The Global Champions Tour invited the top listed riders from the latest FEI Rolex Rankings List for the first leg of the tour for 2011 that will take place at the Qatar Equestrian Federation Outdoor Arena in Al Rayan in Doha, Qatar from 17 to 19 March.
The world’s top 30 show jumping riders have been invited according to their rankings with most confirming their anticipation. Further invitations were extended to the next best ranked riders as most USA riders ranked between top 30 decide to support competitions within their country clashing with the Global Champions Tour in Doha.
Marcus Ehning, from Germany currently ranked number three in the world returns to the Global Champions Tour in 2011 as the defending champion after his thrilling success in the last edition of the Global Champions Tour.
Ehning’s preparation leading up to the GCT Doha event, which is only six weeks away, has included starts at 5* World Cup events in Basel, in Amsterdam, and in Zurich where he won the Grand Prix. At this stage his champion jumping partners Sabrina, Noltes Kuechengirl and Plot Blue are all in form and Marcus will decide closer to the date which horses he will fly to Doha. “I will compete at Bordeaux and Goteborg events before making my final horse selection,” he said. “It is the beginning of the tour and the focus for GCT ranking points must start immediately, so horse selection is important.”
FEI number one ranked rider Kevin Staut from France was one of the very early confirmations for the 2011 Global Champions Tour, clearly stamping his intent to be a strong contender with a quick acceptance to ride in Doha.
Marco Kutscher who was beaten at the final post for the 2010 title is also set to follow the entire Global Champions Tour circuit in 2011. “I have been to GCT Doha on two occasions now,” said the German rider. “They provide very good facilities, and it is a very nice country to visit. I hope to bring my horse Cash and am in preparation for GCT as I will compete at Goteborg at the end of February and then give him a rest until Doha.”
Irish rider Billy Twomey, who has recently rocketed up the FEI rankings list to 7th place looks a serious outside contender this year on the Global Champions Tour circuit. “As with nearly all the top 30 riders I program my year around the Global Champions Tour as it is the circuit to follow,” he said when recently asked about plans for the coming season. “This is not only because of the excellent prize money on offer, but the tour is number one in terms of the caliber of the events and what is offered in terms of organisation, facilities and locations that are all excellent.”
In explaining his preparation for Doha Billy said: “I will compete at some World Cup events as lead up to the first of the Global Champions Tour events in Doha. I like to keep my horses fresh so will then give them 3 weeks off before Doha.”
Confirmed acceptances from riders for the Global Champions Tour in Doha are as follows;
Kevin Staut (FRA), Marcus Ehning (GER), Rolf-Goran Bengtsson (SWE), Pius Schwizer (SUI), Billy Twomey (IRL), Edwina Alexander (AUS), Denis Lynch (IRL), Steve Guerdat (SUI), Jessica Kurten (IRL), Marco Kutscher (GER), Simon Delestre (FRA), Christian Ahlmann (GER), Ludger Beerbaum (GER), Harrie Smolders (NED), Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (GER), Lars Neiberg (GER), Gerco Schroder (NED), Daniel Duesser (GER), Marc Houtzager (NED), Ben Maher (GBR), Roger-Yves Bost (FRA), Jeroen Dubbeldam (NED), Alvaro De Miranda (BRA), Bernado Alves (BRA), Philip Weishaupt (GER), Guy Williams (GBR), Muff Werner (SUI), Leon Thijssen (NED), Vincent Voorn (NED) , Albert Zoer (NED).
Source: press release from the GCT.
This photo has been added to your cart !Your shopping cart »