Elite riders to contest Champions Tour Final
Published 11/11/2015 | 02:30
Irish riders Cian O'Connor, Denis Lynch and Bertram Allen are among an elite line-up who will contest the Global Champions Tour Individual Show Jumping Final in Doha, Qatar this coming weekend.
However, it is possibly the last time the lucrative competition will be held in its current format as an all-new Global Champions League team event is set to launch in 2016.
This comes despite a recent challenge from the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) who attempted to thwart the plans by imposing a so-called "exclusivity clause" on a rule that prevented riders, horses and show officials from participating in non-FEI events six months prior to participating in an FEI event.
Following an appeal by the GCT organisers, the Court of Appeal in Brussels upheld an earlier decision of the Belgian Competition Authority enabling the new Global Champions League to launch in 2016.
They maintained that the FEI had failed to demonstrate the injunction inflicted serious and irreparable harm on the federation. However, the FEI is set to challenge that decision once again in the coming weeks.
This is primarily in a bid to protect the successful Nations' Cup team competition run by the FEI and in turn prevent any future clashes with the series which is run across six regions throughout the spring and summer. This includes Europe, in which Ireland has competed with much success this year and won the final leg on home ground at the RDS in August.
If allowed to go ahead, the new league format will see Olympic and World Champions in action as part of teams at 15 destinations worldwide next year.
However, the new format will likely see riders again torn between the GCT and the Nations' Cup team competition which, in recent years, have clashed on more than one occasion, leading to rifts amongst owners, riders and team managers.