Vilamoura takes the lead as the capital of European equestrian sport

Vilamoura takes the lead as the capital of European equestrian sport

Luis Sabino Gonçalves / Goran Imperio Egipcio

“The top of the tops” of the equestrian world are already competing in the Vilamoura Champions Tour – “Champions are born here”

The arenas of the Vilamoura Equestrian Centre are on fire with the international show jumping competition of the Vilamoura Champions Tour 2017 where the best riders of the world will compete until the 18th October.

António Moura – Event Director

“Starting today, with the Champions Tour, Vilamoura becomes the number one destination for the equestrian show jumping sport”, says the event director, António Moura, stating that there is no other place in Europe with such a level of competitions as we have here.

The show gathers more than 600 horses, 280 riders (professionals and amateurs) from more than 25 countries, such as Australia, Spain, Belgium, Canada, United States of America, Colombia, Egypt, Slovakia, Germany, Nederland, Great Britain, France, Denmark, Canada, Italy, Ukraine, Brazil and obviously the home nation Portugal.

Luís Sabino Gonçalves, currently one of Portugal’s top riders, highlighted the quality of the arenas and courses, and also the hospitality given to all participants in the show, in addition to that, for many people it represents a time of preparation for the next season and to develop some horses.

As the person in charge since 1998 of Vilamoura equestrian shows organisation, António Moura´s goals are to keep increasing the level of the shows in Vilamoura, offering higher prize moneys, continuous improvement of the existing arenas and building new ones, but mainly to build fixed structures, allowing to keep on organizing activities from September to June (low season of the Algarve), and most off all, providing a better stay and comfort to all the stakeholders.

“The big challenge is to transform the temporary infrastructures into permanent ones”, he stated.

The idea of enhancing the Vilamoura Equestrian Centre and the events during the low season meets the goals of Câmara Municipal de Loulé (Municipality of Loulé), RTA – Região de Turismo do Algarve (Algarve Tourist Board) and Vilamoura World (ex-Lusort), who were present in the launching of the event.

“This approach to an equestrian program spread along four or five months of the year will definitely make a difference to avoid this region seasonality,” said the Chairman of RTA, Desidério Silva.
This event will bring to the Algarve over 2000 people, including riders, guests, officials, vets, grooms and organisation staff, who will turn Vilamoura into their homes during this month. Moreover, the organisation is expecting around six thousand visitors during the show.

From 2015 to 2017 the event doubled the number of competitors and for example this year the show was fully booked one month before the kick-off.

António Moura’s organisation, estimates that the Vilamoura Champions Tour will bring an economic return of approximately 4 to 5 million euros per week, making a total of 20 million euros for the whole show.

Furthermore, this economic return has great impact in the local economy, fulfilling the aims of both the municipality and RTA, turning the Vilamoura Equestrian events into successful case studies.
With a total prize money of 538.000 euros, this tour is highlighted with four 3-star Grand Prix´s, all of them qualifiers for the next World Championships (WEG) in 2018, and also 15 competitions counting for the World Ranking.

The Vilamoura Champions Tour is sponsored by Caixa de Crédito Agrícola, Inframoura, Turismo de Portugal/Algarve, Câmara Municipal de Loulé and Microprocessador.
It also has the support of: Hotel Hilton Vilamoura, , Anantara , Tivoli Hotels, Inframoura, Cegonha Country Club,, and Hertz.

Winners of today: (Studbook | Sex | Age | Sire x Dam Sire | Owner)

1,30m – (GBR) George Whitaker – Cream Caramel (OLD | Gelding | 12yo | Canabis x Carthago | Vlock Show Stables)
1,35m – (POR) Luís Sabino Gonçalves – Goran Império Egípcio (BWP | Gelding | 11 yo | Cicero Z x Littorio | Equivarandas)
1,45m LR – (POR) Hugo Cardoso Tavares – Phebus du Fief (SF | Gelding | 14 yo | Echo des Forets II | Prince IG’OR | Carlos Silva Tavares )

Full results HERE

Categories: News, Show Jumping