By the LGCT (Edited)


One of the most spectacular settings of the Longines Global Champions Tour circuit gets underway in the thrilling city of Vienna tomorrow as the championship races towards its climax.

The high calibre event will see 25 of the world’s Top 30 riders compete beneath the dazzling City Hall (Rathaus) surrounded by the stunning monuments of Austria’s capital city.

Ranking leader Laura Kraut heads up a strong field of British contenders at the CSI5* event for the 11th leg of the championship series. A dramatic Grand Prix is expected in the beautiful sand arena as international riders chase crucial ranking points before the final leg in Doha, Qatar, in November.
With total prize money of €500,000 - including €300,000 for the Longines Global Champions Tour of Vienna Grand Prix on Saturday evening - the competition will be hot. Five riders have already earned more than €1 million in prize money on the Tour over the years with Edwina Tops-Alexander at the top of the league on €2.37 million.

The overall ranking is incredibly tight with riders in the Top 10 heading for a cliff-hanger to hold on to their positions. America’s Laura Kraut (187 ranking points) has a chance to increase her lead over Germany’s Christian Ahlmann (185 points) in Vienna. She will face intense competition from her nearest rivals Ludger Beerbaum (167 points), Luciana Diniz (166 points), Scott Brash (163 points) and Alvaro de Miranda (162 points).

Beautiful Vienna was described as the “dream backdrop” by organisers. Grandstands are expected to be full to capacity for top-level show jumping. Spectators and TV viewers will also be entertained by dressage and a display from the world famous Spanish Riding School of Vienna.

To see the list of riders and horses competing, click http://tinyurl.com/o76w5mo

*Photo: Penelope Leprevost winner of the Grand Prix Vienna 2012 on Mylord Carthago


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