12 August 2023

History of Longines Global Champions Tour of London

History of Longines Global Champions Tour of London

With its charmed setting, five-star startlists, and prime real estate in one of the most visited travel destinations in the world, it’s little wonder why the Longines Global Champions Tour of London has earned its reputation as a bucket-list stop on the international horse show calendar.

Home of the much-loved Chelsea Pensioners since 1692—veterans soldiers “broken by age or war” that were given a special place to receive care and comradery—the Royal Hospital Chelsea provides a historic stage for this flagship event showcasing dramatic battles between the world’s leading riders.

First established by King Charles II and designed by prominent 17th century architect Sir Christopher Wren, LGCT London’s prime location in the Royal Hospital Chelsea connects Great Britain’s ever-present sense of the past with its deep and abiding reverence for the horse as our societal partner in toil, war, and sport.  

Located adjacent to the River Thames, the Royal Hospital Chelsea—also home to the iconic Chelsea Flower Show—provides a quintessential English backdrop to the top sport in the capital city, with its 66-acre campus of sprawling lawns, gardens, and stately brick heritage buildings.

Once again, this year, two of the most celebrated athletes in British show jumping—Olympic gold medalists Ben Maher and Scott Brash—will go head-to-head as they write the latest chapter of their decades-old rivalry. In 2017 and 2018, Brash pipped Maher in the LGCT Grand Prix with Hello Forever and Hello Mr. President, respectively. In 2019, it was Maher’s turn to top the podium, this time with his future Individual Olympic gold medal-winning partner, Explosion W.

More recently, British show jumping legend John Whitaker electrified crowds in the LGCT Grand Prix in 2021, galloping to a second-place finish. And, as ever, the GCL ranks provide a challenging showcase for rising British talent, with possible 2023 attendees including: Jodie Hall Mcateer, Jack Whitaker, Joseph Stockdale, Lily Attwood, and Harry Charles.

With thousands of visitors and hundreds of international guests expected to attend this year’s event, LGCT London makes an ideal travel destination for the entire family. A popular stop: the venue’s eclectic shopping village, with its pop-up array of boutiques and children’s activities, and plethora of dining and refreshment options. Finally, LGCT London’s elegant VIP Hospitality Lounge is a magnet for international guests, with an impressive red-carpet entrance and high-impact views of both the Royal Hospital Chelsea and dramatic, world-class show jumping below. 

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Jan Tops - Founder & President