Location: Once the success of the competition had been established, the International Jumping Riders Club began looking for a suitable location that had to be linked to an already successful international competition, taking place at the end of the year. Finding the right arena wasn’t easy; most events organizers were not open to new competitions and there was concern about which horses would then compete in the Grand Prix. Initially, Geneva seemed to provide the ideal solution and Alban Poudret and Pierre Genecand gave the IJRC Club full confidence.
They dedicated one entire evening of the Geneva competition to the Top Ten, and allowed the IJRC Club to organize everything as they wanted within their event. After the first editions, other orga- nisers expressed interest in hosting the Top Ten. The event became itinerant, with the aim of in-
creasing visibility for the Club, its goals and riders – who were all committed to working for the good of the sport.
Besides Geneva, Brussels, Paris, Stockholm have all hosted the Top Ten Final and many others com- petitions have expressed interest in providing a temporary home for the event.
The inaugural competition took place in Geneva and was held in the city for seven years in a row, from 2001-2007. 2010 marks the 10th anniversary of the popular competition and it is set to return to Geneva, after being held in Brussels and Paris in 2008 and 2009 respectively.
In 2013 Stockholm played host to the event.
Prize money: The Top Ten’s prize money has increased significantly year after year, but what makes this class spe- cial was best explained by Ludger Beerbaum, who, following the first edition said that he would have taken part even without a prize money, because of the competition’s special atmosphere – and because he felt he was doing something for the IJRC. The Club has special meaning for riders, who know that it always supports the athletes, whatever the necessity.
The International Portuguese rider, Luciana Diniz, who will take part in the Top Ten 2015 for the first time, had the same thought. Luciana first reaction when she qualified for the Top Ten Final class was as follows: “It is a dream come true. I will take part in this competition for the pleasure of doing it and not for the prize money.”
Image: Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum who won the trophy twice (2004 and 2006)