Longines Global Champions Tour – International Jumping of Cannes, CSI5* , from Thursday, 12th till Saturday, 14th June, 2014 – Stade des Hespérides
CANNES 2014 : Jumping at the highest world level and glamour
If there is an equestrian event, which cannot be missed during the summer season, it’s without hesitation the Cannes Jumping. A French leg of the very prestigious «Longines Global Champions Tour». This show-jumping event is one of the rare events in France to be able to offer start-lists with thirty of the best world riders. But Cannes has a « little something » more: the glamour of the Croisette.
Because it is indeed at least 200 meters of the famous avenue which the stadium of Hesperides offers a settling like nowhere else. Horses are accommodated at the harbour: an unusual image to see these invaluable quadrupeds evolving among yachts, passing under the palm trees in the park of Hesperides, to join the sports arena; these horses are the best in the world: Olympic champions, winners of the World cup, great winners in Grand Prix. Last year, the public had the pleasure of seeing the triumph of one of their favourites, Marcus Ehning who has the habit of pleasing them in the French competitions as seen in the recent victory at the Grand Palais.
The Longines Global Champions Tour is a prestigious series, which crosses the planet all the way to China via Qatar and the most beautiful events in Europe. The kick-off of this summer competition began last weekend in Antwerp and started very strong with the victory of American McLain Ward and the beautiful fifth place for the best French female rider Pénélope Leprévost. Every leg is constituted of a Grand Prix with 300.000 € prize money (approximately 100.000 € for the winner) and attributing points resulting in a general ranking: in terms of the circuit, the eighteen best riders will share a purse of 1.000.000 € at the end of the series. Only the thirty best in the world are invited to this prestigious event and already, in just over a month until the Cannes Jumping, 27 of them have answered ‘present’. An abundance, which we also owe to the glamorous environment of this show jumping that is like no other.
For if the concept of the Longines Global Champions Tour, is the guarantee that it is absolutely one of the best show jumping events we can attend (and the list of the formal winners can only confirm this), Cannes has effectively that “little something” extra. The sunny days at the bank of the French Riviera bring a relaxed summer atmosphere just like the riders who we meet in a pair of shorts going between the stables and the paddock, grooms resting in the shade of the boxes, and horses being walked under the palm trees and having showers in front of the Mediterranean Sea.
As these champions relax whilst waiting for the night classes, other riders are in the arena, taking part in the afternoon’s classes of the amateur CSI*, which had been dominated last year by the French actor Guillaume Canet, now almost professional, and will again try his luck at a higher level. The Cannes Jumping will mark another comeback with Marina Hands who also had a childhood and adolescence rocked by equestrian competition and she too, wanted to put the boots back on and jump the fences. Another return, Charlotte Casiraghi, who had put aside the equestrian competition for the birth of her son Raphaël.
Riding is a challenge, a constant questioning, a school of humility, no matter who you are. The stars in a world other than that of the horse, who dare to face this challenge and sometimes expose themselves, show a true courage that will be shown in Hesperides from the 12th to the 14th of June.