There was a distinct whiff of ‘horse’ wafting from Whitehall last week, as the Longines Global Champions Tour arrived on its eleventh leg, hosted in palatial splendour of the aptly titled Horse Guards Parade, London.
The world’s show jumping elite, including top home grown talent, Ben Maher, Nick Skelton, Peter Charles and Scott Brash, Longines Global Champions Tour winner in 2013, descended upon the capital to compete for the London title and a whopping cash prize of £360,000, one of the richest cash prizes in the show jumping world this year.
The Championship, consisting of CSI2* and CSI5* gives horses and riders at multiple levels the opportunity to showcase their skills in a truly International environment. As is the unpredictable nature of equestrian sport absolutely anything can happen which is why these events are just so exciting – you’ve got leaders of the sport competing alongside relative newcomers, men and women all competing on equal terms which in many other sports doesn’t happen.
This year’s London leg was no exception and the three day action culminated in a nail-biting four-horse jump off on Saturday, which saw Scot Brash take the crown and bank the £120,000 prize fund.
The success and appeal of the GCT series just goes to show the ever broadening appeal of equestrian sport in Britain and the world over, and with the World Equestrian Games just around the corner, I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next for this incredible sporting discipline.