Longines Global Champions Tour and GCL set for second leg in Mexico City


Anticipation is already building in the bustling Mexican capital which has proved to be a popular stop on the tour since 2016.

The Campo Marte course offers a wonderful setting where the world’s best horses compete at 2,250 meters (7,381 feet) above sea level.

However, Julien Epaillard, who edged defending champion Ben Maher in the first leg in Qatar, is not competing this weekend.

The Frenchman’s absence leaves the door open for the likes of Maher, Edwina Tops-Alexander, Harrie Smolders and Scott Brash to overtake Epaillard in the race for the 2019 title.

Britain’s Brash has happy memories of this leg of the tour after winning last year’s edition — impressing the crowds with a memorably emotional performance on the now retired Ursula.

Mexico City is the second stop of the 20-leg 2019 Global Champions Tour.

All riders are aware that a positive start to the season can pay dividends in the battle for glory, while a win will secure an express ticket to the Longines Global Champions Tour Super Grand Prix at the Global Champions Playoffs in Prague in November.

Peder Fredricson, Lorenzo de Luca, Nicola Philippaerts and Olivier Philippaerts are just a sample of the A-list riders who will be on display in Mexico.

Meanwhile, the Shanghai Swans will be looking to continue its perfect start to the new Global Champions League (GCL) season, having clinched the opening win in Doha thanks to Germany’s Daniel Deusser and Switzerland’s Pius Schwizer both producing a double clear.

The new improved tour will take in a record 20 stops in 2019, including new venues New York, Montreal and Stockholm — culminating in the GC Prague Playoffs from November 21-24.

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