The popular Longines Masters Series officially got underway at the Longines Masters of Paris, with a historic hat-trick win on home soil for Riders Europe over Riders USA in the third installment of the innovative Riders Masters Cup on Saturday, December 1. The Riders Masters Cup will continue at the Longines Masters of New York, held at NYCB Live, Home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, on April 25-28, 2019.
After winning the inaugural Riders Masters Cup during the 2017 edition of the Longines Masters of Paris and then again at the first Longines Masters of New York in April 2018, Riders Europe rode their hot streak to another win in front of an electric crowd in the French capital city. Decorated riders including Eduardo Alvarez Aznar, Edward Levy, Harry Charles, Maikel Van Der Vleuten, and Daniel Deusser dominated the first round of head-to-head duels with four wins.
USA’s Jessica Springsteen earned the lone victory in the first round for her team, but inspired her teammates – Taylor Alexander, McLain Ward, Laura Kraut, and Lucas Porter, captained by U.S. Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland – to mount a comeback in the speed portion, in which victory was worth double points. The score stood at 45 to 30 at the half before Kraut and Porter bested Van Der Vleuten and Charles by fractions of a second over the speed track. Riders USA crept into the lead, but Spanish Olympian Aznar, Italian team member Levy, and German Olympic team bronze medalist Deusser were quick to answer the call by winning their matches and securing Riders Europe the title.
"The Americans tried to trick us and changed the starting order we had decided in the beginning at the very last minute," said Riders Europe Captain and French Chef d'Equipe Philippe Guerdat. “Things got a bit tense after the second duel that we lost by one tenth of a second. The Riders USA even took the lead for a while. They fought a good battle. But all is well that ends well.”
Both Porter, 21, and Charles, 19, made their debut in Riders Masters Cup competition, and Guerdat noted, “The Riders Masters Cup is a great experience of a high level team competition for our young riders.”
The Riders Masters Cup heads west on Saturday, April 27, 2019, as Riders USA will have the chance at redemption at the Longines Masters of New York.
Victories also came for French and Australian flags at the 10th annual Longines Masters of Paris with 2016 Olympic team gold medalist Kevin Staut winning the Longines Speed Challenge for the third time riding Ayade de Septon et HDC on Friday evening. Competition came to a peak on Sunday when Australian Olympian Edwina Tops-Alexander became the second female to win the Longines Grand Prix of Paris, the European leg of the Grand Slam Indoor of Show Jumping.
“I've been coming to the event for 10 years and I've seen it get better and better,” said Tops-Alexander, who topped a field of 43 riding California. “It is a great atmosphere. There’s so much going on behind the scene, it's a lot of work - I know what it's like! I have a lot of respect for this and for everybody involved, and especially the public, the riders, the horses, the sponsors. It takes a lot to achieve this and I think every year it is getting better. The public is amazingly supportive, whichever the nationality of the rider.”
Produced by EEM and aired live on EEM.tv, the Longines Masters of Paris was also praised by EEM CEO Christophe Ameeuw, who said, "Many riders have been faithful to the event since the very first edition. It is a moment of deep emotion for us. The past week has brought us lots of great moments that will leave us with fond memories. The most amazing things about the Longines Masters of Paris are the crowd, as well as the partners and the fabulous line-up of riders. The passion is incredible and can create this atmosphere that nothing can disrupt.”
The Longines Masters 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. Tickets for the Longines Masters of New York will be available soon at www.longinesmasters.com/en/ticketing/new-york.
For full information on the 2018/2019 Longines Masters, visit www.longinesmasters.com.
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: 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
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