Can Edwina Tops-Alexander consolidate in Cannes?
The race for the 2018 Longines Global Champions Tour title has shifted up a gear, as the Championship makes its dash along the French Riviera to Cannes where four out of the top five in the LGCT ranking will be in action.
After the red carpet was rolled out in Ramatuelle, Saint Tropez, the Tour cruises along to the world-famous destination of Cannes, where an A-list line-up of show jumping stars will be out in force. It’s set to be an edge-of-the-seat weekend of sport, as the best riders in the world will be gunning for points as they fight for supremacy and the coveted LGCT title.
Now back at the helm of the overall rankings, two-time LGCT Champion Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS) will be looking for another strong podium position to widen her lead from the rest of the pack where she sits on 154 points overall. Breathing down her neck with be Great Britain’s Ben Maher (GBR), just 11 points away on 143 but already with two Grand Prix wins to his name and on flying form. With an unprecedented third title at the forefront of his mind, Scott Brash (GBR) will also head to Cannes – a place where he won the Grand Prix in 2016 and a weekend where he’ll be looking to capitalise on his 131 points.
Currently in 5th position is U25 Belgian star Jos Verlooy, who’s consistent results have put him in the running for a strong result this season. Currently on 98 points, the talented 22 year old spoke of what it meant to be in the top five at this point in the Championship race: “I’m really pleased to be in the top five of the GCT ranking at this stage of the year. I know it’s a long season and you have to be consistently good against the best of the best, but as an U25 rider it’s a fantastic opportunity to compete at the highest level.”
The City of Stars, and just a stone’s throw from the world-famous La Croisette, the LGCT of Cannes event is a remarkable combination of glamour and top-class sport. Held under the glittering evening lights, and positioned close to the Mediterranean Port of Cannes and the super-yachts in the bay, the second of the French events of the Tour is a very special horse show in the heart of the French Riviera. The original ‘International Show Jumping of Cannes’ was one of the world’s richest horse shows, with prize money continuing to increase since the show joined the Tour. Now a regular fixture on the LGCT calendar, the show has grown every year and welcomes over 15,000 visitors though its gates each summer.
With a ticket to the GC Play Offs and the prestigious Longines Global Champions Tour Super Grand Prix in Prague this December, the world’s best will be pulling out all the stops for a win in Cannes. Big names such as Ludger Beerbaum (GER), Nicola Philippaerts (BEL), Olivier Philippaerts (BEL), Simon Delestre (FRA), Roger-Yves Bost (FRA), Maikel van der Vleuten (NED), Lorenzo de Luca (ITA), Harrie Smolders (NED), Peder Fredricson (SWE), Christian Ahlmann (GER), Pedro Veniss (BRA), John Whitaker (GBR) and Rolf-Göran Bengtsson (SWE) will all be hoping they can take centre stage.
Drawn by the incredible level of sport on offer and the collection of international show jumping stars in attendance, visitors enjoy the ambience, glamour and nightlife of this famous city, home of course to the dazzling Cannes Film Festival. Last year the spotlight shone on Spain’s Sergio Alvarez Moya (ESP) who will be back for an attempt at a sequel, but which names will be added to the star-studded list of previous winners here?
Class times in AEST are as follows:
Friday 8th June
01:30 AEST CSI 5* – 1.45m (€25.000)
04:30 AEST CSI 5* GCL of Cannes Round 1 – 1.50/1.55m (€62.000 to individuals)
Saturday 9th June
02:30 AEST CSI 5* – 1.45m (€25.000)
05:00 AEST CSI 5* – 1.45/1.50m (€61.000)
Sunday 10th June
02:15 AEST CSI 5* GCL of Cannes Round 2 – 1.55/1.60m (€93.000 to individuals)
05:45 AEST CSI 5* LGCT Grand Prix of Cannes – 1.60m (€300.000)