London leg of Global Champions Tour hangs in the balance

  • London’s chances of hosting a British leg of this year’s Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT) has been put in doubt after Mexico City became a new addition to the 2016 calendar.

    A decision will be made over the coming weeks as to whether Paris or London will host a leg of the LGCT in July, which this year sees 15 shows comprising the premier showjumping series around the globe. Other host cities include Miami Beach, Rome, Shanghai and Monaco, with the final being held in Doha in November.

    Mexico City will make its debut in the tour’s fixture list in April and will be held in the grass arena at Campo Marte — a venue that has previously hosted Olympic dressage and jumping events.

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    “We will continue to invest in our sport to bring showjumping to wider audiences and to more cities around the world so that more people can see the best athletes in action,” said Jan Tops, founder and president of LGCT. “Our expansion in the Americas will continue to grow our audience where there is a particularly strong interest in equestrian sport.

    “This year will be fundamental in the progression of showjumping as we push the boundaries of innovation and development for our fans who watch on TV, online and as spectators.”

    There were questions raised over the lack of atmosphere and the cost of tickets at last year’s London GCT, held for the first time at Syon Park — although the bad weather was likely to have put some visitors off.

    “With a show like this it is important to attract as many people and I wonder if giving away tickets to the first day might improve the numbers,” said guest columnist Michael Whitaker following the event. “Once people see what is on offer, they will come back.”

    Longines Global Champions Tour dates and venues 2016

    7-9 April: Miami Beach

    14-16 April: Mexico City

    20-23 April: Antwerp

    29 April – 1 May: Shanghai

    4-7 May: Hamberg

    20-22 May: Madrid

    26-29 May: Chantilly

    9-11 June: Cannes

    23-25 June: Monaco

    TBC 1-3 July: Paris

    7-9 July: Estoril

    TBC 22-24 July: London

    4-7 August: Valkenswaard

    9-11 September: Rome

    15-18 September: Vienna

    3-5 November: Doha

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