The best riders in the world from 18 different countries will head to the lively coastal town of Cascais, Estoril, in the beautiful Portugal, to compete in the 9th leg of the Longines Global Champions Tour. As the Championship Tour kicks up another gear towards the second half of the season, top athletes from America, Ukraine, Japan, Morocco, Colombia and Ireland, to name a few, will take centre stage from the 9th - 11th July, as the battle for the title intensifies. With 502,000€ in total on offer in the CSI5* competitions over the course of the two days, there's set to be unmissable action and a showcase of show jumping talent at its finest as the very best in the world take to the stunning 110m x 70m grass arena.
Current ranking leader Luciana Diniz (POR) will look to capitalise at her home Grand Prix, and after another successful round in Paris she has extended her points lead to 44 from second place man and world number 1, Scott Brash (GBR), who will also be in attendance and sure to be raising the temperature on the fight for the win. Sheikh Ali Bin Khalid Al Thani (QAT), currently fourth in the ranking battle, will also be well placed to increase his championship title chances. Ireland's young Bertram Allen (IRL) will also be back and hoping to continue his phenomenal form after making history as the youngest ever Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix winner.
Olympic gold medallist Ben Maher (GBR) is another rider who will be looking to maintain his top form following an exceptional joint win in the final class in Paris. The split screen video comparing the two jump-off rounds has become a social media hit after he and Karim El Zoghby (EGY) crossed the line at exactly the same time to take the win; incredibly unusual in this high level of competition. With the likes of double Tour Champion Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS), Daniel Deusser (GER), John Whitaker (GBR), Hans-Dieter Dreher (GER), Kevin Staut (FRA), Pilar Lucrecia Cordon (ESP), Lauren Hough (USA) and Ludger Beerbaum (GER) riding in the high profile competition on the Portuguese Riviera, it's set to be an exciting round of the Championship Tour.
The wonderful parkland of Cascais is transformed for two days of high-calibre show jumping which last year saw two-time Tour Champion Scott Brash (GBR) take top honours in the Grand Prix - his second win of the 2014 season, and pivotal turning point towards his Championship win.
Cascais, Estoril has grown into a renowned international destination for world-class sport, hosting the America’s Cup sailing, golf, tennis, surfing and motorsports. Blessed with a fine climate most of the year, visitors flock to the coast to soak up the sun and enjoy the great landscape and attractions. Cascais became the summer destination of choice for Portuguese nobility in the 1900s - it has since become a lively international beach resort. Down the road, Estoril’s famous casino is thought to be where Ian Fleming came up with the idea for Casino Royale, as he stalked Yugoslav double agent Dusko Popov at its tables.
In Portugal there are palaces, museums and national parks to visit and the capital city, Lisbon, is only a short distance away with its top-class hotels, restaurants and bars. The Grand Prix of Cascais, Estoril is sure to be an exciting event, as riders fight for supremacy in the overall 2015 Championship Ranking.
For a full rider list, please click here.