With three of the world's top four riders and a host of epic names, the Jumping International de Monte-Carlo, the ninth leg of the Longines Global Champions Tour, promises great sport on the Port Hercule. Hoping to add their names to the list of winners of the prestigious Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix du Prince de Monaco with one of the world's highest prize purses of €1.5 million, everything is to play for this weekend.
Monaco has been an established part of the LGCT calendar since 2006 and the magical backdrop of Port d’Hercule and the iconic Prince’s Palace in Monaco will once again provide a spectacular venue for the crucial point in the 2023 Longines Global Champions Tour season. The three-day feast of top-class show jumping alongside the world-famous harbor of Monte-Carlo will deliver fantastic entertainment from 29 June - 1 July.
The best international riders and horses will descend on the Principality to face challenging technical courses in one of the most compact arenas on the Tour, where daring, scope, and bravery are the key ingredients required for a successful charge. Watched over by the super-yachts and nestled in the former Formula 1 pit lane, this event is truly unique in the world of show jumping and draws guests and fans from all around the world.
On the track laid out on Port Hercule, which is particularly demanding because of the tight arena, the sold-out crowd will be able to appreciate the performances of the world's best. Headlining a field of 51 riders, three of the world's top four have announced themselves to compete at the foot of the Rock. Starting with the world number 1, Sweden's Henrik von Eckermann, the undisputed star of the moment. Winner of the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix in Stockholm a couple of weeks ago, von Eckermann is coming to Monaco aiming to leapfrog up the overall season standings.
Last year’s LGCT Grand Prix of Monaco winner, Max Kühner is in Monaco to defend his title. Several former winners are also present including Ireland's Shane Breen, winner in 2018 and in fine form with a second place in Stockholm. Dutch rider Maikel van der Vleuten, who is currently world number 4, winner in Monaco in 2019 and currently leading the provisional Longines Global Champions Tour rankings, Italy's Emanuele Gaudiano who won in 2016, and Brazil's Bernardo Alves who claimed victory in 2010. Most notable Edwina Tops-Alexander winner of the Madrid LGCT Grand Prix earlier this season intends to add Monaco to her list of achievements this week.
French fans will be able to enjoy top home riders as Julien Épaillard, world number 2 has shown his fine form in recent weeks by winning the Longines Global Champions Tour leg in Saint-Tropez with Donatello d'Auge. He will be traveling to Monaco with his top horse. “It's a very special competition," says the Frenchman. “The Formula 1 circuit is different, and so is the track here. It's a place I really like. It's a bit like an indoor ring, you have to be very reactive and have the instinct to get the distances right. It's very technical to set up. This year, the prize money is exceptional. That means there will be a lot of competition, with the best combinations in the world at the front of the line. I'm really delighted to be coming to Monaco and I'm obviously going to try to do my best.”
Other top riders to keep a close eye on include Germany’s Christian Kukuk and Christian Ahlmann, winner last weekend of the Paris leg of the Longines Global Champions Tour, Belgium's Jérôme Guéry, Pieter Devos and Niels Bruynseels, with Eric van der Vleuten as well as world number 8 Harrie Smolders, Marlon Modolo Zanotelli, Denis Lynch, Bertram Allen and last but not least, the British superstar John Whitaker will be in the spotlight.
The enchanting Riviera location and luxurious facilities at the Monaco event combine to deliver a stunning experience for families, VIPs, sponsors, owners, and riders. Monaco, which also plays host to Formula One and ATP Masters tennis, is a hub of sports with many high-profile fans in attendance. Over the years, HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco and members of the Royal Family have joined business leaders and celebrities to cheer on the riders.