Down to the Wire races to deliver the latest Equine and Equestrian news to Counter-Canter Culture
Next year, Friday nights on the Longines Global Champions Tour will get a new look! For the first time in show jumping history, horses and riders will compete not as a national team or school team, but rather a club team along the same lines as professional football/soccer.
Club owners will field “star strikers” to flesh out their team of four horse and rider pairs to compete on Friday competitions at each event on the calendar, including London, Shanghai, Monaco, Paris and Doha.
Talking about this revolutionary new format, current LGCT ranking leader Ludger Beerbaum said: “I must say this is something really new, even for me with my experience,” and even speculated about his own future in the new format saying, “I don’t know if maybe I will end up as the team manager and not ride any more.”
Meanwhile Great Britain’s Olympic gold medallist Scott Brash, who won the Longines GCT Championship last year and could still win again this year, is looking forward to being a competitor in this new format.
“I think it is going to be really exciting for the viewers and the fans, and if an owner buys a club they are obviously going to want to have the best riders and horses in their club, so it opens up the market into buying and selling riders, and I think this becomes very interesting and strategic. If our sport can keep evolving, it can be spoken about and viewed along with the likes of golf, tennis and football.”
Watch the video below for an exclusive interview with Ludger Beerbaum and Scott Brash on the new club format, as well as their chances to win the LGCT this year. The winner will be determined at the final leg of the tour held at Al Shaqab in Doha, Qatar, from 13-15 November, where full details on the club format will also be revealed.