The Longines Masters Series christened its fourth season on Thursday, November 29, at the Longines Masters of Paris in the French capital city. Featuring the European leg of the Grand Slam Indoor of Show Jumping and the first sequence of head-to-head duels in the popular Riders Masters Cup on Saturday, December 1, Paris marks the official beginning of the Longines Masters Series.
The Riders Masters Cup is a new innovative show jumping competition launched in 2017 by EEM and organized in partnership with the European Equestrian Federation (EEF). The concept pits two equestrian powerhouses – the United States and Europe – against each other in a transatlantic battle.
With pairs of riders facing off over two rounds, the first round is conducted as a table A grand prix course with the starting order being drawn at random. Each duel won in this round earns one point for the team of the winning rider.
The second round is against the clock and riders are allowed to switch from a grand prix mount to a speed horse. The coach of the losing team in the first round designates the first rider to go and the winning team has the advantage of choosing the first opponent. It then switches for the next round. Each duel that is won accumulates two points for the winning team.
Captained by U.S. Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland and French Chef d’Equipe Philippe Guerdat, the match-ups for the duels set for Saturday evening at the Longines Masters of Paris are as follows:
Taylor Alexander (USA) vs. Eduardo Alvarez Aznar (Europe)
McLain Ward (USA) vs. Edward Levy (Europe)
Jessica Springsteen (USA) vs. Harry Charles (Europe)
Laura Kraut (USA) vs. Maikel Van Der Vleuten (Europe)
Lucas Porter (USA) vs. Daniel Deusser (Europe)
Having been edged out by Riders Europe in the first two editions of the Riders Masters Cup at the Longines Masters of Paris 2017 and New York in 2018, Riders USA is hungry for a win.
“We’re not giving up,” said Ridland. “We went down to the wire in Paris and we went down to the wire again in New York. That final duel was really one for the ages. We put up one hell of a fight and a great second-half comeback. It’s really exciting to see the top riders in the world going for speed. It’s a great format!”
The battle comes to American soil as European contenders cross the Atlantic for the Longines Masters of New York and the fourth edition of the Riders Masters Cup on April 27, 2019. Tickets for the Longines Masters of New York will be available soon at www.longinesmasters.com/en/ticketing/new-york.
The Longines Masters of Paris continues through Sunday, December 2, before the series moves on to the Longines Masters of Hong Kong from February 15-17, and the Longines Masters of New York on April 25-28. Watch via live-stream on EEM.tv, a free digital equestrian sports channel broadcasting all of the action.
For full information on the 2018/2019 Longines Masters, visit www.longinesmasters.com.