An exciting three-way battle will unfold in Vienna this weekend for overall leadership in the Longines Global Champions Tour. Current Tour leader Scott Brash (GBR) will compete against Luciana Diniz (POR) and Rolf-Göran Bengtsson (SWE), who are both hot on his heels and will be looking to claim the number one spot.
Vienna is one of the most spectacular stages in the tour, offering a certain extra in terms of excitement shortly ahead of the grand finale in Doha. This high-class event attracts many of the world’s best riders to Vienna’s Rathausplatz (Town Hall Square), which is situated in the middle of an array of impressive monuments which adorn Austria’s capital. Numerous journalists gathered for today’s press conference at the wonderful Palais Liechtenstein. Marco Danese, sports director of the Longines Global Champions Tour, stated: “It is magnificent to be able to bring equestrian sport into the hearts of Europe’s capital cities – it’s something the public loves – and here in Vienna we have a sensational starting field. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank LGT Bank, who will this year be presenting the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Vienna”.
Meinhard Platzer (CEO of LGT Bank of Austria) explained that longevity is an essential component in the success of LGT Private Banking: “The princely house of Liechtenstein connects equestrian sport with a sense of established tradition. It is an interesting market which lives, above all, through the engagement of the people involved. This year, LGT proudly presents the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Vienna. I believe we can count ourselves lucky to be able to have such a high-class event here in the heart of Vienna. I look forward to the next few days of exciting competition.”
Co-organiser Thomas Frühmann spoke about the sporting highlights: “We can’t wait to welcome numerous of the world’s best riders to Vienna – amongst them Scott Brash who is currently holding the number one spot in the Longines Global Champions Tour. The champions from previous years will be here too: Luciana Diniz (POR), GLOCK rider Gerco Schröder (NED) and Marcus Ehning (GER).”
Marcus Ehning (GER) was last year’s winner in the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Vienna, and wants continued success off the back of his fantastic third place finish in Rome last weekend. His fellow-countrymen Daniel Deusser, Marco Kutscher and Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum will also be there, along with John Whitaker (GBR), Kevin Staut (FRA), Lauren Hough (USA), Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS), Ben Maher (GBR), Pius Schwizer (SUI) and Harrie Smolders (NED).
Organiser Gregor Gschlenk spoke of the many changes: “We have made many improvements this year; ultimately we are driven and united by the desire to offer all riders, horses, spectators and guests the perfect conditions. The VIP section has been newly-conceived and the press will now have their workspace directly at the staging arena. But come and see for yourself by taking a readily waiting horse-drawn carriage to the Rathausplatz!” declared Gschlenk to the surprise and delight of those in attendance.
Local hero and Olympic silver medallist Thomas Frühmann (AUT/W) will represent Austria along with Max Kühner (AUT/T), Gerfried Puck (AUT/St), Markus Saurugg (AUT/St) and Dieter Köfler (AUT/K) at the Rathausplatz.
There will be four long days of riding in the 14th tour stage; on Thursday (17.9) the CSI2* competitions will kick off proceedings, and from Friday (18.9) the CSI5* participants will get in on the action. The Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Vienna presented by LGT Private Banking will take place on Saturday (19.9) at 18:30, and will be shown on Eurosport and BeIN Sports (second round) as well as on ORF Sport+, Equidia Live and Class Horse TV.
It is easy to purchase tickets for the VIENNA MASTERS online. Tickets are now available directly from the event website.
Party with the show-jumping stars!
Some spectators will want to get to know the riders not only on the show-jumping course, but also up close and personal. Those in that category should not miss this year’s hotly anticipated Vienna Masters party nights! All information about the Vienna Masters official after-show parties can be found on Facebook.
VIENNA MASTERS | LONGINES GLOBAL CHAMPIONS TOUR
Int. 5* Show-jumping | Working Equitation | Int. Pony-dressage | Show | Shopping mile | Kids area
17th-20th September 2015 | Vienna’s Rathausplatz (Town Hall Square)