Chelsea Hospital. Ph. via LGCT
A new destination will join the Longines Global Champions Tour circuit in 2017 with a prestigious event at the Royal Hospital Chelsea in the heart of London.
The high calibre event will feature the sport’s Olympic and World Champions including Great Britain’s Rio Olympics gold medallist Nick Skelton and members of the London 2012 Olympic Games gold medal team. The beautiful and historic grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea will host the event from 3rd – 6th August.
The 5* international event will build on the legacy of the London Olympic Games and gold medal victory in the individual competition for Skelton in Rio this summer on his star stallion Big Star.
“The Global Champions Tour is absolutely world class and stages top level events at fabulous locations in major cities worldwide,” Skelton commented. “As a British rider I feel it is extremely important that London is on the calendar of a sporting event of this calibre and the Royal Hospital Chelsea would be an inspiring and important location at which to celebrate the success of British show jumping riders and for the “grassroots” of our sport and the many riders around the country.”
Scott Brash, London 2012 gold medallist and double LGCT Champion, 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 show jumping, and will hopefully inspire new generations, continuing our 2012, and Nick’s 2016, Olympic legacy. I can’t wait to compete there next summer; it’s going to be a very special event.”
The unique new venue of the Royal Hospital Chelsea is the location for the world famous Chelsea Flower Show each year. World class show jumping will take place on the South Grounds which lead down to the River Thames with the backdrop of the heritage buildings designed by Sir Christopher Wren. Founded by King Charles II over 300 years ago, it has provided care and comradeship for veterans, known the world over as the Chelsea Pensioners.
Following approval by the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Planning Committee, Jan Tops, President of the Longines Global Champions Tour, said: “This is an exceptional venue in for our sport in central London, one of the world’s great capital cities, and it will be a fantastic addition to the Tour. Britain is a great horse country and with top riders winning Olympic gold medals we are pleased this new event will build on that legacy.”
Gary Lashko, CEO at the Royal Hospital Chelsea said: “We are delighted to be hosting this prestigious event here at the Royal Hospital Chelsea. The Longines Global Champions Tour has long been seen as the premier event for international show jumping. Welcoming this event to London, at the historic home of the Chelsea Pensioners, will be truly memorable and of great interest to our local residents, communities and businesses, as well as the wider London community.”
The UK has a strong equestrian community with millions of people riding and following the top British show jumpers as they compete around the world. The new London event on the Longines Global Champions Tour calendar will come at a key stage in the 2017 season when the ranking battle will be at full throttle.
It means another leading global city becomes part of the world’s premier show jumping series joining Shanghai, Doha, Paris, Madrid, Rome and Mexico City. Next season promises to be another thrilling feast of show jumping in spectacular destinations across the world. The 2016 championship was won by Sweden’s Rolf-Goran Bengtsson ahead of Australia’s Edwina Tops-Alexander, with the drama and suspense continuing until the final event earlier this month.
Details of the 2017 Longines Global Champions Tour calendar will be released soon, and for more information about the Longines Global Champions Tour, please click here.
About the Royal Hospital Chelsea
The Royal Hospital Chelsea is one of the oldest retirement homes in the world. Founded by King Charles II for the ‘succour and relief of veterans’, it opened to the very first Chelsea Pensioners in 1692. Over 300 years later it continues to serve this same purpose, offering a home, comradeship and the highest standards of care to retired soldiers of the British Army, in recognition of their loyal service to the Nation.
Today some 300 army veterans call the Royal Hospital Chelsea home, including those who have served in World War II, Korea, Cyprus, Northern Ireland and the Falkland Islands. Members of the public can support the Chelsea Pensioners’ Appeal, to ensure that the Chelsea Pensioners and their historic home are here for the next 300 years: www.chelsea-pensioners.co.uk/support-the-chelsea-pensioners