The much anticipated 13th leg of the Longines Global Champions Tour officially kicked off today, with a pre-event press conference hosted at the spectacular Circus Maximus, home of the Italian leg of the LGCT series, in the iconic capital city, Rome.
Marking the seventh Longines Global Champions Tour of Rome, and the second time to be hosted in the impressive Circus Maximus, the Longines Global Champions Tour and GCL Sport Director Marco Danese was joined by LGCT Rome Event Coordinator Eleonora Di Giuseppe, Alessandro Onorato, City of Rome Council Member for Sport and Tourism, President of the Assembly of Rome Capital, Svetlana Celli, City of Rome Council Member for Culture, Miguel Gotor, Director of Monumental Building Restoration, Silvia Salis, Vice-president CONI (Italian Olympic Commission), and President of FISE, Marco Di Paola.
Speaking to the local media, Danese ushered his excitement for the best horse and riders in the world making their way to the LGCT of Rome. “We are expecting the best horses and riders in the world with 210 horses. Gold medalists like Ben Maher and Henrick von Eckerman will be in Rome this year. We have the best mobile horse clinic in the world and the best farrier. The format is the same as last year with a two star and a five-star competition with the LGCT Grand Prix on Saturday.”
With the COVID-19 Global Pandemic causing havoc among large cities and tourist destinations over the past few years, City of Rome Council Member for Sport and Tourism, Alessandro Onorato commented on bringing tourism back to life through the LGCT of Rome: “I am very happy to have the LGCT in Rome at Circus Maximus in the heart of the city. It will help boost Rome’s tourism and economy after the pandemic.”
Agreeing with that sentiment, President of the Assembly of Roma Capitale, Svetlana Celli agreed and commented on her love for horses and sees the LGCT and other great events which have taken place in Rome over the summer as a launch platform to bring the city back to its former glory.
Located in the heart of the ancient city of Rome, positioned in between the world famous Palentine and Aventine Hills, the Circus Maximus provides the ultimate sporting ground for the second year, as highlighted by Rome’s Director of Monumental Building Restoration, Fabio Pacciani: “This venue has always been used by horses since ancient Rome. Chariot races were held in this natural hippodrome with 300.000 people attending. Thank you to Jan Tops for choosing Circo Massimo.”
With general admission to event free to the public, there will be something for all the family with a varied and exciting programme on offer. World-class sport in a world-class location will turn heads, coupled with a brilliant display of culture and history with the participation of the 4° Regiment of Mounted Carabinieri and the Lancieri di Montebello (part of the Italian Mounted Army).
Event Co-ordinator Eleonora di Giuseppe gave an overview of the event’s programme and the importance of horses in everyday life from helping people with disabilities, promoting ecotourism, sports, and entertainment. “The format of the LGCT Rome isn’t only about competitions but also about evoking history with the participation of the 4° Regiment of Mounted Carabinieri and the Lancieri di Montebello (part of the Italian Mounted Army). Rome is perfect for the LGCT as many monuments and statues depict horsemen.”
With the best of the best show jumpers in action this weekend, including home grown hero Giacomo Casadei, fans will be treated to top sport. Italian National Equestrian Instructor spoke of the Italian riders participating in their capital city on the world stage: “many Italian riders will take part in the LGCT five-star circuit and one of our new entries for this year is the young Giacomo Casadei who is honored to have been chosen as part of the Italian representatives together with Bucci, Turturiello and Gaudiano.”
The event kicks off this Friday, 2nd September, running until Sunday 4th September, with all the action streamed live via GCTV.