The Longines Global Champions Tour can announce a spectacular new venue at historic Horse Guards Parade Ground next summer. The world’s leading show jumping series will return to London at the new location of Horse Guards Parade Ground from 14-16 August 2014 when spectators will see the best riders competing for the highest prize money in the sport.
The BBC will be broadcasting live on two consecutive days of the event and the public will be able to watch the stars of the sport from ticketed grandstand seats and on a free big screen in beautiful St James’s Park, the oldest of London’s eight Royal Parks.
Horse Guards Parade Ground will be one of the most stunning venues for a top-level equestrian sports event. The site has been used for parades, pageants and ceremonies since the 17th century and is world famous for the Trooping The Colour on the Queen’s Birthday Parade. This unique venue will bring sport to the heart of the capital.
The Longines Global Champions Tour debut in London this year was watched live by almost one million people on the BBC and by another million show jumping fans worldwide on Eurosport. British Olympic team gold medallists Nick Skelton and Ben Maher battled for Grand Prix honours in one of the most exciting jump-offs in the sport's history.
There was a strong performance from the British riders this season, with Scott Brash winning the overall Championship and the final Grand Prix at the the last event of the series in Qatar. Michael Whitaker won the opening 2013 leg in Madrid and William Funnell claimed second place in both the Monte-Carlo and Cannes Grand Prix.
The flagship London leg of the Tour will have a strong connection to the military history of the site, with a special mounted display by the Household Cavalry and tickets for members of the Cavalry and their families. The event will also showcase some of the best of British brands to an international audience in the smart retail village on the showground.
Jan Tops, President of the Longines Global Champions Tour, said: “London is one of the world’s great capital cities and I am delighted to bring the world’s best riders to this unique site at Horse Guards Parade Ground. It is a privilege to stage the London event at this famous and iconic location. Spectators will be able to watch the best riders in the world up close, and we want to welcome people who are fans of show jumping and those who are new to the sport. I am sure this will be a great flagship event in the 2014 championship series.”
Penny Boyd, Head of Events and Filming at The Royal Parks, said: “We are looking forward to seeing GB Olympic medallists compete in the capital at one of The Royal Parks’ most iconic spaces. Having held the Beach Volleyball competitions on Horse Guards Parade Ground during the London 2012 Games, it is fantastic that we are once again able to host an international sporting event of this kind.”
London Organiser Peter Phillips said: “After the success of the 2013 Longines Global Champions Tour event at the Olympic Park, we were determined to make 2014 another success. It is a fantastic site and we are hugely honoured to hold our event there and we look forward to bringing the best show jumping series to the heart of London.”
A grandstand for 4,000 people with tickets starting from £20 for a full day will offer a great opportunity to see the stars of the sport up close, surrounded by Whitehall’s historic buildings. Advance tickets will go on sale early in 2014.