The shore of Miami Beach was electrified on Thursday as the first CSI5* day of the highly-anticipated 2024 Longines Global Champions Tour kicked off in spectacular fashion. The world’s top show jumping athletes have converged on the spectacular site for an exhilarating four days of fun, sun and entertainment, April 3-6.

Dutch rider Maikel van der Vleuten emerged victorious aboard Elwikke in one of the closest speed class showdowns of the year, clinching the CSI5* title in the 1.45m class by a mere 0.08 of a second. Late in the class, van der Vleuten stopped the clock, edging longtime leader Natalie Dean (USA) and setting the stage for what promises to be an unforgettable three days of competition.

Talking to GCTV, Maikel said, “We had a great show here last year, so always good to come back to Miami Beach at this iconic location. Fingers crossed for the team GCL class tomorrow and we can repeat what we did last year. We had a good round today, Elwikke was really focused the whole round and was feeling really comfortable… I could use her big stride, so now and then I could leave some strides out. We had a very smooth round without taking too much energy out of her.”

Local hero Natalie Dean had a stellar performance aboard Chadora Lady, securing a well-deserved second place. Rounding out the podium, Irish rider Shane Sweetnam aboard Irandole du Flot claimed a formidable third place as he continues his epic form from previous years at this unique location.

Longines Global Champions Tour has announced an agreement with ESPN+, bringing the LGCT Grand Prix and GCL team series of Miami Beach directly to fans. For more information and to subscribe to ESPN+, visit

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Results here.

~ with files from Longines Global Champions Tour Media