Young riders from the innovative “Masters Squad” program at the Longines Masters of New York will be taking advantage of a unique and coveted educational opportunity—a group clinic with U.S. Olympic team gold medalist and Longines FEI World Cup Final winner McLain Ward. The aspiring show jumpers will spend April 26-29 watching the world’s best compete at the Longines Masters of New York at NYCB LIVE, Home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, and then on May 5 at Old Salem Farm in North Salem, New York, they’ll be able to saddle up themselves to learn from Ward as a reward for their efforts selling tickets for the show as “Masters Squad Captains.”
In the Masters Squad program, young riders ranging in age from elementary to college students enrolled in the program as Masters Squad Captains and earned prizes according to their participation in social media initiatives and their selling of tickets to the Longines Masters of New York. Masters Squad Captains selling 115 tickets or more earned the right to participate in the clinic with Ward. All the while, a portion of each ticket sold also went back to a charity of either the captain or their affiliated barns choosing.
Ward, who is based at his family’s Castle Hill Farm in Brewster, N.Y., has been one of the top U.S. show jumpers for the past 20 years, having jumped to team gold medals at the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games as well as winning the 2017 Longines FEI Show Jumping World Cup Final (Nebraska). Ward has been ranked as #1 in the world show jumping rankings and is one of the favorites for a spot on the U.S. team at the upcoming FEI World Equestrian Games in September.
“I look forward to working with the dedicated young riders from the Longines Masters of New York’s Masters Squad program,” said Ward. “When I was young, I benefitted from the wisdom of many top riders and I’m thrilled to be able to pay it forward by teaching young riders from New York. They showed their dedication to and enthusiasm for the sport by their promotion of the Longines Masters of New York and I’m excited to help reward them for their effort by sharing some knowledge.”
Members of the New York University (NYU) equestrian team are among the Masters Squad Captains that earned the privilege of riding with Ward by selling 115 tickets to the Longines Masters of New York. Shelby Phillips, a co-captain of the NYU equestrian team alongside Madison Charlton, said that the NYU riders were not only eager to watch the sport’s stars in the Longines Masters of New York, but also inspired by the Masters Squad opportunity. “We’re really excited to share this incredible opportunity with our friends, and we cannot believe we’re getting a clinic out of it!” said Phillips.
The Longines Masters of New York organizers conceived of the Masters Squad program as a way to energize young riders about show jumping and to help them aspire to compete in the show ring, learn from the sport’s top riders, and meet their heroes. By selling tickets and participating in social media initiatives, the Masters Squad participants helped grow the fan base of the sport and build enthusiasm about the Longines Masters of New York. Other prizes won by the Masters Squad Captains came after the sale of just 25 tickets to the show and include in-ring recognition during the Longines Speed Challenge on the April 27 evening session of the show, Longines Masters posters, Masters Squad Captain hats and hoodies, a Sport Horse Lifestyle gift pack, Masters Squad saddle pads, an EquiFit gift pack, and a special invitation to a Masters Squad BBQ with a 5* rider.
In spectating at the Longines Masters of New York, Masters Squad members and the rest of the audience have a chance to see top-ranked riders from all over the world race against the clock in the Longines Speed Challenge on Friday, April 28, face off in a Riders USA versus Riders Europe duel in the second leg of the inaugural Riders Masters Cup on Saturday, April 28, and jump for the biggest prize money of the week in the Longines Grand Prix on Sunday, April 29. Even when the horses aren’t jumping, the event’s Prestige Village shopping opportunities and live music provide plenty of entertainment.
Captains are still selling to reach their goals with a deadline of April 13th as a closing date! Find a captain by using the hashtag #masterssquad and support their efforts to ride with one of the best!
Tickets are on sale now at Ticketmaster.com. For full information on the event, please visit www.LonginesMasters.com.
For questions, contact Moriah Robbins at email@example.com.
Passionate about 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 inter-continental 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 2017 : November 30th – December 3rd Hong Kong 2018 : February 9th – February 11thNew-York : April 26th – April 29th
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
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