Plans to ‘revolutionise’ showjumping postponed

  • A “football-style club competition” that was due to be run this year by the Longines Global Champions Tour (GCT) is no longer immediately on the cards.

    The competition, hailed in October as a “showjumping revolution” by organisers, has come into difficulties.

    Club owners would field “star strikers” and two riders from a squad of four will be selected to compete at each GCT event. The aim was to help “evolve” shojumping, bringing it in line with sports like tennis, golf and football.

    At the time Scott Brash said he thought the new concept would be “really exciting for viewers and fans” and that it gave the opportunity for the sport to become “very interesting and strategic”.

    But the FEI last week told H&H this idea will not be put into action quite yet.

    “The jumping committee has advised that after a meeting between them and the GCT, the GCT decided to postpone seeking any approvals on club competitions as the rules needed further development,” said an FEI spokesman.

    However, GCT organisers told H&H the concept has not been completely dropped.

    “The process of working through details with the FEI has proven slower than we had hoped. As a result, the launch of our club competition will be delayed until the 2016 season,” said a GCT spokesman.

    This year marks the 10th anniversary of the annual showjumping tour for the leading riders in the world.

    Last week (Friday 9 January) it was revealed that the GCT has branched out to two new venues for 2015. The tour heads to the USA for the first time, with the creation of a Miami Beach event, plus there will be a new leg in Rome.

    The 15-leg GCT continues to visit cities such as Paris, Shanghai and London and offers over €10million in prize money across the season, with a €1million bonus going to the top 18 riders in the overall championship.

    For more information visit: www.globalchampionstour.com

    Ref: Horse & Hound; 15 January 2015

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