The world’s premier horses and riders will soon start arriving in one of the world’s great capital cities, London, for the 9th round of action on the Longines Global Champions Tour.
Set in the grounds of the historic Royal Hospital Chelsea – home of the much loved Chelsea Pensioners and location for the famous Chelsea Flower Show – the battle for the 2021 title Championship is set to reach fever pitch, as the top international riders on the planet lock horns with the best of British riders, including newly crowned Olympic Gold Medalist Ben Maher along with teammates Scott Brash, Holly Smith and Harry Charles.
The great duel between Scott Brash and Ben Maher will be played out at the prestigious venue and both are hungry to add another LGCT Grand Prix of London win to their accolades. In previous years, it has been a two-horse race to the finish, with Brash and Maher vying for the top spot in front of passionate home crowds who saw nerves jangle with excitement until the final fence.
Historically, the London event has seen five British winners in the six times it has been held but this year with six of the current Olympic Medalists present including Peder Fredricson, Laura Kraut, Henrik von Eckermann, Pieter Devos and Gregory Wathelet will an international superstar buck the trend and take a win on British soil?
With the top four contenders in the LGCT Championship race all present in London this weekend it is set to be a dramatic weekend of sport. The current overall ranking leader Sergio Alvarez Moya will be looking to capitalise on his tally of 158 points, and is certainly a strong contender this weekend – the rider clearly on form.
Edwina Tops-Alexander sits in a close second place with 152 points while their closest rivals will be Gold medalists, straight from their success at the Olympics Peder Fredricson and Ben Maher on 149 and 132 points respectively. They will also be fending off the likes of Christian Ahlmann, Jos Verlooy, Darragh Kenny, Eric Lamaze, Ludger Beerbaum, Nicola Philippaerts, Alberto Zorzi, Georgina Bloomberg, Spencer Smith, Niels Bruynseels, Michael Pender, Yuri Mansur, Christian Kukuk, Michael G Duffy, Max Kühner and Eve Jobs.
But the British riders will be out in force, with no less than three Whitakers competing in the CSI5* competitions – John, Robert and Ellen. They will be joined by Jodie Hall McAteer, Emily Moffitt, Guy Williams, Alexandra Thornton and Laura Renwick.
The UK has a strong equestrian community with millions of people riding and following the top British show jumpers as they compete around the world. The London event on the Longines Global Champions Tour calendar is the 14th event on the circuit, coming at a key stage in the 2019 season when the ranking battle will be at full throttle for a place in GC Prague Playoffs. Don’t miss a moment for this crucial leg of the Championship!