A paw performance: cheers as cat takes on Global Champions Tour showjumping track

  • Spectators at the Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT) are always guaranteed top sport – but possibly not of the feline variety.

    The 2023 LGCT season kicked off in fine style in Doha at the weekend, and on the first day of competition, a cat with lofty ambitions gave the crowd a paw performance.

    During a two-phase 1.45m speed class on 2 March, the black and white whiskered warrior was spotted cantering around the Longines Arena at Al Shaqab, Doha.

    “Before the bell went [for Olivier Philippaerts’ round], the cat ran in, so they stopped the countdown,” an LGCT spokesman told H&H. “Olivier stopped and patted his horse and pointed to the cat in case no one had seen it, and a few people were running trying to catch it.”

    On the LGCT live stream, the commentator also noticed the mostly black cat, and quipped: “I hope it doesn’t bring him bad luck!”

    The commentator added that the arena crew were doing their best to catch the animal in the huge arena, which had three exits. And the spokesman told H&H the cat, who may have had aspirations to become a Purr Vrieling, also clearly wanted to try the course itself before it left the ring.

    “It jumped two fences!” she said. “It jumped through, clearing the bottom pole, before it ran out. No one claimed it – but it did get a round of applause after it jumped the jumps and ran out.”

    Olivier and H&M Miro jumped clear to finish ninth in the CSI5* class, which was won by Ireland’s Denis Lynch on Cornets Iberio.

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