Held at Prague’s O2 Area between December 13 and 16, the primary indoor match within the 12-year historical past of the Longines International Champions Excursion will see riders struggle it out for $13.7 million in prize cash.
Having gained his first person LGCT identify this season, all eyes in Prague might be on Britain’s Ben Maher — the dominant rider of 2018.
“It is change into a dream season that wasn’t anticipated,” Maher advised CNNEQ in Doha, the place he gained the 16th and ultimate leg of the common LGCT season, in addition to securing the full International Champions League (GCL) staff championship for the London Knights.
Maher, a former Olympic champion who may be the staff supervisor of the London Knights, known as his first person LGCT identify “one among my largest achievements to this point.”
The 35-year-old Briton controlled to win the full person identify with two rather younger and green horses, Explosion W and Successful Just right, who’re each owned via his backers, the British-American Moffitt circle of relatives.
The nine-year-old Explosion W, a powerfully constructed Dutch warmblood, has been the breakout famous person of this season, completing 2d in Shanghai in April in his first day trip with Maher, sooner than securing victories in Madrid, Saint Tropez, Rome and Doha.
The most efficient is but to return for the tall chestnut gelding, insists Maher.
“After I journey into the hoop, he simply grows, he could make you are feeling like you’ll be able to do anything else,” Maher mentioned about Explosion, who has helped him earn simply over $1M in prize cash at the LGCT this season.
$three.4M for profitable staff
The Prague Playoffs will pit the 16 winners of the person LGCT Grands Prix this season in opposition to each and every different within the LGCT Tremendous Grand Prix on Saturday 15 December.
The bottom-breaking staff championship, uniting riders from other nations at the similar staff, will come to an in depth with an action-packed, four-day match in Prague, that may see the highest 16 groups vying for the $11.4M GCL Tremendous Cup. The profitable staff will take house $three.4M in prize cash.
The Prague Playoffs are the brainchild of Dutchman Jan Tops, a former Olympic champion who based the LGCT in 2006 to make the game extra sexy to a larger target market.
This season, the excursion added two stops, Saint Tropez at the French Riviera and Prague, to a nine-month lengthy calendar that still integrated occasions held at the Atlantic coastline in Miami Seashore, in Paris via the Eiffel Tower and beside the River Thames in London The excursion additionally stopped in Shanghai, Monaco and Doha.
The Prague Playoffs may see as many as 56,000 spectators on the O2 enviornment, which is a brief stroll from town middle and its picturesque Christmas markets on the Previous The city Sq. and Wenceslas Sq..
The brand new GCL staff occasions are “a key strategic step ahead within the evolution of our recreation,” mentioned Tops, the co-founder of the GCL and LGCT president. “It is going to become the enjoy for thousands and thousands of fanatics all over the world as they establish with the united states of americaand downs in their favourite riders and horses.”
American businessman Frank H. McCourt, Jr., the previous proprietor of the Los Angeles Dodgers Primary League Baseball staff and a co-founder of the GCL, mentioned the staff match layout “will assist get ready riders for the world-class festival they are going to face right through their careers.”
McCourt, the present proprietor of French football staff Olympique de Marseille, mentioned the GCL “creates an exceptional setting for the improvement of younger riders and promising horses as they teach and compete along the best names in display leaping.”