The Longines Global Champions Tour (GCT) is set to return to London in 2017 after a new venue was found at the Royal Hospital Chelsea.
London was dropped from the GCT circuit in 2016 after the capital city had successfully hosted five-star shows at Syon Park in 2015, Horse Guards Parade Ground in 2014 and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in its debut event in 2013.
A new four-day 5* London show is set to take place on 3-6 August in the historic grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, continuing the legacy of the London Olympic Games.
“The Global Champions Tour is absolutely world class and stages top level events at fabulous locations in major cities worldwide,” said reigning Olympic champion Nick Skelton.
“As a British rider I feel it is extremely important that London is on the calendar of a sporting event of this calibre and the Royal Hospital Chelsea would be an inspiring and important location at which to celebrate the success of British showjumping riders and for the ‘grassroots’ of our sport and the many riders around the country.”
His London 2012 team-mate Scott Brash added: “The GCT is truly global and has done so much for our sport – I’m proud London is on the calendar again alongside the other iconic and unique destinations around the world.
“Having a UK leg of the championship will be very positive for our country’s showjumping, and will hopefully inspire new generations, continuing our 2012, and Nick’s 2016, Olympic legacy. I can’t wait to compete there next summer; it’s going to be a very special event.”
The Royal Hospital Chelsea in South London hosts the annual Chelsea Flower Show and showjumping will take place on the South Grounds leading down to the River Thames. Approval for the show’s go-ahead was granted yesterday (22 November) by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Planning Committee.
“This is an exceptional venue in for our sport in central London, one of the world’s great capital cities, and it will be a fantastic addition to the Tour,” said GCT president Jan Tops.
“Britain is a great horse country and with top riders winning Olympic gold medals we are pleased this new event will build on that legacy.”
The annual GCT circuit takes place in a number of other top cities including Shanghai, Doha, Paris, Madrid and Rome.