Valkenswaard, The Netherlands – September 08, 2020 – The stars of show jumping will return to top-level sport this weekend at the spectacular Tops International Arena, Valkenswaard, in a thrilling three days of CSI 5* action. We are pleased to announce today that 22 out of the Top 30 riders on the Longines Ranking will compete, despite the difficult times for organising top-level competitions.
With €600,000 in total prize money, the first CSI 5* competitions in The Netherlands since the lockdown will take place from 10-13 September, featuring the €300,000 GC Grand Prix of Valkenswaard CSI 5* Presented by TENNOR and GCL of Valkenswaard Presented by Stal Tops. These will be two standalone competitions giving individual riders and teams a unique opportunity to perform at the top-level since the sport was impacted by Covid-19.
The high calibre turnout of show jumping’s top riders follows three weeks of thrilling competitions for young riders and young horses at the superb venue. The impressive line up includes Christian Ahlmann (GER), Gregory Wathelet (BEL), Martin Fuchs (SUI), Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS), Olivier Philippaerts (BEL), Peder Fredricson (SWE), Scott Brash (GBR), Jessica Springsteen (USA), Julien Epaillard (FRA), Ludger Beerbaum (GER) and LGCT Grand Prix of Doha 2020 winner Daniel Deusser (GER). Riders will be competing for top honours in the immaculate sand arena in the heart of Europe.
All 5* competitions, including the €300,000 GC Grand Prix of Valkenswaard Presented by TENNOR, will count for Longines Ranking points.
Equestrian fans around the world will be able to follow their favourite riders and horses on GCTV each day with spectacular scenes from the immaculate sand competition arena at the venue in the heart of Europe. Darragh Kenny (IRL), who will be riding for the GCL team Paris Panthers and individually, said “It’s fantastic to have a 5* show again, we have been working towards this show and we really appreciate the opportunity to be able to get the horses out competing at the top of the sport again. Tops International Arena is always a great place to compete, the standard of competition is always extremely high and the facilities for the horses especially are amazing.”
GCL New York Empire team rider Denis Lynch (IRL) said “We’re absolutely really looking forward to it, we’ve been working towards this competition and building towards it as soon as we knew Jan was organising it. It’s incredible commitment to the sport from him and the whole team to put on a show like this at this time. I’ll be riding for New York Empire [in the GCL of Valkenswaard Presented by Stal Tops] and I’m really looking forward to that. It’s a fantastic venue, a great arena, the permanent stables are great, it’s just amazing.”
Dani G. Waldman (ISR), who will be on the St Tropez Pirates squad and riding individually, said “These are bizarre and unprecedented times so the fact that Tops is running the first 5* in the Benelux since the pandemic began is wonderful. Our sport needs as much support as we can get at the moment and there is no better venue to host top sport than Tops International Arena. Not only is the venue beautiful but it’s horse friendly, great to work out of and the arena is huge!”
Fans will not want to miss the high adrenaline show jumping action, featuring this great field of show jumping stars. The GC Grand Prix of Valkenswaard Presented by TENNOR will take place at 16:30 CET on Saturday 12 September and the two-round GCL of Valkenswaard Presented by Stal Tops will take place at 12:00 CET (round 1) and 14:15 CET (round 2) on Sunday 13 September. The full schedule can be found here.
All the action will be streamed live on GCTV throughout the event with expert commentary from Frederik de Backer for the feature classes on Saturday and Sunday.
Source: Press release from LGCT – Longines Global Champions Tour
Photos: © LGCT / Stefano Grasso