On an unforgettable opening day of the Longines Global Champions Tour of St. Tropez, Ramatuelle in 2024, high-level sport once again paired with the glamorous hospitality and vibrant atmosphere of the French Riviera, setting the stage for a perfect weekend of show jumping. Derin Demirsoy delivered an electrifying performance, clinching victory in the Lugano Diamonds Trophy 1.45m speed class. Demirsoy, riding speed demon Elzas, secured the win by a mere 0.11 seconds.

The first day of action was a true celebration of world-class show jumping, stunning coastal views, and the finest in entertainment. The competition was fierce, with top riders from around the world vying for the first win of the weekend.

Victor Bettendorf, aboard Big Star des Forets, delivered a stunning round, going flat out from start to finish but couldn’t match the time of Demirsoy to take second place, leaving Demirsoy to shine. On home turf, Ines Joly secured third place with 9-year-old Faylinn de Fondcombe, setting herself up perfectly for the big weekend ahead.

A delighted Demirsoy told GCTV: “I mean look at this event, there is great sport, a cool vibe and lots of sunshine,” he went to on add, “my horse he loves the game, he loves competing, he is an amazing horse who really loves his job, and today was our day!”

The Longines Global Champions Tour is famed for attracting the world’s elite riders and horses, and the St. Tropez leg is no exception. Set against the picturesque backdrop of the iconic French Riviera, the event perfectly blends equestrian excellence with natural beauty. Spectators were treated to a fast and furious class as riders navigated challenging courses, vying for glory and valuable ranking points.

Times to contest the podium were set by the likes of Simon Delestre, LGCT Championship leader Eduardo Alvarez Aznar, young gun Giacomo Casadei, previous LGCT Grand Prix of St. Tropez winner Malin Baryard-Johnsson, and Longines Ambassador of Elegance Jane Richard, setting these combinations up for day 2, the GCL of Ramatuelle, St. Tropez where the ultimate teams challenge arrives on the sunny shores of Pampelonne Beach.

With 13 clear rounds from the 46 starters, it was a lightning-fast class from start to finish. Proving how testing the track was were huge names like Christian Kukuk, Katrin Eckermann and Kim Emmen all fell short, having fences down and picking up time faults. Opting for a schooling round to prepare themselves for tomorrow’s ultimate team challenge were the likes of Christian Ahlmann of Shanghai Swans, Anna Kellnerová of the Prague Lions powered by Czech Equestrian Team and Marcus Ehning of Valkenswaard United.

As the sun set over the French Riviera, casting a warm glow over the festivities, the area came alive. A DJ took the stage, providing music that matched the lively ambiance. Attendees enjoyed the unique mix of equestrian excellence and the vibrant riviera nightlife, creating an atmosphere unmatched in the world of international show jumping. The energy was high, and the spirit of the event was felt throughout the venue.

“We are excited to begin the Longines Global Champions Tour of St. Tropez with a fantastic opening day,” said event director Denis Monticolo. “The blend of outstanding sport, luxurious hospitality, and the unique charm of the French Riviera distinguishes our event. We look forward to the upcoming days as we continue to provide an exceptional experience for our distinguished guests and highlight the best of show jumping on this prestigious stage.”

Don’t miss any of the action from tomorrow’s 2024 GCL of St. Tropez, Ramatuelle. Time will tell, with the class kicking off at 3:40pm local time tomorrow [Friday 31 June], all the action and in-depth analysis will be streamed on GCTV.

Full results here.