Global Champions League 2018 to feature $10m playoffs finale

    Story highlights

    • Global Champions League to end with playoffs
    • Only top 16 teams to reach season finale

    (CNN)The world's premier show jumping competition will introduce a $10 million end-of-season playoff next year.

    Ther Global Champions League, which pits teams of four riders against each other across seven months of competition, will conclude with a playoff in the Czech capital of Prague in December 2018.
      The top 16 teams after November's final regular-season event will qualify for the showdown, with the top four teams automatically fast tracked to the semifinals.
      The winning team will take home $3 million, part of a record purse for a show jumping event of $10 million.
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      'Exciting format'

      "Our mission is to continue innovating and growing show jumping towards an ever more healthy and sustainable future like other sports in the modern era," said Jan Tops, co-founder of Global Champions League and President of Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT).
      "That is what we have been about from the beginning to make sure the sport keeps moving ahead in the interests of riders, fans, owners, sponsors and media.
      "Along with the strengths of the LGCT and the regular GCL team circuit, the new League play offs will be unique in show jumping and the exciting format will attract more fans and new audiences."
      Australian Edwina Alexander, riding Cevo Itot Du Chateau, competes during the International Jumping Competition on April 4, 2010, at The Grand Palais in Paris. Edwina Alexander finished 6th and German Marcus Ehning won the event.  AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)
      Australian Edwina Alexander, riding Cevo Itot Du Chateau, competes during the International Jumping Competition on April 4, 2010, at The Grand Palais in Paris. Edwina Alexander finished 6th and German Marcus Ehning won the event.  AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

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      This year's Global Champions League, which is staged ahead of each Longines Global Champions Tour event, features 15 rounds of competition.
      The Hamburg Diamonds -- of Harrie Smolders (NED), John Whitaker (GBR), Eric Lamaze (CAN), Piergiorgio Bucci (ITA) and U25 rider Jos Verlooy (BEL) -- lead Valkenswaard United going into the final round at Al Shaqab, Doha in November.