The Global Champions Playoffs will culminate the 2019 season in the magical city of Prague, the capital Czech Republic and a UNESCO World Heritage site! Equestrian fans will be on the edge of their seats for this final competition!
The thrilling GC Playoffs format will take place from Thursday, November 21st to Sunday, November 24th, 2019 at the dynamic O2 Arena, which hosts major concerts and sports events, and will be the only indoor event on the Longines Global Champions Tour and GCL calendar.
Our friends on the NY Empire Team that will be going to Prague are Georgina Bloomberg, Scott Brash, Daniel Bluman and Spencer Smith to support all the competing riders.
Last year with the introduction of the GC Playoffs in 2018, we saw a roller-coaster of eliminations, upsets and glory as teams battled through the quarter final, semi-final and final stages of the GCL Super Cup. Madrid in Motion finished on top and then in the thrilling Longines Global Champions Tour Super Grand Prix, Edwina Tops-Alexander beat all the other winners of the Championship events to take the overall win – the Champion of Champions! It was an exciting time for all! This year, for 2019, we hope to see just as many, if not more unexpected triumphs!
Prague, known as “the City of a hundred spires”, will stage the GC Playoffs over four days at the O2 Arena with top-level sport and great entertainment for approximately 14,000 spectators. Everyone will be cheering the competing team on from the ‘old-world’ venue that also seems to exude a cool modern vibe!
The O2 Arena is Europe’s second largest ice hockey arena in Europe. The construction began shortly after Czech’s ice hockey “golden ere”. The team took home gold at the 1998 Winter Olympics and three gold medals at the Ice Hockey World Championships. Now, the arena is the host for major events, including our very own Global Champions Playoffs!
If you have never visited Prague before, it is a wonderful place to stay into December. The fairytale city comes to life as a magical, winter wonderland to celebrate the holidays.
Indeed, there is not a more festive place to get into the holiday spirit than amongst Prague’s colorful Baroque architecture, gothic churches, and its medieval Astronomical Clock. You will feel as if it transports you back into another century! On the flip side, Prague touts one of the most modern art districts in Europe. As the capital of Bohemian culture, Prague stands alone as must-visit city.
If you are a horse-lover, as we suspect you are, take time to go to Wenceslas Square. You will find the Statue of Saint Wenceslas who rides his noble horse and is flanked by 4 other patron saints that stand at the base of the statue.
The statue bears the inscription: “Svatý Václave, vévodo české země, kníže náš, nedej zahynouti nám ni budoucím”, translated in English: “Saint Wenceslas, duke of the Czech land, prince of ours, do not let perish us nor our descendants”. If you need to get your horse fix in, take a horse-drawn carriage ride all around town!
As you make your way into the O2 Arena, take a detour to Česká Hospůdka Na Radnici. You will not have a problem finding this spot! Your senses will be filled with the homemade cooking and authentic seasonings.
Choose from a wide variety of Czech cuisine, including Vepřová pečeně and Smažený řízek. Fear not, we have the handy translator! Vepřová pečeně is a Czech roast boar, topped with white cabbage and their homemade potato dumplings. Cooked to perfection, you will not be disappointed!
The Smažený řízek is fried steak evenly covered with spicy breadcrumbs. Enjoy your meal in their lounge or restaurant area. Sit back and relax before the competition heats up!
Need a place to lay your head? This guide will walk you through what to look for when picking your hotel or apartment. Old Town Prague is the oldest and known for being the most beautiful part of Prague. Home to famous architectures, some even dating back to 1475! Fill your time by walking the streets and touring these impressive buildings.
It is time to turn your attention to the O2 Arena. The New York Empire riders will be in the spotlight on Thursday, November 21st! The Prague Playoffs begins with the Walk of Champions at 12pm EST, or 6pm Central European Standard Time. After a jaw dropping display of horsemanship and performances, the riders will begin competing in the GCL Quarter Final at 2pm EST. You can catch the action on the Global Champions website!
The GCL Super Cup – Semi Final will show at 2pm EST on Friday, November 22nd. Then, the pinnacle of the 2019 Global Champions League takes place on Sunday, November 24th. Round one of the top six teams kicks off at 9:30am EST and round two starts shortly after the conclusion of round one.
Will you be sitting on the edge of your seat?! We know everyone at Mane ‘n Tail will be!
Need a refresher about the New York Empire team? Their last competition was in New York City, New York! Mane ‘n Tail was there, so be sure to catch up before it is time for the Playoffs!