McCourt Global Acquire 50% Interest in the Global Champions TourMcCourt Global announced today that it has acquired a 50% interest in Global Champions Tour through McCourt Sports Limited, a European operating unit of MG Sports & Media, a McCourt Global business. Global Champions Tour is an international show jumping series that draws the best international riders and horses in the sport to its premier circuit of 14 events across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Swiss watchmaker Longines is the Title Partner and Official Timekeeper of the Tour.
Regarded as the 'Formula One' of show jumping, Global Champions Tour was founded in 2006 by Jan Tops, the four-time Olympic equestrian from The Netherlands and team gold medalist at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. Pioneering world class outdoor equestrian events in the heart of some of the world's major cities has become the hallmark of the championship series. This year the Tour includes landmark events in Paris, Shanghai, Antwerp, and London as well as regular stages in Monaco, Doha, Chantilly, Vienna, Hamburg, Cannes, Estoril, Valkenswaard, Lausanne, and Madrid. In 2014 riders will compete for over €9 million (over $12 million) – the highest for any series in the sport.
“2014 represents a groundbreaking year for Global Champions Tour thanks to exciting new venues such as Paris, Shanghai, and London's Horse Guards Parade Ground close to Buckingham Palace, and a powerful new partner in McCourt Global, an organization that shares my appreciation for the sport and my vision for its future,” said Jan Tops, president of Global Champions Tour. “Working together with McCourt Global, we will innovate to bring our Tour and the sport of show jumping to new audiences, new markets, and new heights. We are all very excited by the opportunities that this new partnership with McCourt Global creates.”
“Anyone attending a Global Champions Tour event for the first time is not only awed by the extraordinary venues that host the events, they are also struck by the talent, discipline, and pure athleticism required to compete in this beautiful sport at the highest level,” said Frank H. McCourt, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of McCourt Global. “The sky is the limit for the sport of show jumping. We look forward to working with Jan and his team to grow the sport for the benefit of all stakeholders, including the riders, the fans, and future equestrians the world over.”
The Global Champions Tour show jumping series is officially recognized by the International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI), the governing body of the sport. Since 2006, Global Champions Tour events have been classed as CSI5* events by the FEI. Additional information on the 2014 Longines Global Champions Tour, including live streaming of each event, results and rankings, rider profiles, and videos, can be found at www.globalchampionstour.com.