29th April - At the City Hall of Madrid, it has been officially presented the 104 International Showjumping  of Madrid. This is the second consecutive year that this event belongs to the most important equestrian circuit in the world, the Longines Global Champions Tour. During the ceremony, the Mayor of Madrid, Mrs. Ana Botella, the President of the Club de Campo Villa de Madrid – Mr.José Manuel Berzal, the President of the International Jumping Riders Cup, Mr. Cayetano Martínez de Irujo and the CEO of Oxer Sport – Mr. Álvaro Arrieta, addressed some words to the attendees. All of them, they have emphasized the importance of the sponsors in the event.

The Global Champions Tour (GCT), consists of 14 stages, which are held in cities such as Cannes, Monaco, Chantilly and Vienna. Madrid is the second stage of the circuit, after Antwerp, and more than 500,000 euros in prize money will be distributed. The Grand Final will be in Qatar.

The Club de Campo Villa de Madrid and  Oxer Sport, the company that has the rights to the organization of Longines Global Champions Tour in Spain, have signed a contract where the CCVM will host the circuit for the next five seasons.

During the 3 days of competition will be disputed in the Green Arena of CCVM a total of 15 classes. More tan 100 riders will take part in the competition , including the top 30 in the world ranking. Note that the top seven riders of the ranking FEI will be in Madrid, including the four top classified in the final of the World Cup Lyon disputed the previous weekend. The most important classt is the Longines Grand Prix GCT Madrid – Trophy “la caixa” , who will be held on Saturday 3rd May at 17h. On Sunday 4th at 17.30 will take place the Cup S.M. El Rey – Trophy El Corte Ingles

Last year’s Grand Prix victor Michael Whitaker (GBR) is bringing his top mount and winning partner from 2013, Viking, to try to defend his title. But with hot competition from the likes of Michael’s 2012 Gold medal-winning compatriots Scott Brash and Ben Maher, not to mention his legendary brother John, his task will be a tough one. Reigning European Champion Roger-Yves Bost (FRA), living-legends Ludger Beerbaum (GER) and Marcus Ehning (GER), and two-time LGCT Champion Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS) will also be determined to put in great performances as the 2014 season continues.

The USA has been a dominant force so far, with Kent Farrington, Reed Kessler and Laura Kraut jumping in Madrid, the USA could well claim a second victory. Madrid will also see a very welcome return for fan favourite Gerco Schröder (NED) and Glock’s London, winners of 2013 LGCT Vienna Grand Prix. Canada’s Eric Lamaze and Portugal’s Luciana Diniz are also strong contenders for an early win this season, as is young rising star Constant van Paesschen (BEL) and the in-form Qatari team. With its beautiful grass arena, Madrid will pose very different challenges to the smaller sand arena in Antwerp, so to pick the Grand Prix winner in this talented crowd is a tough task.

M.Whitaker Photo : Stefano Grasso/LGCT