Prague, Czech Republic – November 11, 2022 – Anticipation is building for the 2022 GC Prague Playoffs [17-20 November], with riders touching down in the Czech Republic capital today.
The world’s best show jumping athletes are going head-to-head, leaving everything on the line to fight for a podium finish in the €1,250,000 Longines Global Champions Tour Super Grand Prix CSI 5* and the €6,850,000 GCL Super Cup presented by Air Bank.
Revealed today, the official riders list for the hotly contested and much anticipated GC Prague Playoffs is full of the heavyweight equine and human athletes of the sport, who approach the event ready to raise the roof and compete for the €8 million prize pool on offer for the final event of 2022.
Treated to four days of world-class sport, fans and spectators from around the world have the GCL knockout quarter and semi-final stages on Thursday and Friday to look forward to, right through to the intense Final on Sunday. Strategies are in full swing as to rider and horse representation throughout the event with the aim of positioning teams for the best possible chance of taking out the GCL Super Cup.
From home-grown heroes to international superstars, the GC Playoffs will see the big guns of the sport contending the LGCT Super Grand Prix as individuals, and the GCL Super Cup as valued members of the team.
At the GC Prague Playoffs, the 16 teams can lean on their strategies and are able to have four riders represent the team over the event, with three riders competing in every round meaning no drop scores. Teams will be anchored by big guns such as Martin Fuchs (SUI), Maikel van der Vleuten (NED), Jur Vrieling (NED), Jérôme Guéry (BEL), Gregory Wathelet (BEL), Beth Underhill (CAN), Philipp Weishaupt (GER), John Whitaker (GBR), Peder Fredricson (SWE), Spencer Smith (USA), Niels Bruynseels (BEL), Evelina Tovek (SWE) and 2022 LGCT Champion of Champions, Ben Maher (GBR).
Five of the 16 teams have opted for three rider representatives, including 2022 third place getters the Prague Lions, who already have secured their ticket into the GCL Super Cup Semi Finals. Others heading in with the bold strategy and leaving no room for error include the Cannes Stars, Istanbul Sultans, London Knights and New York Empire.
Throughout the 2022 season, a prestigious golden ticket to the €1,250,000 Longines Global Champions Tour Super Grand Prix has been at the forefront of rider’s minds. With 15 title challengers to the high-stakes title looking to replicate their form from the preceding 2022 season, they will face two challenging 1.65m tracks under the impressive O2 arena in Prague on Saturday night [19 November], set to provide a phenomenal evening of world class show jumping.
Vying for a place on the podium, the golden ticket winners are Christian Ahlmann (SWE), Marlon Módolo Zanotelli (BRA), Max Kühner (AUT), Michael Pender (IRL), Harrie Smolders (NED), Sanne Thijssen (NED), Ludger Beerbaum (GER), Christian Kukuk (GER), Malin Baryard-Johnsson (SWE), Daniel Deusser (GER), Denis Lynch (IRL), Pieter Devos (BEL), McLain Ward (USA), Katrin Eckermann (GER), and reigning World Champion Henrik von Eckermann (SWE).
Young talent has been on an all time high throughout the 2022 season, including winner of the LGCT Madrid Grand Prix, Sanne Thijssen (NED), impressive winner of both the LGCT Grand Prix of Valkenswaard and Riyadh, Michael Pender (IRL), as well as home grown hero Anna Kellnerová (CZE). They will be riding alongside international young-guns Michael G Duffy (IRL), Jack Whitaker (GBR), Jodie Hall McAteer (GBR), Mike Kawai (JPN), Gilles Thomas (BEL), Sara Vingralkova (CZE), Ioli Mytilineou (GRE) and Zoé Conter (BEL) on the world stage at the GC Prague Playoffs.
With back-to-back entertainment, an electric atmosphere and four days of thrilling show jumping, spectators from near and far are promised an event to be enjoyed by the whole family.
Source: Press Release from LGCT – Longines Global Champions Tour
Photos: © LGCT – Stefano Grasso