Global Champions League kicks off the 2017 season with a compelling new format triggering dramatic tactical battles as teams compete for a €10.5 million prize purse.
The second season will see the League class take place on two days instead of one, doubling the GCL action. And for the first time GCL riders will be able to earn Longines world ranking points as well as extra prize money. A total of €22 million euros will be on offer for riders this season from both the GCL and LGCT events.
The innovative League was launched last year bringing a modern and dynamic new force to show jumping. Top riders from different countries competed together on teams for the first time in the sport’s history. The League created strong new alliances and intense rivalries.
The 2017 Global Champions League season, which is officially approved by the FEI, will open in Mexico City in April with teams competing at 15 incredible destinations around the world.
The countdown is on and here is a brief guide to the format:
How does it all begin?
The first part of the League will be on the opening day of each event and this CSI5* 1.50/1.55m class will see teams’ combined scores taken forward to the second class.
After the League riders have completed their rounds, the class will open to individual riders. All riders in this class will be chasing Longines world ranking points and prize money.
What happens next?
The second part of the GCL competition also doubles as a qualifier for the LGCT Grand Prix. It will be a CSI5* 1.55/1.60m class. This takes place on Saturdays at every event before the LGCT Grand Prix.
Individual riders, not associated with teams, will be the first to start in this class to try to qualify for the LGCT Grand Prix.
Then the GCL teams will take centre stage, carrying through their combined faults from the first class. The results of the League riders will count towards their overall team score, but now their performance will also determine whether they qualify for the LGCT Grand Prix as individuals.
The overall winners of the League competition will be the team with the least combined faults and quickest time.
And the final part?
The top 25 riders from the League and Individual starters in the second class will qualify for the LGCT Grand Prix. The LGCT Grand Prix will feature one round and a jump-off. All riders will start on a clean zero score.
A quick recap on what’s new…
- League riders can now make their class scores count for both their team and for their individual position to qualify for the LGCT Grand Prix.
- The League will take place over two days during the event, not just one.
- Teams can now change horses and/or riders for the two GCL classes triggering more intensive tactical battles. Strategy and intra-team strengths will be crucial as different riders and horses are fielded for particular circumstances.
- This year’s transfer window (17th July – 24th July 2017) will be a critical point in the season as teams re-evaluate to gain maximum advantage on the road to the League championship final.
- The top 25 individual riders will qualify for the LGCT Grand Prix which now consists of one round and a jump off.
Photo: Stefano Grasso/GCL