London calls for the world’s most prestigious showjumping spectacle

Posted at 8:06 AM, Aug 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-01 10:06:59-04

They have competed on Miami Beach, in the F1 pit lane next to Monaco harbour and in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, but the latest location for the world’s top show jumpers is the genteel surroundings of the Royal Hospital Chelsea on the banks of London’s River Thames.

The 14th stop of the Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT) takes place this weekend with title race hotting up.

Leader Pieter Devos can extend his 17-point advantage in the absence of second-ranked Daniel Deusser of Germany, but he will face stiff competition from third-placed Ben Maher, who will have the support from his home crowd.

Olympic gold medalist Maher is the reigning LGCT champion, but he in turn will face renewed rivalry with fellow Briton Scott Brash.

The pair have played out some great duels in London in previous years, with Brash looking for a hat-trick of wins in England’s capital.

In fact, there have been four British champions in the last five editions of the London event.

The star-studded line-up in London will include three members of the famous Whitaker family — Michael, Robert and William.

Also competing are the likes of former world No.1 Harrie Smolders, Chantilly winner Darragh Kenny and Australian star Edwina Tops-Alexander.

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Meanwhile, the race for the Global Champions League team event is also too close to call.

Miami Celtics head the standings by just four points from Shanghai Swans with the London Knights in third, three points further adrift.

The Royal Hospital Chelsea will once again provide a fitting host for the world class sport on display.

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The historic building looks over the River Thames and famously provides care for military veterans known as the Chelsea Pensioners. The venue also plays host to the luxury Chelsea Flower show every year.

The Global Champions Tour features 19 worldwide stops and culminates in the Prague Playoffs from November 21-24.