Horse competition returns to ancient Roman site after 2000 years

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An artist's impression of Rome's Circo Massimo.
An artist’s impression of Rome’s Circo Massimo.

Horses are returning for the first time in more than 2000 years to a world heritage site once used for chariot racing.

This year’s Rome event run by showjumping’s Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT) will be staged at ancient Rome’s Circo Massimo (Circus Maximus) in September.

The magnificent ancient stadium, once used by Emperors for horse and chariot races, sits within the City’s UNESCO World Heritage site and will host top-level modern day show jumping for two weeks next month.

Circus Maximus sits beneath the famous Palatine Hill and is overlooked by the extraordinary ruins of the Imperial Palace. It is one of the most exceptional arenas for showjumping in the world today and is only one kilometre from the Colosseum where the gladiatorial games took place.

From September 10 to 12 and from September 16 to 18 Longines Global Champions Tour and the Global Champions League team competitions will host more than 200 horses in 2* and 5* competitions. The event will also showcase artist exhibitions, animations and shows. Entry is free.

“We are extremely appreciative of the support of the City of Rome to enable us to present the LGCT of Rome in this truly incredible venue in the heart of ancient Rome,” said LGCT President Jan Tops.

“Horses will once again be in competition at Circus Maximus with its great historical significance and we are privileged to stage modern day show jumping of the highest calibre at this ancient site.”

The event will be shown on GCTV.

The LGCT of Rome made its debut in 2015 at the Stadio dei Marmi “Pietro Mennea” next to the city’s modern Olympic Stadium with the support of the City and the Italian National Olympic Committee and has grown in popularity each year.

Circus Maximus is the first and largest stadium in ancient Rome and the later Roman Empire. The venue is 2037 feet long and sits in a valley between the Palatine and Aventine Hills. The showjumping event will be held there for the next five years.

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