17 January 2023

GCL Explained - Everything you need to know for the upcoming season!

GCL Explained - Everything you need to know for the upcoming season!

2023 is shaping up to be an exciting season, with the LGCT and GCL again touching down in 16 spectacular venues around the world.

From under the Eiffel Tower in Paris, to majestic Middle Eastern nights in Riyadh, fans, spectators and athletes alike will be treated to the exceptional hospitality and sporting prowess that has become standard with Global Champions.

Over the winter break, Team Owners and Managers have been refining their strategies in order to kick off what is set to be a highly competitive 2023 season, with the GCL Teams set to battle it out for the year ahead, to be announced in the coming weeks. 

This year sees a change in the GCL series with the introduction of a new weekend format, designed to benefit both horse, rider and team strategy.

The biggest change will see Round 1 and Round 2 of the GCL team series now take place on the same day instead of across two days as previous. 


Launched in 2016, the GCL brings together the world’s best horse and rider combinations from across the world from different nationalities riding on the same teams, rather than decided by country. In addition, each team must feature an U25 rider, providing young talent of today, and future world champions of tomorrow, a launchpad of opportunity to ride, strategize and build camaraderie amongst their idols and the best in the business.

At every stop on the circuit, each team will compete in two rounds, with the team’s combined scores from Round 1 being taken through into Round 2, in true championship style. The easy format of no drop score makes it simple for new audiences in each city to follow the team competition.

Round 1 of the GCL will see riders faced with a CSI 5* 1.55m class, with team managers strategizing for their best approach for a day of intense competition.

A break between Round 1 and Round 2 could see strategic changes from Team Managers, who can swap in horses and/or riders between the back to back rounds, ultimately producing a highly competitive Round 2.

Round 2 of the GCL takes place straight after Round 1, is a CSI 5* 1.60m class. In Round 2, teams will be represented by two riders from their team, with scores and points at the end of the competition ultimately going towards their overall team score, and series standing.

As the series progresses throughout the year, teams earn points to the overall total and series standings which comes to a head in the Final in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The teams placed in the top four after the Final will be granted a fast track place at the GC Prague Playoffs for the GCL Super Cup Semi Finals, the ultimate final show-down

A WORD FROM: Jan Tops, LGCT & GCL Founder and President of Longines Global Champions Tour

“GCL is a ground-breaking concept in show jumping and has grown into a sensational sports series since we launched in 2016 as part of our Longines Global Champions Tour circuit. GCL brings together an exceptional mix of the world’s top riders from different countries on the same team, as well as talented U25 riders.

“Each season the intensity of the battle to win the GCL series and the GCL Super Cup has grown dramatically as Team Owners, Managers and riders focus on their strategy for victory. We look forward to another landmark year for the GCL series.”


  1. The GCL competition will take place on the second-last day of competition at the majority of the events on the 2023 calendar 
  2. Each team can be represented by 3 riders at every event with only 2 riders competing in each round
  3. Teams are represented by two riders per round, with all scores counting to the final standings
  4. Round 2 will see teams carry through their faults from Round 1, ultimately deciding the starting order for Round 2
  5. The overall winners of the GCL competition will be the team with the least combined faults and the quickest time over Round 2
  6. The series culminates in the GC Prague Playoffs where the teams ranked 5th and below will compete in the first day GCL Super Cup Quarter Final, with only eight teams carrying through to the next day’s competition - the Semi Final. They will be joined by the top four ranked teams in the overall season Championship, and battle to finish in the top six, making it through to the Final. Here the winning team will be crowned GCL Super Cup winners.

Relive the Biggest Stories of the 2022 Season

My vision is clear. Only the best for the best.
Jan Tops - Founder & President