(MENAFN- Gulf Times) Global Champions Arabians Tour (GCAT), a groundbreaking initiative that sets the stage for a new era in Arabian horse sport, was unveiled yesterday on the sidelines of the World Arabian Horse Championship at the historic Old Doha Port. With a steadfast commitment to respecting the beauty of the Arabian horse and upholding integrity every step of the way, GCAT is poised to become the world's most prized and dynamic Arabian horse series.
Respecting beauty with integrity, GCAT is committed to promoting the unique beauty and grace of pure Arabian Horses through an innovative international platform. The tour introduces a brand-new format, featuring events held in state-of-the-art venues located in iconic locations across Europe and the Middle East. These venues are carefully selected to provide an unparalleled experience for both participants and spectators.
GCAT will kick off with the opening leg scheduled in February in Doha. The series will the move to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates for the second leg, which will also be held in February. The third leg will held in Muscat, Oman in April, before the inaugural series moves to Europe.
Cannes, France will host the fourth leg in June, with Valkenswaard, Netherlands conducting the next one in July. The sixth leg will be held in September in Rome, Italy before the series concludes in Paris, France in December. The organisers said the exact dates will be announced in the upcoming days.
“We are shaping a new era and crafting a lasting legacy in Arabian horsemanship,” said GCAT Chairman Faleh al-Nasr.“The Global Champions Arabians Tour is not just a series of events; it is a celebration of the timeless bond between humans and these majestic creatures. We aim to elevate Arabian horse shows to a different level, connecting people and cultures through a shared passion for these extraordinary animals.”
The inaugural season of GCAT promises to be historic, with an unprecedented prize pool of €17mn, setting a new standard in Arabian horse sports. This significant investment reflects the recognition and reward for excellence in horsemanship. Besides the main prize there is also a bonus €500,000 which will be awarded to the overall GCAT champion at the end of the season in addition to the €500,000 championship prize-money.
Badr al-Darwish, CEO of the event, said:“The rules of the tournament were set by relying on points to arrange the positions from first to tenth, starting from 20 points for the first-place holder up to 7 points for the 10th-place holder. The total tournament prizes in the seven rounds will be approximately 17 million euros, and It will be distributed through the system approved in the rounds, so that the top ten winners in each category will receive prizes starting from 50,000 euros for first place, up to 5,000 euros for tenth place, while 20 champion horses, female and male, in the seven rounds will be given valuable prizes ranging from 500,000 euros. For first place, up to 15 thousand euros for the twentieth place holder.”
Mohamed al-Thani, Deputy CEO of the event, explaining the launch of the dynamic global event and the idea behind it, said,“We started with the Longines Global Champions Tour for showjumping in Doha in 2006 and which has grown up at the base in a big way, and now this Longines Global Arabians Tour for horse beauty is a natural growth progression.”
He stressed:“His Highness Sheikh Jassim bin Mohamed bin Thani (the Founder of the State of Qatar) had this vision. He loved Arabian horses, wanted to raise prize-money for horse breeders, for trainers, for the sport. He also wanted the horseshow championships, which are so famous here in the Gulf, to spread to Europe as well.”
Jan Tops, Founder & President of Global Champions, added:“GCAT represents a milestone in the world of equestrian sports. The tour is designed to be inclusive, embracing a global audience through live events and digital content. This innovative approach ensures that the beauty of Arabian horsemanship is accessible to anyone, anywhere.”
The highlight of the GCAT season is the crowning of the Season Champions, positioned as the pinnacle awards of Arabian horse sport. These awards will showcase the finest specimens of Pure Arabian Horses, and the most skilled Handlers, competing at the highest level for the title of Season Champion in their select categories.
As GCAT takes centre stage, it promises to foster a deeper appreciation for Arabian horses, uniting enthusiasts, and showcasing the rich cultural heritage associated with these magnificent animals. With its commitment to integrity, innovation, and excellence, GCAT is set to leave an indelible mark on the world of equestrian sports.
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