A world class line up of top riders for the Longines Global Champions Tour of Rome is announced today as the 2016 championship races towards an electrifying climax. Fresh from the Olympic Games in Rio, the world’s leading show jumping athletes will be in action at the spectacular Stadio dei Marmi from 8th – 11th September.
As the overall Champion of Champions battle intensifies, both LGCT Ranking leader Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS) and second place man Rolf-Göran Bengtsson (SWE) will be in Rome and looking to move into pole position. A nail-biting 25 points separate the pair, and with Rolf the reigning champion of Rome, and rumoured to be bringing his formidable Grand Prix winning stallion Casall ASK, next weekend’s LGCT Grand Prix of Rome will undoubtably prove to be a turning point in the Championship race.
Close behind the leaders on 212 points overall is young star Bertram Allen (IRL), who currently sits just behind in 4th in the ranking battle. The 2015 LGCT Grand Prix of Paris winning rider will also head to Rome to play his hand and look to upset the three way battle for the lead. Hot on his heels will be German legend, Ludger Beerbaum (GER), who has won two Grand Prix events so far this season (Hamburg and Chantilly) and looks to be on incredible form with his recent contribution to a team bronze medal at the Rio Olympics. Also fresh from Brazil will be Sheikh Ali Bin Khalid Al Thani (QAT), who took a stunning 6th place on his debut Olympics. He’ll be joined by Olympic riders John Whitaker (GBR), Ben Maher (GBR), Harrie Smolders (NED), Maikel van der Vleuten (NED), Luciana Diniz (POR), and Jérôme Guery (BEL).
Local hero and the only Italian rider at the Olympics Emanuele Gaudiano (ITA) will return to him home Grand Prix; 2015 saw the stunning Stadio dei Marmi stadium packed out with passionate fans and this year promises even more opportunity for spectators to witness international and local heroes in action. Alongside Emanuele will be international stars such as World Number 2 Simon Delestre (FRA), Lauren Hough (USA), Marco Kutscher (GER), Marcus Ehning (GER), and Laura Kraut (USA).
Rome is one of the most visited cities in the world and has a sporting heritage dating back to the Roman Empire. The Longines Global Champions Tour of Rome will be staged at the impressive Stadio dei Marmi, which is ringed by 59 classical statues depicting different sports. From one Olympic stadium to another, the high calibre field of riders will return to Rome for the second year running; originally designed in the 1920’s, the stadium is one of the arenas in the Foro Italico sports area, and home to the Italian Olympic Committee.
Saturday 10th September will host the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Rome, and Sunday will welcome the Global Champions League home team, the Rome Gladiators, to do battle with the 11 other teams as the Championship grows ever more intense.