London’s Horse Guards Parade provides the spectacular backdrop to the latest leg of the 2014 Longines Global Champions Tour and you can watch all the spectacular showjumping action live on BBC Two and British Eurosport.
Thousands of spectators are expected to attend this prestigious event, which will see nine of the top 10 riders in the world compete for the largest equestrian prize in British history.
Seen as a key meeting ahead of the World Equestrian Games in Normandy at the end of the month, the London leg of the 2014 Global Champions is set to feature British champions Scott Brash and Ben Maher.
The stop at one of the capital’s most familiar landmarks is the eleventh for this season’s competition, which offers £7m in prize money over 14 different venues, hosted in 12 countries across the globe.
Just over twelve months ago, London played host to the tour for the first time over at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, in the shadows of the London 2012 Olympic Stadium, with the Grand Prix element providing one of the fastest jump-offs any of the riders could remember that day, with Britain’s Ben Maher prevailing as the winner.
This year’s event at Horse Guards welcomes more of the world’s best horses and riders, who will all be competing against the spectacular backdrop of St James’s Park, with over 240 horses and 27 of the world’s top 30 show jumping riders in action.
A new host venue for this season, Horse Guards Parade in the heart of the city, provides a fitting and spectacular setting for the Tour within a stone’s throw of 10 Downing Street, Buckingham Palace and overlooked by the iconic London Eye across the River Thames.
The site, situated in St James’s Park, has been used for parades, pageants and ceremonies since the 17th century and is world famous for the Trooping The Colour on the Queen’s Birthday Parade.
St James’s Park is also known for holding prestigious international sporting events, including the London Marathon, but this summer has been particularly busy for the venue, with the show jumping following one from last week’s RideLondon and the recent Tour de France cycling, which both finished on The Mall, as well as the London Anniversary Games athletics event, held on the Horse Guards grounds.
As the 11th leg of the season, London is a key stage where the overall series may be won or lost and every result is crucial.
The championship race has developed into one of the closest ever seen in the Tour’s nine year history with just 40 points separating the top four ranked riders.
Britain’s world number one Brash will have his 2012 Olympic Gold medal-winning horse Hello Sanctos as his star ride, while Brash’s 2012 Olympic team mate, world number three Ben Maher, will have his partner of last year Cella and together the pair will try and retain the London title which they won so convincingly in 2013.
Last year’s London debut was a huge success for showjumping with almost one million people tuning into watch live on the BBC, as well as millions watching around the world.
BBC Sport will have live coverage of the final two days of the 2014 Longines Global Champions Tour from London’s Horse Guards Parade on August 15-16.
Clare Balding will present two live programmes from the iconic venue on BBC Two and BBC Two HD on Friday and Saturday afternoons, featuring almost four hours of top-class equestrian action.
Saturday’s coverage will feature the excitement of the Global Champions Tour Grand Prix live, with Friday’s programme featuring the best of the action from Thursday’s competitions and live action from the Sapinda Prix, plus there will be special behind-the-scenes features with the champion riders and their horses.
Commentary on proceedings will be provided by the voice of equestrian sport Michael Tucker and former international showjumper Andy Austin.
British Eurosport also be broadcasting live coverage of Global Champions Tour Grand Prix on Saturday, August 15, starting at 6.00pm.
Longines Global Champions Tour’s official website will provide a live online streaming service throughout the three-day competition, covering all the action from Thursday to Saturday.
Global Champions Tour 2014: London
LIVE Online Stream: globalchampionstour.com
Friday 15th August
DAY 2: Grant Road Partners LLC Prix / Sapinda Prix
LIVE: 3.00pm-5.00pm BBC Two
Saturday 16th August
DAY 3: Longines Global Champions Tour of London Grand Prix
LIVE: 5.15pm-7.00pm BBC Two / 6.00pm-7.30pm British Eurosport