Horses will return to the sporting heart of ancient Rome for the first time in more than 2,000 years as showjumping’s Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT) moves to a new venue.
The 2021 Rome LGCT legs will be held at the Circus Maximus, the first and largest stadium of the ancient city and the Roman empire that was once home to chariot racing. The five-year LGCT deal will mark the return of horse sport to the UNESCO World Heritage site for the first time since around the sixth century BC.
“We are extremely appreciative of the support of the city of Rome to enable us to present the LGCT in this truly incredible venue in the heart of ancient Rome,” said LGCT president, Jan Tops.
“Horses will once again be in competition at Circus Maximus with its great historical significance and we are privileged to stage modern day show jumping of the highest calibre at this ancient site.”
Circus Maximus sits in a valley between the Palatine and Aventine hills and is overlooked by the ruins of the imperial palace. It is used for public events, such as concerts, rallies and now showjumping, and is around 1km from the Colosseum, where the gladiatorial games were held. It also lies a few hundred yards from the Roman Forum, the heart of the ancient city.
The two- and five-star competitions will be held across two weeks – 10-12 and 16-18 September 2021 – and artist exhibitions, animations and shows are also planned. Entry to the public will be free.
The Rome leg of the LGCT made its debut in 2015 at the Stadio dei Marmi “Pietro Mennea”, next to the city’s modern Stadio Olimpico, with the support of the city and the Italian national Olympic committee.
The Circus Maximus will be home to the LGCT for the next five years.
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