Longines Global Champions Tour Miami Beach 2015Posted on: April 4th, 2015 by Jessica Faroy
The Longines Global Champions Tour ended their 3-day launching debut of the 10th season at their newest destination, Miami Beach, on Saturday, April 4th. Taking place from the 2nd of April to the 4th, the debut of 2015 season set the stage for the remaining 14 events of the show jumping Championship. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Championship series included the US continent for the first time in the tour. The past 3 days took place on the sands of Miami Beach’s Collins Ave, behind the Setai, where the debut brought 3 days of competitive and lucrative atmosphere.
Amateur riders competed at the same time as the world’s Top 30. By spanning into the US continent, the Longines Global Champions Tour enticed not only a growing number of riders, but also a growing number of audiences. The spotlight was on Kent Farrington of the US. Ranked 3 in the Longines ranking of Top 10 riders, Farrington ranked 6th on the LGCT Grand Prix Class 14: Miami Beach 2015 CSI5* on April 4th, the concluding day of the Tour launch event. Although there was a spotlight on Farrington, all eyes were on Scott Brash, defending Champion and World No 1 competitor. His two back-to-back titles had spectators wondering if he would be the first to win 3 titles in a row. He surely did not disappoint, ranking number 1 on the LGCT Grand Prix Class 14: Miami Beach 2015 CSI5.
To kick off the 10th anniversary of the Tour, on Wednesday April 1st, a VIP party was hosted at the 1 Hotel South Beach. With a rooftop pool and restaurant-bar, the hotel showed its guests the wonder of Miami – the world’s playground. With appearances by Miami figures including Sarah Arison, Georgina Bloomberg, Jan Tops and Edwina Tops-Alexander, Jessica Springsteen, and many more, the party brought the energetic and creative that would soon be reflected in the Tour’s debut the following days. With Krug champagne, a telescope and plenty of mingling, the VIP party proved to be the perfect launch for the Tour.
With the richest prize money in show jumping, a combined prize fund of $11.23 million, there was no question as to anticipation from audiences watching the nail-biting events. On Thursday, April 2nd, Carlos Lopez competed for Colombia and ranked first place Class 04: Miami Beach 2015 CSI5* 1.45m. Three hours later, US rider Jack Towell ranked 1 for Class 05: Miami Beach 2015 CSI5* 1.50m.
The Class 09: Miami Beach 2015 CSI5* American Invitational took place Friday, April 3rd. Here, Brash made a stunning entrance, ranking 1, preparing audiences for yet another win the following day. Shortly before this Grand Prix Win, US competitor Todd Minkus ranked 1 for Class 13: Miami Beach 2015 CSI5* 1.45/1.50m.
The Tour is expected to run through 13 countries for 15 events. With award-winning star riders and fantastic locations, it is safe to say that Miami Beach set the stage for days of prestige and competition.