The third leg of the Longines Global Champions Tour is about to start. The championship race revs up in the Spanish capital of Madrid with a stunning world class field in contention for the ranking leadership.
Scott Brash, Eric Lamaze, Gerco Schroder, Ludger Beerbaum, Edwina Tops-Alexander, Christian Ahlmann, ranking leader Bassem Hassan Mohammed, Kent Farrington, Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, Roger-Yves Bost, Ben Maher, Marcus Ehning, Michael and John Whitaker and home rider Sergio Alvarez Moya will all be out to take the Grand Prix crown and assert themselves at the top of the ranking.
The gold-plated line up of competitors will ensure a knife edge battle in the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Madrid in the beautiful surroundings of the Club de Campo Villa de Madrid. With a total of €320,000 in Grand Prix prize money and €105,600 going to the winner.
After the early season Grand Prix showdowns in Miami Beach and Antwerp the competition on the circuit is already intense with the world’s top riders determined to dominate and take the coveted series title in November at the final leg in Qatar. With competition in Madrid starting on Friday May 1, there will be heavy scrutiny of the early qualifying classes to see which riders and horses are at the top of their game.
At 17:00 local time on Saturday all eyes will be on the first round of the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix and the entire competition will be streamed live on GCT TV.
The championship fight has already seen World No 2 Scott Brash take the lead after a blistering win in Miami Beach on Hello Sanctos. Then after the second leg in Antwerp, Belgium, last weekend the ranking leadership changed hands with Bassem Hassan Mohammed taking the top spot on points. Last year’s winner in Madrid Maikel van der Vleuten will be aiming for a double and Germany’s Marcus Ehning will be a major threat as he is bringing the magnificent Plot Blue.
British brothers Michael and John Whitaker are bound to be in determined spirit, with John’s top mount Argento bidding to repeat his excellent form from Madrid last year. Joining him in the stables is the newly crowned World No 1 ranked horse, Quickly de Kreisker, ridden by Moroccan Abdelkebir Quaddar, as well as three Olympic gold medal winning horses, Scott Brash’s Hello Sanctos, Tripple X now ridden by Canada’s Tiffany Foster, and the fantastic Vindicat W ridden by Jessica Springsteen.
For a full list of riders competing at LGCT Madrid click here.
As always this elegant country club on the edge of Madrid will be packed with families and tourists eager to watch Olympic sport in a great setting.
Photo: Stefano Grasso/LGCT