Riesenbeck, Germany – July 20, 2023 –Out of the Top 10 on the current Longines Global Champions Tour ranking, all riders will compete in Riesenbeck International this week for the 11th stage of the season, at the home of Ludger Beerbaum. The largest ring of the season seems to be a fitting stage for the Titans to clash and for the title race to further unfold.
Championship anticipation reaches its peak as the world’s highest-ranked riders gear up to face off in a thrilling showdown at Riesenbeck International. Hosting the Longines Global Champions Tour for the first time, the event will witness an extraordinary gathering of the top 10 ranked championship contenders.
The weekend promises to be an exhilarating event with its vast and majestic arena, providing the ideal stage for these equestrian titans to showcase their incredible talent and skill. Spectators are in for a treat as they witness a fierce battle of precision, speed, and finesse as these remarkable riders compete for the coveted championship title.
The current Longines Global Champions Tour ranking features an exceptional lineup of accomplished athletes, each with their unique accomplishments and strengths. Among the elite contenders are:
1) Maikel van der Vleuten (NE) – A force to be reckoned with, Maikel has consistently delivered over the season. Leading the pack by over 50 points he is a formidable contender to finally get his hands on the overall season title.
2) Christian Kukuk (GER) – Competing this weekend at his home show, Kukuk has all to play for with only having to improve on his score of 0.2 points from Madrid to add to his tally.
3) Simon Delestre (FRA) – The Frenchman has recorded just 6 results on the tour this season. With the best 8 counting, he can easily close the gap on van der Vleuten, who needs a 22nd-place finish in Riesenbeck to improve his 8th-best championship score.
4) Malin Baryard-Johnsson (SWE) – After a shock elimination last weekend in A Courna, Malin only has 7 scores counting at the moment so if guaranteed to improve her score if she qualifies for the LGCT Grand Prix this week.
5) Henrik von Eckermann (SWE) – World number one has the horsepower to rocket to the top of the leaderboard this season. Taking it steady and playing the consistent game, how will be tackle this week’s track?
6) Harrie Smolders (NED) – The 2017 LGCT Champion occupies 6th place at the moment, but just like Epaillard, he has only recorded 5 LGCT Grand Prix results. His points per stage average is the highest of all riders and with Bingo du Parc, Monaco NOP and Uricas van de Kattevennen he has 3 Grand Prix horses in his stable that have jumped clears already, making him alongside Delestre the man with the most firepower.
7) Julien Epaillard (FRA) – Epaillard has recorded just 5 results in the LGCT Grand Prix so far, 1 less than Delestre and 3 less than the man from the lowlands. Ranked just 7th on the standings, the 2-time LGCT Grand Prix winner this season has the 2nd highest points per stage average – higher than van der Vleuten – he needs to get it spot on when coming to London, Rome and Riyadh if he has the ambition to become the first Frenchman since Michel Robert to win the title.
8) Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS) – Two-time LGCT Champion, Edwian is aiming to match Ben Maher’s record that he set last year and become the second person to win 3 championships.
9) Pieter Devos (BEL) – Finishing second in the Championship is a feeling Devos knows too well. All roads this year lead to him finally getting that top spot.
10) Abdel Saïd (BEL) – Rounding off the top 10 is the Belgium rider Said. Over 100 points behind Maikel, everything will need to fall into place this weekend if he wants to be on the podium at the end of the year.
As the championship contenders gather in Riesenbeck, the excitement in the equestrian community reaches a crescendo. Spectators, sponsors, and enthusiasts alike eagerly await the unfolding of events as these riders embark on a journey to etch their names in the annals of show jumping history.
Join us at Riesenbeck International this week and witness the clash of the titans, as the Longines Global Champions Tour reaches new heights of equestrian excellence. It is an event not to be missed!
Source: Press Release from LGCT – Longines Global Champions Tour
Photo: © LGCT – Longines Global Champions Tourb