The Miami Beach Global Champions Tour is one of the first stages in a series of 20, during which the world’s best riders compete until the final competition takes place in Prague, Czech Republic at the end of November. Let’s take a closer look at a top-level sports championship, to which Longines, the famous Swiss watchmaking brand, is closely related.
(Source: Longines Global Tour)
Longines: a passion for horse-riding for many years
One has to go back to the end of the 19th century, in 1878 more precisely, to find the origins of Longines’ passion for equestrian sports. It was indeed at that time that the brand produced an engraved chronograph featuring a jockey and his horse. Three years later, the time recording device was adopted by horse lovers and quickly found its way to American racecourses. The great Swiss watchmaking brand has also been a partner in show jumping competitions since 1912.
Closely linked to horseback riding, the Longines brand is now an integral part of equestrian sports and includes flat racing, show jumping, dressage and endurance.
It was actually at the 2018 stage of the Longines Global Champions Tour in Miami Beach that the new Longines V.H.P. “Very High Precision” Conquest model was launched, featuring high precision, high technicality and a sporty look.
The Global Champions Tour (GCT)
The Global Champions Tour (abbreviated as GCT) is the most profitable private show jumping circuit in the world. It was created in 2005 by a famous Dutch show jumping rider who has become a key figure in the equestrian world: Jan Tops, also an Olympic team champion, coach and competition organiser. Nowadays, the Global Champions Tour is therefore chaired by Jan Tops and its godmother is Athina Onassis de Miranda, heir to the shipowner Aristotle Onassis. In 2018, half of the Global Champions Tour was sold to billionaire Frank McCourt, also owner of the French Olympique de Marseille (OM) football club.
In 2019, the Global Champions Tour includes 20 stages. It is reserved for the 30 best riders in the world, according to the Rolex world ranking.
The competitions, classified CSI5, are known to take place outdoors in magnificent locations, often new and spectacular sites, not usually used to hosting competitions, such as at the foot of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, for example.
The prizes awarded during the Global Champions Tour are substantial, with a total amount of 9 million euros, or 450,000 euros for each Grand Prix. The winner receives 100,000 euros, i.e. the highest prize in show jumping competition.
The Global Champions Tour is an annual competition whose final features the top 25 riders. The overall ranking is calculated according to their results. It is established as follows: 1st (40 points) ; 2nd (37 points), 3rd (35 points), 4th (33 points), 5th (32 points), 6th (31 points), 7th (30 points), 8th (29 points), 9th (28 points), 10th (27 points), 11th (26 points), 12th (25 points), 13th (24 points), 14th (23 points), 15th (22 points), 16th (21 points), 17th (20 points), 18th (19 points), 19th (12 points), 20th (11 points), 21st (10 points), 22nd (9 points), 23rd (8 points), 24th (7 points), 25th (6 points).
Since 2006, the winners have been: Ludo Philippaerts (2006, Belgium), Albert Zoer (2007, Netherlands), Jessica Kürten (2008, Ireland), Michel Robert (2009, France), Marcus Ehning (2010, Germany), Edwina Tops-Alexander (2011 and 2012, Australia), Scott Brash (2013 and 2014, UK), Luciana Diniz (2015, Brazil), Rolf-Göran Bengtsson (2016, Sweden), Harry Smolders (2017, Netherlands), Ben Mahler (2018, UK).
Global Champions Tour 2019
- February 28th – March 2nd : Doha, Qatar
- April 11th – 13th : Mexico City, Mexico
- April 18th – 20th : Miami Beach, United States
- May 3rd – 5th : Shanghai, China
- May 17th – 19th : Madrid, Spain
- May 30th – June 1st : Hamburg, Germany
- June 6th – 8th : Cannes, France
- June 14th – 16th : Stockholm, Sweden
- June 20th – 22nd : Estoril, Portugal
- June 27th – 29th : Monaco
- July 5th – 7th : Paris, France
- July 12th – 14th : Chantilly, France
- July 26th – 28th : Berlin, Germany
- August 2nd – 4th : London, United Kingdom
- August 9th – 11th : Valkenswaard, Netherlands
- September 6th – 8th : Rome, Italy
- September 12th – 14th : Ramatuelle-St Tropez, France
- September 20th – 22th : Montreal, Canada
- September 27th – 29th : New York, United States
- November 21st – 24th : Prague, Czech Republic
The Global Champions Tour in Miami Beach
On the American continent, it is in a mythical place that the Global Champions Tour will stop over from April 18 to 20, 2019, in Miami Beach on the east coast of the country. For the fifth consecutive year, horse lovers will be able to enjoy memorable moments and spectacular scenes from top riders against a backdrop of a vast ocean, palm trees and magnificent landscapes.
The Miami Beach competition is crucial, as it is one of the first races in which riders and their horses compete for valuable points towards the final. Two-time winner of this incredible equestrian event, the Australian rider, Edwina Tops-Alexander (Jan Tops’s wife) will face competitors that will certainly put her to the test.
From April 18th to 20th, 2019, in Miami, equestrian racing enthusiasts look forward to enjoying a high level of entertainment in a mythical and memorable place.