For the fourth consecutive year, the Longines Athina Onassis Horse Show LAOHS returns to legendary Pampelonne Beach, located on the Saint-Tropez peninsula, from June 1st to 3rd. As high-level rider and descendant of Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis, Athina Onassis, organizes this prestigious event combining athletics and elegance. Onassis is based in Valkenswaard, The Netherlands, where she has her own training yard adjacent to that of Tops’ and his wife, Edwina Tops Alexander. Being a successful international competitor herself and having competed at the 2014 World Equestrian Games and 2013 European Championships, she punctually puts all her knowledge together with that glamorous savoir faire inherited by her grandfather in organizing this breath-taking event.
Indeed this year the organization has overcome itself, since legendary course designer Uliano Vezzani, will be one of the undisguised protagonists of the edition. Like a film director, Vezzani will set the stage in Saint-Tropez to allow riders and horses to express themselves in the best conditions. With forty yearly international events to his credit and a deep passion for equestrian sports, the international course designer is especially attentive to the well-being of horses because they are the ones “who judge and approve your course by their physical and mental fitness.” The former rider’s goal is to design an athletically challenging course using a fragile equation: respect for the animals, attentiveness to riders and the desire to provide a unique show to the audience. “I am proud to participate in the Longines Athina Onassis Horse Show. It is a first for me and this new adventure will certainly enrich my experience. I am impatient to meet the riders and public in June,” he points out.
One more time Longines partners with the event, featuring two competitions: the CSI5*, the highest level show jumping competition and the CSI1* for amateur riders for a total of € 549,000 in prize money. The world’s best riders and horses will compete in the 4 classes of the CSI5*, all valid for the Longines ranking, including the Longines Grand Prix with € 300,000 in prize money. The 9 classes of the CSI1* will be reserved for amateur riders who will have the privilege of competing in the same arena as the best riders. A total of one hundred riders and nearly 200 horses are expected, representing more than twenty countries.
Planned for Saturday afternoon, the Longines Grand Prix is reserved for only the best international competition riding pairs. The event takes place in two stages, one with bars placed at 1.60m, with an allocated time for two rounds. Statistically only 40% of competitors make it to the second round, which is a shorter course with different technical challenges. In case of a tie at the end of the second round, there is a jump-off and the starting order on the second round is in the reverse order of the provisional ranking from the first round. If not in Saint Tropez, you may hold your breath while watching the event on TV Broadcast: Saturday June 3rd at 11 PM on Eurosport.
Flyinghorse.it will be live at the event, so follow our social media channels and stay tuned