FEI and Global Champions Tour to Head Back to Court over GCL Strife


The FEI and the Longines Global Champions Tour are due to head back to court on Thursday, Sept. 3rd for another round of discussion regarding the Global Champions League (GCL).

After the Belgian Competition Authority overruled the FEI’s exclusivity clause in July, effectively clearing the way for the GCL to move forward with its planned 2016 launch, the FEI appealed the decision, asking the BCA to overturn its own ruling.

The FEI points to horse welfare concerns raised by holding a non-FEI sanctioned event, and it’s also been suggested that the GCL would negatively affect the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Series by operating in direct competition with it. Horse & Hound reported that the GCL did not respond to the FEI’s request for detailed rules of the GCL series.

For its part, the GCL, which is the brainchild of LGCT owners Jan Tops and Frank McCourt, promises to create a new series of show jumping that will invigorate the sport and raise its global profile. A loosely billed GCL preview class was held in Valkenswaard, Holland on August 15th. Pairs of riders competed in a two-round class for a prize money haul of €200,000.

The GCL has already begun selling 2016 GCL teams to the tune of €2 million each to private owners. Fifteen teams will include squads of four riders each, with two riders chosen to compete at each GCL competition, to be held on the Friday evening of each LGCT leg.