Equestrian - Cream of showjumping heads to Chantilly

The cream of world showjumping is set to whip up a storm in Chantilly as the eighth leg of the Global Champions Tour gets under way this week.

Equestrian - Cream of showjumping heads to Chantilly

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No less than 18 of the world's top 20 riders will feature at the show in the grounds of the spectacular Renaissance chateau just north of Paris.

Hans-Dieter Dreher will defend the title he won last year, but it will not be easy for the German, given the quality of the field.

The top three in the provisional GCT standings - American Laura Kraut, Germany's world number one Christian Ahlmann and Luciana Diniz of Portugal - will pose a clear threat to Dreher, as will Olympic champion Steve Guerdat, top French rider Kevin Staut and world number two Gerco Schröder.

Australia's Edwina Tops-Alexander, overall champion in 2011 and 2012 but yet to win a leg this year, will aim to improve on her current fifth position and close the 40-point gap on Kraut.

“I look forward to Chantilly, it is a fantastic show and I have had several good results there over the years," said Dutchman Harrie Smolders, who will also be hoping to be in the mix.

With the stunning chateau and the Royal stables - home to the new horse museum - in the background, large numbers are expected for the Grand Prix, which is scheduled to start at 3:30pm local time on Saturday.

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