LGCT

Longines Global Champions Tour Ranking Battle Intensifies as Top Riders Head to Monaco

Top riders will turn up the heat on Christian Ahlmann (GER) in Monaco this weekend in a bid to close the gap on his formidable championship ranking lead. The race to be 2016 overall LGCT Champion of Champions will kick into a higher gear in the famous Principality as world class combinations descend on the breathtaking stage of Port Hercule.

Once again under the Patronage of His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco, top riders will soon be arriving to the spectacular venue for the 9th round of competition from the 24th – 26th June. The three-day feast of world-class show jumping alongside the world-famous harbour of Monte-Carlo will deliver fantastic entertainment for all as the Tour gallops into the second half of the season, and the best international riders and horses will descend on the Principality to face challenging technical courses in one of the smallest arenas on the Tour.

LGCT Ranking leader Christian Ahlmann (GER) will be in action once more, making this weekend his 9th consecutive event on the Tour’s calendar. With a comfortable tally of 209 points, the top German rider will be looking for a strong result in the iconic Monte-Carlo destination, as drop scores start to come into play during the latter half of the season. Leaping up the rankings after her win in Miami Beach and second place finish at the last event in Cannes, Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS) will also be in Monaco and hot on the heels of the leading rider. Currently in second on 143 points overall, the two-time LGCT Champion of Champions will be looking to close the gap to the German leader, and continue her battle to write history by taking a hat trick of titles. On 132 points overall in third is young gun and Irish star Bertram Allen (IRL), who has always performed well in fast paced, imitate arenas which demand agility, forethought and bravery.

Fifth place man and Olympic Champion Rolf-Göran Bengtsson (SWE), who has been so consistent on the Tour so far will also be in Monaco and looking to shoot up the rankings with a strong performance. Right behind him and just five points away sits Daniel Bluman (COL), who has been on the podium twice this year (Hamburg and Chantilly), and the legendary John Whitaker (GBR) who currently sits 8th on the overall LGCT Rankings.

Fellow top British rider Scott Brash (GBR) will head back to Monaco where he won in 2015 with Hello M’Lady. Fresh from his Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Cannes win, this time with Hello Forever, the former World Number 1 and LGCT Champion of Champions will be hoping the smallest arena on the circuit will once again favour the brave. He’ll be joined by compatriot Laura Renwick (GBR), and Ireland’s Denis Lynch (IRL), who also comes fresh from a recent CSI5* win in Cannes.

Nestled between the Formula One pit lane and the beautiful harbour setting, the LGCT of Monaco is undoubtably one of the jewels in the crown of the Tour. The enchanting Riviera location and luxurious facilities at the Monaco event combine to deliver a stunning experience for families, VIPs, sponsors, owners and riders. Monaco, which also plays host to Formula One and ATP Masters tennis, is a hub of sport with many high-profile fans in attendance. Over the years, HH Prince Albert II of Monaco and members of the Royal Family have joined business leaders and celebrities to cheer on the riders.

2014 history maker, Bassem Hassan Mohammed (QAT) will also return to the Tour destination where he became the first Qatari rider ever to win a Grand Prix, following a stunning ride with his bay mare Victoria. The USA will have a strong showing once more, with Lauren Hough (USA), Jessica Springsteen (USA), Audrey Coulter (USA), Georgina Bloomberg (USA) and Kimberly Prince (USA) all in action for this round of competition.

There will be a wealth of young talent on show, with Nicola Philippaerts (BEL), Jos Verlooy (BEL), Gonzalo Anõn Suarez (ESP), Lisa Nooren (NED), Philip Houston (GER), Kevin Jochems (NED) and Hamad Al Attiyah (QAT) all battling it out for the top spot. With the likes of Emanuele Gaudiano (ITA), who took bronze in the Grand Prix of Monaco last year, Pius Schwizer (SUI), Jérôme Query (BEL), David Will (GER), Pilar Cordon Muro (ESP), Pieter Devos (BEL), Jane Richard Philips (SUI), and Brazil’s Marlon Zanotelli (BRA), it’s set to be another electric atmosphere as fans and VIPs watch spectacular top sport and entertainment.