Miami Beach trades bathing suits for breeches

LGCT Miami: How to build a world class venue
LGCT Miami: How to build a world class venue

    JUST WATCHED

    LGCT Miami: How to build a world class venue

MUST WATCH

LGCT Miami: How to build a world class venue 03:11

Story highlights

  • Miami Beach plays hosts to weekend of elite showjumping
  • Olympic riders compete just meters from the ocean

Miami Beach, Florida (CNN)For the fourth year running, Flordia's Miami Beach will play host to a weekend of elite showjumping as the Longines Global Champions Tour & League rolls into town.

Spectators will bask in golden sunshine just meters from the ocean, as riders vie for top honors and hundreds of thousands of dollars in prize money.
"Well, it's great to be jumping here in Miami," Prague Lions competitor Anna Kellnerova tells CNN ahead of the action which takes places between April 5 and 7. "I'm hoping to bring the best result and enjoy the sunshine."
    "It's pretty breathtaking. It's quite incredible," said Georgina Bloomberg, who is competing in the Global Champions League for New York Empire alongside Olympic champion Scott Brash.
    "We've been able to compete in some amazing places for the Global Champions Tour, but this is just beautiful -- and also the only American tour stop that we have."

    'An unique arena'

    Such an unusual setting brings with it an unusual set of challenges.
    According to Ben Maher, a rider for the London Knights, it's important to ensure the horses don't get spooked.
    "When we come here it's an unique arena and it's very small," says Maher. "We obviously have the sea on one side and many of the fans and the crowd on each side, so it's quite an enclosed arena for the horses.
    "There's a lot of distractions for them but, as a rider, we're focused on our route, our plan and trying to leave the jumps up and win the competition."
    The world's most valuable horses
    exp longines global champions tour global champions league berlin ludger beerbaum_00002001

      JUST WATCHED

      The world's most valuable horses

    MUST WATCH

    The world's most valuable horses 02:33
     

    A nine-day transformation

    It's an even bigger task for the organizers of the annual event.
    Equestrian is a fully-fledged Olympic sport and, as such, it's no surprise that imported silica sand of Olympic grade is required.
    As sport director of the Global Champions circuit, Marco Danese knows all about the precise conditions required to host such a prestigious showjumping event.
    "To build up this venue is very difficult. It's maybe the most difficult buildup we have in our series," says Danese.
    "We cover all the area with a platform and put the sand on top, because the horses need to jump in a special sand."
    All in all it takes around nine days, but it's not just the competition area that Danese and his colleagues have to worry about.
    "First of all there is air conditioning in the stables, so we try to maintain the same temperature all day for the horses," he explains. "They compete in the afternoon and in the evening when temperature is better."
    Horse of a lifetime: Hello Sanctos
    Horse of a lifetime: Hello Sanctos

      JUST WATCHED

      Horse of a lifetime: Hello Sanctos

    MUST WATCH

    Horse of a lifetime: Hello Sanctos 02:05
    This year, the Global Champions takes in a record 17 locations across the globe, while the GCL boasts more teams than ever before with 19.
    After the temporary setting at Miami Beach is packed away, the riders will head to Shanghai's China Art Palace from April 20-22 for the third leg of action.