27 February 2024

Longines Global Champions Tour of Doha Sets the Stage for an Electrifying Season Opening

Longines Global Champions Tour of Doha Sets the Stage for an Electrifying Season Opening

Today in Doha Qatar the opening press conference marks the official start of the highly anticipated 2024 Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT) and GCL season. Hosted at the esteemed Al Shaqab, this prestigious opening event promises unparalleled equestrian excellence and thrills from February 29 to March 2, 2024.

Mr. Mohammed Jaber Al-Khayarin, Event Director, expressed his enthusiasm, stating: "We are proud to host the best horses, riders and equestrian enthusiasts from all over the world to participate in this global competition, which also complies with the Qatar National Vision 2030 to modernize whilst preserving heritage, traditions and values, and urging our society to engage in equestrian sports."

The visionary behind the Longines Global Champions Tour, Mr. Jan Tops, Founder and President, emphasised the significance of the occasion, saying, "As we embark on another season of elite show jumping, every year the Longines Global Champions Tour and GCL grow. I am very proud of the immense growth over the last 16 years of the sport in Qatar.

Last year we saw the Championships being decided by the very last fence so it shows how strong the competition is with so many top riders here like World number one Henrik von Eckermann, the legends in our sport John Whitaker and Marcus Ehning and all the top French and Belgium riders here for the overall season title. To win this global circuit it makes you the world champion in our sport. We are grateful for the unwavering support of our sponsors, particularly Longines, whose commitment enables us to elevate the sport to new heights”

Mr. Marco Danese, Sports Director of the Longines Global Champions Tour and GCL, highlighted the continued innovation within the sport, stating, "Every year the venue here in Doha gets better and better. The facilities here in Al Shaqab are considered one of the best in the world not only for the horses, owners, and grooms but spectators and stakeholders as well. Now it is a tradition to start here in Doha and we have huge quality of riders and horses so we start the season with high expectations. The riders and teams know they need points from the first leg of the season so they are coming here to win!”

Reflecting on her past successes and anticipation for the upcoming event, Mrs. Edwina Tops-Alexander, two-time Longines Global Champions Tour Champion and previous LGCT Grand Prix of Doha winner, remarked, "Competing in Doha is always a highlight of the season. The level of competition and the electrifying atmosphere make it a truly unforgettable experience. The competition on the tour is getting stronger and stronger, the riders are really fighting to be strong from the first show and put pressure on the rest of the riders and teams.

Winning the tour is like the world championships of our sport and what is so special about it is how each venue is unique, different circumstances - the small arenas, big arenas, grass or sand and that is what makes the rider a champion. To be consistent throughout the year competing against the best riders is what makes it very exciting and challenging."

The Longines Global Champions Tour of Doha promises a weekend filled with high-stakes competitions and world-class show jumping action. Fans around the globe can witness the excitement through live broadcasts on GCTV, ensuring that the spirit of competition transcends borders.

Tickets for the first stage of the LGCT 2024 season are available online, offering spectators the opportunity to witness equestrian excellence firsthand.

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