1.25 million.
So far, Brash is the only rider to secure his place in the final showdown, but who will join him after this weekend in Miami Beach?
Tune in via GC TV and on Facebook live to watch all of the drama unfold. For a full schedule, please click here.
For the full riders list, please click here.
For more information on the Longines Global Champions Tour, please click here.