Following stops in Doha, Mexico City and Miami Beach, China’s largest city will host three days of top-level equestrian action, including the Global Champions League team event.

Miami winner Pieter Devos of Belgium leads the overall GCT rankings by five points from Germany’s Daniel Deusser with Dutchman Harrie Smolders in third.

But with more than 90 international horses and 50 riders, the standings look set for a shake-up in Shanghai.

Among the host of star names set to compete are former Shanghai winners Gregory Wathelet of Belgium, Lorenzo de Luca of Italy and Germany’s Marco Kutscher.

Britons Scott Brash and Michael Whitaker as well as American Jessica Springsteen, daughter of rock legend Bruce, will also be in action.

In the Global Champions League, the Shanghai Swans will be the team to beat after securing victory in the first two events of the season. The Miami Celtics took the win on home sand at the end of last month.

READ: Miami Beach: The secrets behind building showjumping gem

Since the first Global Champions Tour event was held in Shanghai in 2014, China has experienced an explosion of interest in showjumping with the number of equestrian clubs growing from 200 to about 2,000, according to the GCT.

The Shanghai event follows closely on the heels of Formula 1’s Chinese Grand Prix and has become a highlight of the social calendar in a similar fashion to horse racing’s Royal Ascot in Britain.

A landmark agreement between the European Commission and the Chinese government means horses can travel to Shanghai under a special quarantine arrangement.

The Longines Global Champions Tour has sparked a surge of interest in showjumping in China.

The winner of the GCT Grand Prix will earn a golden ticket to the Longines Global Champions Tour Super Grand Prix at the GC Prague Playoffs in November.

This year’s GCT winners Jerome Guery (Doha), Julien Epaillard (Mexico City) and Devos (Miami) have already secured their place in the end-of-season finale.

The Longines Global Champions Tour and GCL has expanded to 20 legs this season, with new stops added in New York, Stockholm and Montreal.

Leave a Comment