British accents, Pimms Cups, royalty, and five-star show jumping? Can you name any reasons why you shouldn’t be watching the the London leg of the Longines Global Champions Tour? Didn’t think so. Whether you’re lucky enough to watch the action in person, or vicariously living through the livestream, this modern show with historical roots is a must-see.
Based in the heart of London’s chic Chelsea neighborhood, the Royal Hospital Chelsea provides the perfect backdrop for the exciting 13th leg of the LGCT. With views of the River Thames and the breathtaking backdrop of the historical building designed by Sir Christopher Wren, this fantastic horse show will feel as if you’re transported into a dreamland of royalty and luxury.
1. The show is in the heart of London
Usually, when a horse show claims it’s based in a big city, in reality, most of the time it’s located a few miles outside of the hub. Sigh. Thanks to Jan Tops and the LGCT, they’re true to their word and produce horse shows that are right smack in the middle of these highly sought after locations. No one likes a liar, so thank you LGCT for giving us the best of both worlds – city, meet horse.
2. LGCT London is action packed
As the 2018 LGCT season quickly comes to an end, riders are fighting it out to make the Prague Playoffs come December. With three legs left after London, the top eight riders in the LGCT Top 10 are taking center stage to keep their rankings high and points even higher. Currently holding the number one position, hometown favorite, Ben Maher, is looking to keep his 22 point lead over Longines World No. 1, Harrie Smolders. Following a cancelled flight and missed appearance in Berlin last week, will Ben be able to keep his cool and stay on top?
3. Architect, Sir Christopher Wren, is a boss
Personally, I don’t use the word, “boss”, lightly. But when it comes to Sir Christopher Wren, it’s safe to say he’s the perfect candidate for the compliment. Educated at the University of Oxford (casual), Sir Christopher Wren was appointed by King Charles II to design the Chelsea Hospital in 1682. Since opening its doors to the well-known Chelsea Pensioners in 1692, the hospital has served as a retirement and nursing home for soldiers who have served in the British Army. Not only did Wren design this stunning hospital, but he also designed St. Paul’s Cathedral. No big deal.
4. Royalty is everywhere
Only a few miles away from Buckingham Palace, home to HRH Queen Elizabeth II, and other fan favorites, dare I say an appearance from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex? Don’t get your hopes up. But does it count to be royal if you’re considered to be show jumping royalty? I think yes. At this star-studded venue, show jumping royalty can be spotted in every direction. From Jessica Springsteen, Edwina Tops-Alexander, Scott Brash, and Daniel Deusser, our show jumping royalty is a bit more accessible than those other royals.
5. The brits love horses
Following the epic performance of German riders at Aachen two weeks ago, it’s safe to say there’s a strong hometown advantage when it comes to show jumping. There are millions of British riders as the U.K. supports a strong equestrian community. From backyard barns to the top level of show jumping, the English know how to do this whole horse thing right. Big British names to watch out for this weekend? Rolex Grand Slam winner Scott Brash, the whole Whitaker contingent, Emily Moffitt, Alexandra Thornton, and Harry Charles.