Valkenswaard, The Netherlands – August 14, 2020 – World class international show jumping will kick off in Valkenswaard in September with several top-level classes, including CSI 5* Grand Prix and two-round GCL team competition, with over €600,000 in total prize money.
The CSI 5* climax from 10 – 13 September will complete four fantastic weeks of equestrian sport including great opportunities for young talent with competitions for Young Horses, Young Riders and CSI 2* classes at the stunning Tops International Arena in the heart of Europe.
All the CSI5* sporting action will be streamed live on GCTV with entertaining expert commentary and analysis ensuring show jumping fans world-wide can follow their passion after missing the sport during the Covid-19 restrictions. The other competitions in August and September will be streamed live on topsinternationalarena.com
It is mandatory for anyone visiting the venue to register in advance and safety will be the top priority for visitors, riders, grooms, officials and staff at the venue. A full list of safety rules can be found here.
The four-week feast of show jumping will play out as follows:
– Dutch Championship of Dutch Young Horses 17 – 19 August: the best Dutch four, five, six and seven year-olds will compete. More information can be found here.
– Global Future Champions will take place from 28 – 30 August with a dedicated focus on promoting young riders in show jumping, which is a key mission for both Tops International Arena and the GCL where teams must have an U25 rider. Competitions for Children, Juniors, Pony Riders and U25 riders will give the next generation a unique opportunity to perform on a world class stage. More information can be found here.
– CSI2* and CSIYH1* will take place from 4 – 6 September and will offer two Longines Ranking classes and competitions for six and seven-year-olds to further promote and develop future talent in the sport. More information can be found here.
– The first 5* show jumping in The Netherlands since the Covid-19 restrictions will take place from 10 – 13 September, including the thrilling highlight competitions of the Global Champions Grand Prix of Valkenswaard and the GCL of Valkenswaard. CSI2* and CSIYH1* classes will also be featured at the state-of-the-art venue. The full show schedule can be found here.
A spokesman said: “Our goal is to continue to offer the opportunity to young riders around the world to develop their show jumping talent in incredible venues such as Tops International Arena. This is already a great success with GCL where teams must have U25 riders and we have seen strong performances as these young athletes develop at the top level. We are committed to creating a tradition for young riders and young horses to develop at our venues and to promote this important future generation for our sport.”
On Friday at 17:00 CET there will be a CSI5* qualifier with the 35 best combinations going through to the Grand Prix. The Global Champions Grand Prix of Valkenswaard will get underway on Saturday at 17:00 CET and there will be huge anticipation for the top-level CSI5* 1.60m competition. Courses in the beautiful 125m x 85m sand arena will be designed by Uliano Vezzani.
On Sunday all eyes will be on the high adrenaline GCL of Valkenswaard, which will be the first time all 16 teams will be able to test themselves at this level since the Covid-19 restrictions were imposed globally. The exciting CSI5* 1.55m team competition will kick off with Round 1 at 12:15 CET followed by Round 2 at 14:35 CET. It will provide a fascinating insight into how the team riders and horses have used the lockdown to focus on performance, fitness and strategy
Also on Sunday there will be a further chance for the top athletes to get into the swing of international CSI5* competitions rounding off a welcome return to top class show jumping.
The staging of the shows in Valkenswaard, The Netherlands, with great opportunities for young talent, will be a huge boost to the sport after several months of limitations on live sports events due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
With safety the number one priority, Tops International Arena continues to work closely with the Dutch authorities and the FEI governing body to ensure the event follows strict health protocols.
Jan Tops, President of Longines Global Champions Tour and GCL and Founder of Tops International Arena said: “We are pleased to be able to present live show jumping again for our fans around the world who will have missed seeing our fantastic sport. We are also delighted to be able to offer a wide range of opportunities for young riders and young horses and will continue to dedicate opportunities for the next generation.
“Safety will be our absolute top priority and we ask everyone visiting and participating to follow the strict rules which are published on our website and will be clearly displayed at the show ground. We all want to show that our sport can go ahead responsibly and professionally despite these challenging times.”
The full list of participants will follow shortly.
The Longines Global Champions Tour and GCL season will re-start in 2021 with a fantastic line up of events as individual stars and teams kick off their campaigns for championship domination.
Source: Press release from LGCT – Longines Global Champions Tour
Photos: © LGCT / Stefano Grasso