World Class Field for debut LGCT Mexico City
A truly international field of world class riders will shortly be arriving in Mexico City for the second round of action in the 2016 Longines Global Champions Tour season. Six of the world’s top ten riders will compete at the new addition to the Tour, as well as providing new opportunities for local Mexican riders to compete on a world class stage.
Yesterday the latest spectacular venue for the Tour calendar was introduced with excitement mounting ahead of the launch of the Longines Global Champions Tour of Mexico City. The high altitude venue at 2,250 metres above sea level compared to 1.2 metres at the previous venue in Miami Beach, and the beautiful vast grass arena will be a dramatic new showcase for show jumping.
Speaking at the Palacio de Hierro, LGCT President Jan Tops said: “I want to thank everyone in this partnership who has worked so tirelessly to bring this magnificent top level sport to Mexico City.” Mr Tops also spoke about the newly launched Global Champions League team competitions with the second leg in Mexico City. He said: “It is a new concept with a team format that has never been seen before with top riders from different countries united to compete on the same team. We will see tactical battles at all 15 events this year around the world which will be very exciting for our fans.”
Veteran Mexican show jumper Federico Fernandez also joined the press conference along with Oxer Sport CEO Alvaro Arrieta Konyay who spoke of his pride at the event finally becoming a reality and thanked partner Promo Mexico. Silversmith Tane, the luxury brand which has made the magnificent silver and marble trophy for Mexico City, also joined the launch event. Creative Director Nino Bauti said he was inspired to create something special to reflect the beauty of the sport.
Also present was double LGCT champion Edwina Tops-Alexander who has just won the Grand Prix in Miami Beach. Edwina said: “It’s a privilege to be here as a rider, I am very happy to be here. It wasn’t a difficult trip for the riders or the horses from Miami. I know what it takes to put these shows together – I live and breathe it with Jan. It takes a lot of effort and can be difficult, but it is worth it.” Edwina’s aptly named GP winning horse Lintea Tequila was triumphant in Miami and Edwina said: “Hopefully Lintea Tequila likes Mexico!”
Mexico City will feature 5* and 2* competitions and both Jan and Edwina said the top horses can excel at the variety of locations on the circuit where jumping is in hot and cool temperatures, day and night and on small and big grass and sand arenas.
Last weekend’s opening Longines Global Champions Tour of Miami Beach saw spectacular sport as Edwina Tops-Alexander threw down the gaunlet to the rest of the field after a spell-binding win with her plucky mare Lintea Tequila. Edwina will be in action in Mexico City alongside third place ranked LGCT rider and world number two Christian Ahlmann (GER) who will be looking to close the five point gap between them.
Also in attendance will be Sheikh Ali Bin Khalid Al Thani (QAT) who sits 5th in the rankings, as well as Maikel van der Vleuten (NED) and Kevin Staut (FRA) who are currently 6th and 7th. All will be looking to capitalise on their early top ten positions on the 2016 LGCT Championship battle as the Tour season begins to unfold.
Top riders include world number three Scott Brash (GBR), world number six Kent Farrington (USA), plus world number seven, eight and nine in the form of Gregory Wathelet (BEL), Bertram Allen (IRL) and Kevin Staut (FRA) respectively. Also in attendance will be rising star Jessica Mendoza (GBR), compatriot Olympic gold medallist Ben Maher (GBR), legend of the sport Rolf-Göran Bengtsson (SWE), CSI5* of Miami Beach winner Daniel Deusser (GER), Steve Guerdat
(SUI), Emanuele Gaudiano (ITA), Jane Richard Philips (SUI) and John Whitaker (GBR).