Doha set to host electrifying Longines Global Champions Tour opening leg

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2024-02-28 | Since 4 Month

The press conference

Doha, 28 February 2024 - For the sixth year running, Doha is ready to open the Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT) and the Global Champions League (GCL) equestrian season with elite riders from across the world gearing up for the thrilling opening leg at state-of-the-art Al Shaqab this weekend.

Once again, the three-day Doha meeting, which will kick off tomorrow has lured big names aiming for the LGCT Grand Prix of Doha title on Saturday.

Last year’s LGCT Championship runner-up, Maikel van der Vleuten of the Netherlands along with Sweden’s World No.1 Henrik von Eckermann besides former Grand Prix of Doha winners Denis Lynch (IRE), Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS) and Niels Bruynseels (BEL) are among the top riders featuring in the event.

Doha is hosting a major equestrian event for the second consecutive week after staging the CHI Al Shaqab, which saw Malin Baryard-Johnsson, astride H&M Indiana bagging the CSI5* 1.60m CHI Al Shaqab - Grand Prix presented by Longines. The Swedish star is also among the stellar line-up for this weekend.

The new season was officially opened at a press conference held at Al Shaqab.

Australia's Olympic showjumper Edwina Tops-Alexander; Sport Director of the Longines Global Champions Tour Marco Danese; Event Director Mohammed Jaber Al Khayarin; LGCT Founder & President Jan Tops; and Protocol & Public Relations Manager Dr. Fahad Al Hajri, at the launch press conference at Al Shaqab yesterday.

“We are proud to host the best horses, riders and equestrian enthusiasts from all over the world to participate in this global competition, which also complies with the Qatar National Vision 2030 to modernise whilst preserving heritage, traditions and values, and urging our society to engage in equestrian sports,” said Event Director Mohammed Jaber Al Khayarin.

“This year’s LGCT and Global Champions League season tour will take place across some of the most iconic nations and venues in the world, including Paris, London, New York; and to have Qatar as the stage for the electrifying opening leg, is nothing short of extraordinary for us. The LGCT Tour of Qatar signifies a milestone, elevating our nation’s status as a premier destination for world-class equestrian competitions. This collaboration underscores our unwavering dedication to promoting excellence in sport while providing an unparalleled experience for both participants and spectators alike.”

Event Sports Director, Jan Tops said: “Qatar has been an incredible partner of the Longines Global Champions Tour and GCL for many years now. We are immensely grateful for their support in making this year’s LGCT Championship possible and for their continued commitment to equestrian sport. The country’s equestrian roots and heritage is well-known to all and to us, to have the championship kick start in Doha as the first leg could not be more perfect. We take immense pride in upholding a standard of excellence and Al Shaqab has met them outstandingly every year.”

Sports Director of the Longines Global Champions Tour and GCL Marco Danese hailed the world class facilities at Al Shaqab.

“Every year the venue here in Doha gets better and better. The facilities here in Al Shaqab are considered one of the best in the world not only for the horses, owners, and grooms but spectators and stakeholders as well. Now it is a tradition to start here in Doha and we have huge quality of riders and horses so we start the season with high expectations,” he said.

Edwina, who also spoke at the press conference, was excited ahead of the season opener.

“Competing in Doha is always a highlight of the season. The level of competition and the electrifying atmosphere make it a truly unforgettable experience. The competition on the tour is getting stronger and stronger, the riders are really fighting to be strong from the first show and put pressure on the rest of the riders and teams,” she said.

This year’s competition is supported by the Presenting Partner, Longines, and Main Sponsor, ExxonMobil Qatar. The event’s additional supporters are Rixos Gulf Hotel Doha (Hospitality Partner) SOCAST (Exclusive Social Media Partner), Saleh Al Hamad Al Mana.Co (Transportation Partners), Equine Veterinary Medical Center (Official Veterinary Partner), and Aspetar (Official Medical Partner).

The 16-stop 2024 LGCT and GCT season, offering more than €36m in prize money, will take place in 14 countries in Asia, Europe and the Americas.

As many as 40 horse and rider combinations will enter the LGCT Grand Prix title race in each leg targeting maximum points with the final meet scheduled in Abu Dhabi in October. The GCL features 16 teams, who will be vying for the 2024 crown.


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