Sheikh Ali, Bassem set for home event
06 Nov 2017 - 10:12
Olympic Games team mates Sheikh Ali bin Khalid Al Thani and Bassem Hassan Mohammed (pictured below) will lead the home charge at the Doha leg of the 2017 Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT) set to be held at the Al Shaqab Arena from November 9 to 11.
Sheikh Ali and Bassem, who were part of the show jumping team that represented Qatar in the Rio Olympics last year, will join Scott Brash and other top riders in what is expected to be a thrilling contest in the final round of this year’s LGCT calendar.
Brash is the top earner with €557,884 this season.
After a season which has seen more twists and turns than a Formula 1 circuit, the scene is set for a five-way battle for podium places in the LGCT finale and a fascinating head-to-head between the two leading GCL teams.
Speaking about the upcoming event, LGCT President and GCL Co-Founder Jan Tops said: “We are all looking forward to this thrilling climax to the season at the incredible venue of Al Shaqab.
This year is particularly special as we join Al Shaqab in celebrating their 25th Anniversary, and I have no doubt that the weekend’s show jumping will be another showcase of top sport and top entertainment as the equestrian world focuses on Doha.”
New LGCT Champion Harrie Smolders from the Netherlands cemented his place in history by taking the crown at the penultimate event in Rome. Smolders has bagged €483,676 this year.
However, a mere 15 points separate the top five riders, and a knife-edge points battle continues with Lorenzo de Luca (Italy), Christian Ahlmann (Germany), Alberto Zorzi (Italy), Maikel van der Vleuten (the Netherlands) and Brash - all of whom will be tussling at the sharp end of the grid for their final chance to take a coveted podium place.
The Global Champions League race to the finish could not be more exhilarating, with Hamburg Diamonds and Valkenswaard United locking horns in the final high stakes battle - just 17 points between them.
With every point counting, teams will be pulling their star strikers and top horses off the bench and strategising to maximise their success at the spectacular state-of-the-art arena.
Just 6 points separate St Tropez Pirates, Miami Glory and Mexico Amigos - currently 3rd, 4th and 5th in the rankings respectively - and with 30 points for a win, plus no drop scores, there is plenty of potential for the final order to be shaken up at Al Shaqab.
The final GCL competition of the season will kick off at 14:00 local time on Saturday 11th November, with the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix taking place at 18:00 as the sun descends over the spectacular city of Doha. All the action will be on our live streaming platforms GCT TV and GCL TV with expert commentary and analysis and special studio talk shows and behind-the-scenes features.