London and Berlin join the Longines Global Champions Tour as new venues for the 2017 season.
The world’s top showjumpers will this year take in 12 countries and three continents on the eight-month long competition circuit, chasing some of the richest prizes in the sport.
The 2013 and 2014 overall victor Scott Brash said: “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 this summer; it’s going to be a very special event.”
Longines GCT 2017 venues
The new season kicks off in Mexico City (6-9 April) before moving on to Miami Beach (13-15 April) and Shanghai (28-30 April).
The focus then transfers to Europe with Madrid hosting the Tour from 18-21 May, followed by Hamburg (24-28 May), Cannes (8-10 June), Monaco (23-25 June), Paris (30 June-2 July), Cascais, Estoril (6-8 July) and Chantilly (13-16 July).
The German capital Berlin makes its GCT debut on 28-30 July and then from 3-6 August the Tour returns to London, at its new venue, the Royal Hospital Chelsea.
The following week (13-16 August), riders head to Valkenswaard, the Netherlands, and the Tops International Arena followed by the final European destination, Rome (21-24 September).
The GCT final will once again be held in the Al Shaqab equestrian facility in the Qatari capital of Doha on 9-11 November, with Sweden’s Rolf-Goran Bengtsson bidding to defend the title he won for the first time in 2016.
Great Britain’s Olympic gold medallist Nick Skelton said: “The Global Champions Tour is absolutely world class and stages top level events at fabulous locations in major cities worldwide.”
The Global Champions League team competition will once again run alongside the Longines Global Champions Tour. The team competition was the subject of controversy in the run up to its launch last year as the FEI tried to prevent it from being held, but the international governing body of horse sport was overruled by the Belgian Competition Authority.