Martin Collins not only were delighted to have been awarded the contract to provide the surface for the Longines Global Champions Tour 2017, London Chelsea but reports from all the world’s leading riders indicated that this surface was possibly one of the best they had ever ridden on. The event which took place at the prestigious Royal Hospital Chelsea in the heart of London, marks the return of the Tour to the United Kingdom. The high caliber event featured the sport’s Olympic and World Champions as well as members of the London 2012 Olympic Games gold medal team and the backdrop of the beautiful and historic grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea provided thrills, spills and exciting action.
The Martin Collins team took just over a week to transform the iconic Hospital’s South Grounds into a five star equestrian venue.
Horse and Hound magazine (UK) reported that the “Riders praised the great footing and visitors to this stunning venue would have been forgiven for thinking that this spectacular set up was a permanent Chelsea fixture.”
The unique temporary surface created by Martin Collins was a mixture of sand and other components specifically designed for this world class equestrian competition. The team provided the infrastructure and footing for the event in what Mr Martin Collins quoted as “a sloppy blancmange” from the previous events that had been held there. “The practice ring looked like a ploughed field and they had dug big holes for Chelsea Flower Show which inevitable the water gets into, so it was like slop, like a blancmange almost , underneath!” With all hands on deck the team managed to level the area and lay their mats and membranes working until 4.30am on the morning of the show.
Leading rider Ben Maher, a long time client of Martin Collins riding Emily Moffitt’s Don Vito collected the top prize of £46,200 in Saturday’s speed qualifier.
Sunday’s class went to Sweden’s Henrik von Eckermann riding Mary Lou 194.
The main €300,000 Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix went to Scott Brash on Hello Forever.