Equestrian - Cannes ready to roll out red carpet for stars of equestrian

Cannes on the French Riviera is the glamorous destination for the next round of the Global Champions Tour.

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Equestrian - Ahlmann retains no.1 ranking
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Germany's world number one Christian Ahlmann

Following the influx of movie stars for May's film festival, the Mediterranean resort town is now set to welcome the stars of the equestrian world with the fifth leg of the prestigious competition taking place this week.

From Thursday evening, with two CSI5* classes, the biggest names in showjumping will do battle, not on the red carpet, but on the sand of the Hespérides stadium as they prepare for Saturday's Grand Prix, to be run over two rounds.

Eight of May's Longines world top 10 will compete in Cannes, including number one Christian Ahlmann, who won the event in Hamburg and who starts in France as one of the favourites.

Frenchman Kevin Staut, currently ranked second in the world, will be sure to give Ahlmann a run for his money, while Gerco Schroeder, the Dutch world number three, will hope to do likewise.

Australian Edwina Tops-Alexander (fifth), Swiss Steve Guerdat (sixth) and German Ludger Beerbaum (seventh) will also be present, along with Sweden's Rolf-Goran Bengtsson (ninth) and Marcus Ehning of Germany (10th).

Ranked outside the top 10, but nevertheless ones to watch, Ben Maher and Michael Whittaker of Great Britain will be looking to add to their previous victories in London and Madrid respectively.

American Laura Kraut, current leader of the GCT points ranking, will also be aiming to repeat her success at the Wiesbaden leg of the tour.

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