The Global Champions Tour ("GCT"), the most prestigious championship in show jumping today, will begin the 2009 season in Italy, hosted by the Arezzo Equestrian Centre from 2 to 5 April 2009. The championship is presented by CN and CN World Wide, Rolex is the official timepiece and Eurosport the media partner for this exciting series.
The GCT invites the world's top 30 riders, according to Rolex rankings, to compete and ensures an exciting spectacle for lovers of horses, sport or both. The first show will be watched with particular interest by the local Italian fans, as it is the first time an Italian, Gianni Govoni, has qualified in the top 30 and will join four other local riders invited by the host nation's federation in their conquest for the total prize money of €380,000. Gianni Govoni, recent winner of the CSI3* Grand Prix at the Arezzo Toscana Tour, is well-known for his speed and tenacious determination to win which will no doubt thrill the local and international spectators alike as he battles it out with the world's best. The opposition includes the winners of GCT 2008, Jessica Kurten and Castle Forbes Libertina, as well as three times GCT Grand Prix winner in 2008, Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, and the top Australian rider Edwina Alexander, the current World number 4 to name just a few. In addition to the top 30, the host nation may invite up to four 'wild card entries' and there are a further four places available to fulfil the requests of sponsors . You will find the complete list of confirmed starters at the bottom of this email.
Set in the heart of the Tuscan landscape and close to the historic town, the Arezzo Equestrian Centre has become world renowned in the past ten years as a very desirable destination for international show jumping with a number of equestrian activities and services of the highest standards. Its facilities include the 'Theatre for Equestrian Sports', indoor and outdoor arenas, relaxation areas, VIP lounges, cafes and a restaurant.
This year, the biggest show jumping event of Italy will move from it's usual September date to April, becoming part of the seven-week Toscana Tour, the largest European equestrian tour of it's kind , attracting more than 6000 horses and 2000 riders of 45 different nationalities.
The Arezzo Equestrian Centre is powered by Oxer, the new organizer of the events, and will be the natural venue for riders to start the season. By following the Toscana Tour, the riders and horses are given the opportunity of the best possible start to their season.
Arezzo is not only about sport. Because of its location in Tuscany, this town is rich with many charming and historical places. Food and wine lovers will find typical and traditional restaurants (locande and fiaschetterie). There are many cultural events in the city, including an Andrea Della Robbia exhibition that will be in Arezzo from the 21st of February till the 7th of June.
Social commitment is always one of the main characteristics of the Arezzo Equestrian Centre. Throughout 2009, the AEC will continue supporting Fondazione Fibrosi Cistica (FFC) with a fund raising-event to finance a specific research project.
For more information please visit our website www.globalchampionstour.com
The GCT of Italy will be broadcast live on Eurosport Saturday 4 April from 20:30CET.
Edwina and Itot jumping in a warm up class at Arezzo
Patrick Mc Entee
Felipe de Azevedo
Alvaro de Miranda
Roger Yves Bost
Meredith Michaels Beerbaum
Cian O' Connor
Erik vd Vleuten
Henk vd Pol
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