2020 Longines Global Champions Tour Doha To Kick Off In Style
- Updated: March 4, 2020
The first round of the 2020 Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT) – the world’s most popular show jumping series – opens tomorrow and hosts Qatar are ready to deliver a ‘spectacular’ show, top officials associated with the sport said.
“This is the 7th edition of the Longines Global Champions Tour that we are hosting in Qatar and this time we are glad to kick off the new season,” Omar Al Mannai, the Event Director, said yesterday.
“We are opening the season now. We used to host the last event of the LGCT series. We are looking forward to top shows from riders and horses this week,” Al Mannai added at a press conference attended by popular Belgian rider Nicola Philippaerts and LGCT and GCL President and Founder, Jan Tops.
“What’s so special about this week’s edition is that this is the first round of 2020. The LGCT battles starts right here in Qatar. The entire seasons takes off from here. Starting from Qatar means a lot to us,” Al Mannai said.
Last week, the same venue hosted the Commercial Bank CHI Al Shaqab, a five-star event where World No.3 Daniel Duesser bagged the Grand Prix trophy.
More than 40,000 fans turned up to watch the action live during the February 26-29 event.
Also Read- CHI Al Shaqab 2020 Event in Qatar
“It is one of the well-known events on the LGCT calendar. We are honoured to host this in Qatar,” he added.
The Qatar leg is one of 18 events to be held this year including the GC Prague Playoffs to be staged at the end of the year.
What started as a six-stop series in 2006 now has millions of fans around the world with LGCT events held around iconic locations like Miami, Madrid, Cannes, Monaco, Paris, London, Rome and New York.
Al Mannai said Doha takes great pride in being part of the LGCT series.
“The Longines Global Champions Tour started in Doha in 2008. In 2013 we started hosting LGCT here in Al Shaqab. LGCT is a tour that takes place all over the world, and of course it has boosted the sport all around the globe,” Al Mannai said.
“For us here in Doha, it’s incredible for riders, trainers, and so on to experience this kind of event. Besides that, the top sport of LGCT continues to attract new partners – local and international – to be part of this story here in Qatar and this is important for us as organisers and hosts.
“We had a little over 40,000 spectators attending over three days so we have really developed the event in that way too. We are looking forward to continue hosting this event in the future,” Al Mannai said.
LGCT and GCL President and Founder Tops, yesterday said at a pre-event press conference: “I think Al Shaqab is a unique place in the world, I don’t think there is a second place like this, they really think of everything. The public attendance is increasing every year, which is very nice to see. The whole place is picture perfect. We are excited to see all the teams battle for their places for the title and also the riders to try and qualify all season for the LGCT Super Grand Prix in Prague which is very prestigious to win.”
He added: “We had an incredible year in 2019. We had the play-offs, a new concept that had 250,000 people watching the riders live (in Prague). Our sport had great events in Stockholm and New York also. This year we have 18 stops and 16 teams competing in the Global Champions League. They will be battling for the team title. We have seen riders getting ready. Every rider has the possibility to win. They start in Shaqab this week.”
Belgian rider Philippaerts echoed Al Mannai’s sentiments when he praised the Longines Arena at Al Shaqab.
“For us as riders it’s an incredible place, we always look forward to coming back here. I think the best riders in the world have been coming already for many years here, the top 30 almost always come here,” Philippaerts said yesterday.
“The weather is good, the facilities are perfect, all the riders come here with their best horses. The event and venue is good preparation for this year’s Olympic Games as the weather and temperature is good for the horses’ acclimatisation, and there is a lot of space to work everywhere,” the 26-year-old added.
“It is an amazing circuit and all the best riders in the world love it.
“Everyone wants to win the title in the end. The top riders in the world are all here and we will see some nice sport this weekend,” he added.
5th March 2020
15:00 CSI 5* Two phases 1.45m (€25.400)
17:45 CSI 5* GCL of Doha Round 1 – 1.50/1.55m
(€55,000 to individual class winners)
Friday, March 6
09:00 National Accumulative 1.00/1.15m (QR10,000)
13:00 National Against-the-clock 1.20/1.30m
(QR20,000 – individual & QR20,000 – teams)
15:45 CSI 5* Against-the-clock 1.50m (€51,100)
19:30 CSI 5* Against-the-clock with jump-off
Saturday, March 7
09:55 National Against-the-clock 1.15/1.25m
12:15 National Against-the-clock 1.30/1.45m
14:45 CSI5* GCL of Doha Round 2 – 1.50/1.55m
18:15 CSI 5* Longines Global Champions Tour Grand
Prix of Doha – 1.60m (€375,000)