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Lions Gear Up for Blockbuster Showdown in Prague

 
 

The Prague Lions team in the Czech Capital City

With only three events left before this year’s GC Prague Playoffs, excitement is mounting in the Czech capital and the home team Prague Lions predict another blockbuster showdown in November.

The Lions came together ahead of this week’s crucial event in Rome where the GCL Championship race is reaching fever pitch as team jostle for position in the overall rankings and riders fight to win one of the few remaining qualification spots in the Longines Global Champions Tour Super Grand Prix.

In just a couple of days the 16th round of action will kick off at the spectacular Stadio dei Marmi where the high calibre rider list for Rome has recently been announced. The Championship race then rockets to St Tropez ahead of a dash to the last stop of the 2019 season - the New York Finals at the end of September.

Jessica Kurten, team manager of the home city team, the Prague Lions, spoke to local media today: "I feel extremely privileged to lead such a motivated and professional group of athletes. We’re really excited to meet many of our Czech fans [at the GC Prague Playoffs this year] - they were incredible last year, so we hope they’ll come back to support and carry us through to the Finals this year."

Marco Kutscher reflected that the level of competition has been extremely high all season:“It’s simple [to explain why the GCL is the best Championship] - you’re competing against the best horse and riders in the world, and in special places in the world where you have sometimes never been before, many of which are unique. This makes it special.”​​

Team rider and home star Anna Kellnerova reflected on the success of the debut event in 2018: “I have to say when I saw the video of last year I almost had tears in my eyes. I have incredible memories of 2018 - I’ve never experienced such a great atmosphere, not just from Czech fans but from fans all over the world. It was truly incredible and I know we have a lot to look forward to this year.”

There have been only a few adjustments to the show this year after a successful debut in 2019. Jan Andrlík, Chairman of the organising committee for the GC Prague Playoffs said: “The warm-up arena will be moved to the newly built complex and will be open to the public. Visitors will have the opportunity to visit the shopping village; and there will be a spectacular artistic and audio-visual show directed by Michal Caban.”

Marc Houtzager, who experienced the the intense atmosphere when he helped win the GCL Super Cup with his former team - Madrid in Motion - was confident of success for the Lions: “We have a good chance to win, we have to keep the form of the horses for the next two months to be in with a chance on Sunday [at the GCL Super Cup Final]."

Niels Bruynseels has also qualified for the individual LGCT Super Grand Prix, and said: “It means a lot to me to qualify to ride against the best riders in the world [in the LGCT Super Grand Prix]. Because I’m a team member of the Lions I will bring two of my best horses for the team."

The event was visited by 32,000 spectators in the O2 Arena last year and another two million watched the program via TV and on the Live Stream. The indoor venue, the only one on the LGCT and GCL circuit, created an intense atmosphere, with many fans watching show jumping for the first time.

Bruynseels spoke of the passion the Lions felt from the home supporters and vowed to make them proud this November: “The crowd last year were amazing. We will do everything to take the best results here."

For more information on the GC Prague Playoffs, please click here.

 

 

Rome

 
ROME

The magical city of Rome will host the elite of the world of show jumping in Italy for the Longines Global Champions Tour championship battle this September. Beautiful, inspirational Rome has been attracting visitors for over two millennia and continues to be one of the most exhilarating destinations in the world, with the unique Stadio dei Marmi an exceptional setting for top show jumping.

One of the oldest continuously occupied cities in Europe, Rome’s historic heart contains iconic monuments and artistic masterpieces from the magnificent Colosseum and the Pantheon to the Sistine Chapel and the ruins of the Roman Forum. Visitors can take in Renaissance palazzos and Baroque fountains or simply stroll through beautiful piazzas and soak up the vibrancy of the city of La Dolce Vita. Longines Global Champions Tour of Rome will be staged at the impressive Stadio dei Marmi for the fourth year running, a unique location which is ringed by 59 classical marble statues depicting different sports. 

The stadium is one of the arenas in the Foro Italic

 Over 100 riders of all ages representing 25 countries will descend on Rome for the 16th leg of the Longines Global Champions Tour which was officially launched today by Government and Olympic officials at the spectacular Stadio Dei Marmi venue.

The world’s best riders will be in the Italian capital for the LGCT Grand Prix and the GCL team showdown at a critical juncture in the 2019 season.

The atmosphere in Rome is set to be sizzling and there will be free admission every day for the traditionally enthusiastic spectators.

Speaking at a special pre-event press conference today Daniele Frongia, Councillor for Sport and Major Events in the Municipality of Rome, said: “It is a great event for our City. This is high level sport and we are proud to host this event. It will be a great festive occasion for Rome and we would like to thank the organisers.” The event takes place next to the dramatic Olympic Stadium and Giovanni Malagò, President of the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI), said: “This is Rome’s five star event. I am happy that Rome supports and believes in sporting exhibitions like this one in which competition is at its highest level.” LGCT Sport Director Marco Danese explained that the event will include top-level 5* competitions featuring the star riders and horses in the world today and also 2* competitions for national and amateur riders supporting the talent of the future. Of the LGCT and GCL championship series he said: “Many top riders will be present so it is impossible to forecast a possible winner as the technical level is very high and all the riders will fight for the win.” The beautiful show ground in the Eternal City is an amphitheatre ringed by classical marble statues and a total of 193 horses will be at the venue taking part in the different competitions with an overall prize fund of €850,000. There will be plenty of family fun with special evening entertainment, dog agility shows and the lively shopping village. Eleonora Di Giuseppe, Italian co-organiser of the LGCT event in Rome said: “All the public can access the venue free of charge. This could not have happened without the help of CONI, the City of Rome and Italian Parliamentary institutions. There will be events like the Future Champions for younger riders and people of all ages who want to better their riding skills.” Among the top athletes at the event will be home heroes including Alberto Zorzi and Emanuele Gaudiano against a stellar International field. All the action will be streamed live on GCTV with the first 5* competitions featuring Olympic and World Champions starting on Friday.

LGCT Ranking After 15 Rounds

Pieter Devos 266 pts

Ben Maher 252 pts

Kevin Staut 239 pts

 

 

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