Day 1 of the 2023 Longines Global Champions Tour season kicked off in spectacular style with 53 riders from 19 different countries taking to Al Shaqab’s incredible Longines Arena. Competition is fierce and spectators were treated to a thrilling display of sport and horsemanship throughout the day.
The CSI 5* 1.45m speed class saw a collection of blistering times as riders fought it out for top podium position. Ultimately taking the win Francisco José Mesquita Musa aboard Carte de Blue PS Marathon posted a time of 55.62 seconds, 2.41 seconds ahead of Emanuele Gaudiano and Crack Balou.
Rounding out the podium in third place was young talent Lily Attwood with her Karibou Horta, just 0.08 seconds behind Gaudiano in second. Speaking of his win, Musa commented on his impressive partner in Carte de Blue PS Marathon: “I am really happy, he jumped amazing today. My horse is natural at faster… Emmanuel he was fast, and usually my horse makes the same strides in the lines as him, but today my horse was a little bit faster.”
Kicking off the season in style, Lily Attwood commented on her first LGCT 5* podium finish this year: “It’s so exciting to be here in Doha, Al Shaqab is an incredible venue with brilliant facilities – it is a spectacular show to be part of. My horses are jumping fantastically, and I can’t for the GCL competition tomorrow”.
With 17 horse and rider combinations leaving all rails standing around the flowing Ulliano Vezzani built track, the pressure was on. Just over 10 seconds separated the top 10 riders, providing a masterclass on tactics and sportsmanship for spectators from many unique dining experiences and hospitality locations around the arena.
LGCT of Doha Day 1 saw a host of classes throughout the day where the best of 3* and 5* riders, coupled with some of the most impressive young talent from Qatar in the Children's National Class take to Al Shaqab’s Longines Arena. Presented by Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the 15 young riders posting clear rounds in the Children’s class an impressive performance with all eyes in the brilliant line up.
The first round of the GCL team competition will begin at 3pm (local time) tomorrow, with all teams looking to secure a coveted podium position to grant themselves a head start for the 2023 season. Saturday will see the highly anticipated Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Doha kick off at 6pm, with riders vying for the win as well as the first golden ticket to the LGCT Super Grand Prix at the GC Prague Playoffs.
With the new weekend format introduced in Doha, the 16-team strong starting grid are in the final stages of their preparations ahead of tomorrow’s competition. Following his win in the CSI 3* 2 Phase 1.45m earlier today, Riyadh Blue’s Ramsy Al Dulhami spoke of his team’s debut season: “It is great to be back at the Longines Global Champions Tour, the best shows in the world. We are off to a good start with today’s win. For the GCL teams league, Riyadh Blue is a new team this year, and we are going to start slow and build as the season progresses.”
Join us for day 2 and 3 of the 2023 Longines Global Champions Tour of Doha, by tuning into GCTV!