Behind the scenes: Longines Global Champions Tour
The Longines' global champions tour took place this weekend, and our Editor-In-Chief was amongst one of the attendees!
France is the birthplace of show jumping. In the 1950s, the Paris horse show was held for the first time. Competitions were held wherein horses jumped over obstacles. It was called “concours hippique" - an equestrian competition!
In 2005, the entire Champ de Mars was transformed into a stadium for the Longines Global Champions Tour. The international show jumping competition is held here annually.
The view from the Tribune Eiffel box is breathtaking: the horses cross the hurdles in front of our iron Madame!
And here we were, in the thick of it.
The excitement is felt by both show jumping enthusiasts, and people who have no idea what it means. The most iconic and dramatic stage for show jumping provides a wholesome experience for passionate spectators, rounded with an iconic location, elite riders from all over the world, top-notch mares and stallions and their affluent owners.
Picture this: loud music starts playing and a rider enters the field. The announcer introduces him while the jockey and his horse do a lap of honor to make the horse aware of all the hurdles.
Once the music and buzz subside, the race begins!
The grandstands tremble before each jump. Snorting and foaming, flexing their muscles and biting their oars, the horses speed up, pushing off and soaring through the air, hovering majestically over the barriers. Jockeys, in their tight trousers and shiny cuffs, stand in the stirrups and perform seamlessly with their companions.
If it's a successful jump - the grandstands exhale. If the horse hits the beam with his hoof and fumbles, a disappointed sigh can be heard. During the final acceleration, the horses face the three most difficult hurdles in a row. The entire crowd waits with bated breaths. Once the horse soars over the last hurdle, the grandstands burst into applause. All eyes are on the scoreboard, where the time and number of penalties are displayed.
During the jump, if the hooves hit the beams, it costs 1 penalty. If the beam falls down, 4 penalties are levied. If the stubborn horse doesn't get the obstacle at all, they get 8 penalties.
Every round is presented by renowned organizations like Saint Laurent, Loewe, Turkish airlines and ELLE. We visited the first day of the competition this year. The results of the first round are very important as they define the 10 leaders who will be in the prime position on the next day and lead the team to victory!
The most breathtaking part of the first day by Mairie du 7éme was the magnificent jump. At 1.55m high, it was definitely the highlight of the event.
An obvious favorite - the Turkish team of "Istanbul Sultans'' - flew over all the hurdles. Their performance was flawless and in record time. He speeded up before the last hurdle...until the final fence came crashing down, which resulted in 4 penalties. At a total time of 68:23 seconds, Ömer Karaevli finished in 10th place. The winner’s (Julien Anquetin) time was 67:10 seconds, not much faster. The show was extremely exciting and the grandstands were quivering with anticipation.
The winners of the first round of the GLC, presented by the Mairie du 7éme were Julien Anquetin and Blood Diamond du Pont. This French team from Bosguérard-de-Marcouville, Haute Normandie finished the course in 67:10 seconds with 0 penalties. Their performance was breathtaking.
The winner of the second day of the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix Of Paris individual qualification was the Brazilian rider Marlon Módolo Zanotelli on Like A Diamond Van Het Schaeck. They bagged prize money of 100,000 EUR for completing the course in just 36.07 seconds!
However, we are interested in the performance of individuals as well as groups. The first round of the GCL of Paris was won by the Istanbul Sultans. But the next day, Saturday, the second round was won by the hosting team, the Paris Panthers with its leaders Ben Maher and Gregory Wathelet.
Thank you, GLC Paris for an extraordinary experience! We can’t wait to see you next time in Monaco!
Photo Credits: Olia Kolendo, © Art de Vivre