Since the Old Season (Ascot, Henley, the Cartier polo) has lost its cachet, the mega-rich have had to find new sports around which to build their social lives. To fill the gap, showjumping, which used to be synonymous with muddy fields and dodgy burger vans, has lavishly reinvented itself.
At the extreme end of this transformation is the Longines Global Champions Tour, which rolled into London this weekend with a price tag few would believe and even fewer can afford. The tour started in March in Mexico City and runs until December in Prague, and will cover 17 of the world’s most glamorous locations in total.
This weekend, the event is at the Royal Hospital Chelsea in west London.
It is shocking even to contemplate the cost for competitors to transport themselves, their horses and entourages around this worldwide event. But these are billionaires, so nobody cares. Besides, the total prize fund is €35m (£31m).
Among the riders — and guests — are some of the world’s richest people, which these days means Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, Russian businessmen and rock stars.
READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE SUNDAY TIMES: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/blazing-billionaire-saddles-super-rich-take-up-showjumping-rh8wn2f6m