June 1 to July 2 2011, in Estoril, Portugal
The Global Champions Tour season turns to Portugal to the city of Estoril with the top international show jumping being held on July 1-2, 2011. Duarte Guedes, President of the organising committee for the Global Champions Tour in Estoril, has been committed to the event since the leading show jumping tour commenced in 2006. “It is very good to see the Global Champions Tour progressing so well since the first competitions in 2006 when we first became a partner for the series. Over time the Estoril public have developed good knowledge about the sport of show jumping. They love the horses, the jumping and are always supportive.” “Of course having the top riders in the world coming here to compete is exceptional,” Duarte also commented. “We are honoured to have the world’s best show jumping circuit here and to continue our country’s history of attracting top equestrian sporting events to our region.” There are many expectations for the Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Portugal and with Australian Edwina Alexander already building a healthy lead at the top with 155 points it will be interesting to see who can challenge her for the ranking leader title. ‘I'm really happy that I have been the first rider to reach the milestone mark,” remarked Edwina. “The ranking can change from show to show so it’s a matter of being consistent. I have been placed in every GCT event this year and I hope I can keep it up”. Behind Edwina on the GCT ranking, there is German Ludger Beerbaum, on 151.50 points, who is also a strong contender for the Global Champions Tour 2011 title. He placed second at each of the tour’s Grand Prix in Valencia, Germany and Cannes and led the rankings after Cannes. Although placing 14th in the Grand Prix in Monaco with Chaman after jumping clean in the first round and having three rails in the second round, he will be out to avenge his relegation to second on the GCT scorecard. Alvaro de Miranda Neto (BRA) sits with 123 points and Denis Lynch (IRL) has 120 points, placing 3rd and 4th respectively. But it is Rolf-Goran Bengtsson from Sweden who is ‘on fire’ at present having won both the Global Champions Tour Grand Prix’s in Germany and Monaco with the stallion Casall La Silla. At the conclusion of Estoril there are just four Global Champions Tour events remaining: Chantilly, Valkenswaard, and Rio de Janeiro, with the season culmination at the Al Forsan International Sports arena in Abu Dhabi 24-26 November. The race is on between the top professional riders to win the 300,000-euro bonus cheque for the overall highest ranked rider of the season. Major tour sponsor Jaeger-LeCoultre will take a great presence at the Estoril event offering a beautifully crafted Reverso watch for the winner. The Reverso watch celebrating its 80th year in existence has been especially engraved for the Global Champions Tour series.