The Longines Global Champions Tour arrives in Miami Beach
Equestrian show jumping came to Miami Beach for the third year in a row this weekend, climaxing with a victory by Belgium’s Jerome Guery in Saturday’s final of the Longines Global Champions Tour.
Guery, a 36-year-old who finished 28th in last year’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics, won the Miami Beach event by just six-tenths of a second. He did this on Grand Cru van de Rozenberg, the same horse he rode in Rio.
Alberto Zorzi of Italy, who was riding Cornetto K, finished second, and Nicola Philippaerts of Belgium, who was riding Chilli Willi, finished third, all within two seconds as part of an impressive field.
“The heights of the jumps in this event were equivalent to what we saw at the Olympics,” said Aly Vance, a show-jumping broadcaster. “From the riders to the horses, these are the best of the best.”
This weekend’s hometown favorite, Margie Goldstein-Engle, who is from Wellington, finished fifth, making her the highest-ranking American in the field. She was riding Royce.
Olympic gold medalist Scott Brash, who in 2015 became the first rider to win show jumping’s Rolex Grand Slam, finished ninth while riding M’Lady.
Of the 25 riders who qualified for the finals on Saturday there were notable names left out, including world No. 1 McLain Ward.
Jessica Springsteen, who was in third place entering Saturday, also failed to qualify. She is the daughter of rock star Bruce Springsteen.
In the team portion of the event, Valkenswaard United won the Global Champions League. London Knights finished second, and St. Tropez Pirates came in third. Miami Glory was sixth.
Miami Beach is the only U.S. stop on the 15-city tour, which opened in Mexico City. Next up is Shanghai, China followed by Madrid, Hamburg, Germany; Cannes, France; Monaco; Paris; Cascais, Portugal; Chantilly, France; Berlin; London; Valkenwaard, Netherlands; Rome; and Doha, Qatar.
The tour offers the richest prize money in the sport with over $24 million on offer throughout the series.