‘Spiritual home’ Valkenswaard plays host to LGCT showjumping spectacle

'Spiritual home' Valkenswaard plays host to LGCT showjumping spectacle

(CNN)Crunch time for the 2019 Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT) is fast approaching, and for the 15th leg of this year’s competition, the tour travels to its spiritual home.

The Tops International Arena in Valkenswaard, The Netherlands will play host to the elite showjumping circuit this weekend.
Valkenswaard is the birthplace of the tour’s founder and president Jan Tops, the former Olympic gold medal-winning showjumper.
    And as the competition hots up in the search for one of the few remaining qualifying spots for the LGCT Super Grand Prix at the GC Playoffs in Prague in November, there will be a star-studded line up on display.
    With second-placed Ben Maher not in action following his double victory in London last time out, the Tour’s overall leader Pieter Devos will be aiming to extend his slender six-point lead at the top of the standings with a strong performance.
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    There will also be plenty of local heroes for the home fans to cheer on, including last year’s LGCT Grand Prix of Valkenswaard winner Frank Schuttert, as well as Harrie Smolders, Maikel and Eric van der Vleuten.
    Plenty of other big names will be on show for the Dutch fans, with Julien Epaillard, Jérôme Guery, Niels Bruynseels and Daniel Deusser all coming to town.
    READ: Global Champions 2019: Schedule and results
    Like in the LGCT, there is still all to play for in the Global Champions League (GCL) with just four stops left of the regular season.
    Last time out, Maher and Belgium’s Olivier Philippaerts successfully defended their London crown as they raced to a fourth win of the season with the London Knights.
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      The Knights, who earlier in the season triumphed in Stockholm, Cascais and Madrid, lead the overall GCL leader board with 258 points.
      They are six points clear of Miami Celtics, the only other team to score a home win this season, and 11 points ahead of St. Tropez Pirates.