NYCB LIVE, Home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum opened its doors on Thursday, April 26, to kick off the debut of the Longines Masters of New York, one of the most prestigious equestrian events in the world. Drawing over 120 of the world’s top riders for four days of elite show jumping competition, the Longines Masters of New York is the grand finale of Season III, the international Longines Masters Series, which takes place in Paris, Hong Kong, and now New York. For the next three days, the event will treat guests to adrenaline-charged sport, luxury shopping, haute cuisine, one-of-a-kind artwork, and more.
This evening, the local dominance continued as the lineup of riders who will represent their nation in the brand new duel-style Riders Masters Cup on Saturday, April 28, was announced, with four of the five riders competing for the USA from the tri-state area. Led by Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland, Georgina Bloomberg, McLain Ward, Adrienne Sternlicht, two-time Olympian Laura Kraut and four-time Olympian and 2018 Longines FEI World Cup champion Beezie Madden will represent Riders USA. Riders Europe Chef d’Equipe Philippe Guerdat selected Kevin Staut, Olivier Philippaerts, Gregory Wathelet, Peder Fredericson and Harrie Smolders to defend Riders Europe’s win at the Longines Masters of Paris.
“Today marks a milestone for the Longines Masters Series as we celebrate our new home for the American leg of the series, the Longines Masters of New York,” said Christophe Ameeuw, CEO of EEM and Founder of the Longines Masters Series. “Already on the first day of the event, we have seen some incredible riding and know that the next three days will continue to bring show-stopping performances. We also witnessed the official team announcements and draw for the Riders Masters Cup teams, setting the stage for Riders USA to seek redemption against Riders Europe and claim victory on their home soil.”
Speed Master McLain Ward Scores New York Win
With three Olympic medals to his name, 2017 World Cup champion McLain Ward (USA) proved why he is at the top of the sport at the Longines Masters of New York. Forty-four starters attempted to be the fastest over the speed course set for the Masters One Vestrum-Italy 1.45m, but it wasn’t until the penultimate entry of Ward and HH Callas that the winner was revealed. With a time of 58.62 seconds, Ward shot to the top of the leaderboard with the 11-year-old Oldenburg mare owned by Double H Farm, claiming victory over Olivier Philippaerts (BEL). It was serious business for the 24-year-old Belgian, who guided Goofy van T Laerhof, owned by his father, four-time Olympian Ludo Philippaerts, to the runner-up position in 60.12 seconds. Making it a true international podium, Amanda Derbyshire (GBR) and Cornwall BH took third in 61.82 seconds.
“It is an exciting new event and a great arena; I really hope it grows into something very special,” said Ward, who is able to commute to the inaugural Longines Masters of New York from his home in nearby Brewster, NY. “Callas is here to compete and she's aiming for the Longines Speed Challenge class on Friday night. She’s a seasoned, quick horse. She can do it all!”
Alejandro Karolyi Comes Through for Venezuelan Victory
Speed was the name of the game in the Masters Two Grand Prix Magazine 1.45m, and nobody played it better than Alejandro Karolyi (VEN). The Venezuelan turned up the heat at NYCB Live, blistering over the speed track set by Dutch course designer Louis Konickx in 58.92 seconds aboard Elliot to claim victory. Seventeen-year-old Coco Fath (USA) and Huckleberry took second with a time of 60.11 while Samantha Wight (USA) rode a clever track with Edison to take third in a time of 61.51 seconds.
Long Island’s Laura Bowery Thrills Local Crowd
In the Masters Two L.A. Saddlery 1.35m competition, Long Island’s own Laura Bowery (USA) topped the power and speed competition riding Zerly, a 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare. The pair was able to stay ahead of Jennifer Kocher (USA) and 1984 World Cup champion Mario Deslauriers (CAN), who filled out the second and third positions on the podium respectively.
Juniors and Amateurs Raise the Curtain
The Masters Three division opened Thursday’s competition featuring the Free x Rein Amateur and Junior 1.10m followed immediately by the Masters Three Kastel Denmark 1.20m. Connecticut native and wife of 2004 Olympic Champion Rodrigo Pessoa, Alexa Pessoa (USA) claimed the first win of the Longines Masters of New York, piloting Little Rock, a seven-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding sired by Goldfever and owned by Amethyst Equestrian Consulting, to victory over the speed track in a time of 34.98 seconds. Fellow American Summer Paulos slotted into second with a time of 35.24 riding Quilotta 2, her nine-year-old Holsteiner mare sired by Quidam de Revel.
Paulos, also a Connecticut native hailing from Newtown, soon found herself in the winner’s circle, however, after topping the Masters Three Kastel Denmark 1.20m. The mom of four and full-time property manager rode to Balans RV to victory for owner R.C.G. Farm, posting a time of 31.81 seconds to win over Jennifer Kocher (USA). Kocher stopped the clock in 31.89 seconds riding Elion V, a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion owned by her husband, Andrew Kocher, who is contesting the five-star division at the Longines Masters of New York.
“This was a great start and I could not have hoped for more,” said Paulos of her Longines Masters debut. “The event is amazing and I loved the jump design and the courses in the ring. I look forward to more of what we had today – great competition!”
The 2018 Longines Masters of New York will continue over the next three days at the NYCB LIVE, Home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The jam-packed weekend includes something for everyone, including unparalleled sport, musical performances, breathtaking art exhibits, rider meet-and-greets, luxury shopping, and much more. As the show opens to the public on Friday, April 27, the exclusive Masters Club will offer guests an opportunity to enjoy a curated menu by Long Island-native celebrity chef Antonia Lofaso.
Over the course of the event, the Prestige Village will continue to offer the ultimate shopping experience, showcasing a variety of equestrian tastes and styles from the world’s leading luxury brands. Longines, the Title Partner and Official Timekeeper of the series, will highlight the Official Watch of the Longines Masters of New York, the Conquest V.H.P. “Very High Precision” model, along with many other timepieces at the Longines Boutique. Between classes, spectators could browse Hermès Sellier’s latest collection, the new Automobili Lamborghini Urus, and exquisite handbags from Mark Cross, the oldest American luxury brand and original saddle maker. Riders, both professional and amateur, tried the latest in equestrian fashion with items from longtime partners and leading brands such as Kingsland, Equis, Romitelli Boots, Equis Boutique and LA Saddlery, as well as newcomers, like recently launched Vestrum Italy and New York-based Free x Rein.
Highlights of the event still to come include Friday’s Longines Speed Challenge, the World’s Fastest Class; the Riders Masters Cup, the transatlantic battle between USA and Europe; Masters POWER, a high jump competition; and U25 Grand Prix on Saturday; and the pinnacle of show jumping competition, Sunday’s Longines Grand Prix of New York, the American Grand Slam of the Series.
The Longines Masters of New York continues through Sunday, April 29. Watch via live-stream on EEM.tv, a free digital equestrian sports channel broadcasting all of the action.
Tickets for the Longines Masters of New York are still available for purchase at www.Ticketmaster.com and https://longinesmasters.com/en/new-york/ticketing/. For full information on the 2018 Longines Masters of New York, visit www.longinesmasters.com.
Photos and b-roll are available at: https://sunshinesachs.egnyte.com/fl/8OPbtjfPdg
A passionate of equestrian sports, Christophe Ameeuw - CEO of EEM and Founder of the Longines Masters Paris-Hong Kong-New York Series - founded the Ecuries d’Ecaussinnes in 1997. Based in Belgium, the stables are internationally reputed for their activities in trading sport horses and high-standard breeding. They are also home to an offering some of the best teaching available in the field. In opening
EEM, Christophe Ameeuw and his teams were in pursuit of a challenge: to reinvent show jumping by organizing equestrian events of an entirely new kind. The company built its development by creating the concept of the “Masters”, which together, under the same roof, the best of show-jumping, resplendent displays and art de vivre. After the successes of the Audi Masters in Brussels and the Gucci Masters in Paris, EEM came out with one of the world’s most prestigious equestrian events, the Longines Masters Series, on three continents, in Paris, Hong Kong and New York. Inspired by the Grand Slam in Tennis, EEM created a concurrent “Grand Slam Indoor of Show Jumping”, approved by the FEI, this intercontinental challenge is offered to the world's elite in show jumping, with two prize levels: The Super Grand Slam - a €2,250,000 super bonus for the three consecutive wins in the Longines Grand Prix, in the season order - The Grand Slam - a €1,000,000 bonus for three successive victories at Longines Grand Prix straddling two Longines Masters seasons.
In 2017, EEM created a new iconic competition, the Riders Masters Cup. Offered to the public alongside the EEF (European Equestrian Federation) and alternating between Europe and the United States, this battle pits the world's two leading powers in show jumping against one another: Europe and the United States. On the Asian continent, “Asia Horse Week”, rallying point for the international equestrian community there, also serves as a prime setting for the Longines Masters of Hong Kong, illustrating EEM's determination to develop the sport's international arms in the Asia-Pacific Region. Firmly set on putting equestrian sports front and center and making them accessible to all, EEM rolled out a new digital TV channel on November 14, 2017. EEM.tv offers viewers the chance to follow live and free of charge all EEM events worldwide.
ABOUT THE LONGINES MASTERS
Set in the three of the world's most emblematic metropolises - Paris, Hong Kong and New York - the Longines Masters series is recognized as one of the most prestigious events in the equestrian world. Created by EEM and inspired by the Tennis Grand Slam, the series quickly expanded their international reach (Hong Kong in 2013, Los Angeles in 2014). In 2015, the intercontinental trilogy turned into the Longines Masters Series. Alongside it, EEM created the “Grand Slam of Indoor Show Jumping”, approved by the FEI, the Grand Slam Indoor is the ultimate challenge for the world's elite in show jumping, with two levels of prizes:The Super Grand Slam: a bonus of 2.25 million Euros for winning 3 consecutive Longines Grand Prix in the same season. The Grand Slam: a bonus of 1 million Euros for three successive victories in the Longines Grand Prix from one season to the next. The TV broadcast of the Longines Masters Series reachers, to over 120 countries, almost 320 million households, a coverage increased this year by the launch of EEM.tv, the new digital channel of EEM. It allows everybody to freely livestream the all competition and events during the four days. Save the date: Paris 2018 November 30th – December 2nd Hong Kong 2019 : February 15th – February 19th New-York 2019: April 24th – April 28th
For more information, see www.longinesmasters.com
Longines has been based at Saint-Imier in Switzerland since 1832. Its watchmaking expertise reflects a strong devotion to tradition, elegance and performance. Longines has generations of experience as official timekeeper of world championships and as partner of international sports federation. Known for the elegance of its timepieces, Longines is a member of Swatch Group Ltd, the world’s leading manufacturer of horological products. With the winged hourglass as its emblem, the brand has outlets in over 150 countries.
Information: Longines International Public Relations - 2610 Saint-Imier, Switzerland
Site : www.longines.com - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org