Tag Archives: Riders Masters Cup

Riders Europe Claim Narrow Victory over Riders USA in Riders Masters Cup

Harrie Smolders and Cas 2. Photo by Jump Media.

Team competition was at its finest in a transatlantic showdown between Riders USA and Riders Europe in the innovative $200,000 Riders Masters Cup, presented and created by EEM in collaboration with the European Equestrian Federation.  Show jumping fans were on the edge of their seats as the two teams faced off in a rematch that began at the Longines Masters of Paris back on December 2.  Riders USA chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland (USA) spent the past five months formulating his strategy for a win on home soil and sent out the best of the best to duel against Riders Europe, led by chef d’Equipe Philippe Guerdat (SUI).

In the opening duel, Kevin Staut (FRA) took the win over two-time Olympic team gold medalist McLain Ward (USA) when the American left an uncharacteristic two rails on the floor riding HH Gigi’s Girl.  Georgina Bloomberg then looked like she would emerge victorious with a quick clear aboard Manodie II H but was nipped in the end by Harrie Smolders (NED) to make it two to nothing in favor of Riders Europe.

Olivier Philippaerts (BEL) scored another point for Riders Europe when Adrienne Sternlicht (USA) struggled with her mount, Pembroke, for 12 faults.  Beezie Madden (USA) gave hope to American fans with a clear round aboard Con Taggio to score the first point for Riders USA after Gregory Wathelet (BEL) left a rail on the floor riding MJT Nevados S.  When the final competitor for Riders Europe, 2016 Olympic individual silver medalist Peder Fredricson (SWE), put a clear round on the board with H&M Zaloubet, Laura Kraut was unable to match his faultless performance with Hello Guv’Nor, leaving the opening match score at four to one in favor of Riders Europe.

As the saying goes, especially in show jumping sport, it isn’t over until it’s over.  Facing off in the speed match where double points were on the line, Riders USA had a chance to bring it back for the home crowd.  Ridland adjusted his strategy and sent Kraut back as the lead-off rider.  Riders USA’s confidence swelled when she came out victorious over Philippaerts riding Goofy van T Laerhof with a time of 61.20 versus the Belgian’s time of 61.83 seconds.  That put the score at four to three, with Riders USA quickly gaining on its opponents.

Staut was next in, posting a fast time of 57.43 riding Ayade de Septon et HDC that was soon eclipsed by Madden.  The newly-crowned Longines FEI World Cup Final champion brought in a fresh mount, Jiva, and raced to victory in a time of 57.02 seconds as the crowd went wild.  Suddenly Riders USA had pulled into the lead five to four.

New York City’s sweetheart Bloomberg laid it all on the line in the speed duel, leaving Wathelet in the dust with a brilliant ride.  Riders USA was staging a comeback of epic proportions, surging ahead seven to four.

The excitement continued to mount as Riders USA’s hopes looked bright, but Riders Europe were still breathing down its neck.  Sternlicht gave it her best shot with Pembroke, but when a rail fell Fredricson claimed two valuable points for Riders Europe, tightening the gap and making it seven to six in favor of the Americans.

It all came down to the final duel, which saw two of the fastest riders in the world pitted against each other.  Ward took no prisoners, guiding HH Gigi’s Girl home in a blistering fast time of 54.82 seconds.  Smolders had the weight of a continent riding on his shoulders, but the Dutchman never faltered, taking every risk to cross the timers in an unbelievable 52.91 seconds – by far the fastest time of the night – with Cas 2.  His perfectly calculated and executed performance gave Riders Europe the edge, putting the defending champions from Paris ahead by a nose to win eight to seven over Riders USA.

“It went right down to the wire!” exclaimed Guerdat of his team’s victory.  “We knew USA would be strong tonight because, as Robert said, after Paris they wanted to win back at home.  I have a team who are all champions and the best in the world at the moment.  It would be difficult to get a better team than this!”

Ridland was quick to promise that Riders USA will put up a strong fight the next time the two teams meet.

“We’re not giving up,” the American chef d’Equipe pledged.  “We went down to the wire in Paris and we went down to the wire again tonight.  That final duel was really one for the ages.  We put up one hell of a fight and a great second-half comeback.  We clawed our way back, and that’s what sport is about.

“It’s really exciting to see the top riders in the world going for speed,” concluded Ridland.  “It’s a great format, and I think everybody got their money’s worth tonight.  We’ll be back again!”

While Riders Europe claimed the first edition of the Riders Masters Cup, Riders USA promise a strong comeback for bragging rights when the next edition of the Riders Masters Cup is staged at the Longines Masters in Paris from November 30 to December 2, 2018.

Next Generation of Show Jumping Superstars Showcased in U25 Grand Prix EEM

The show jumping stars of the future were put in the international spotlight Saturday night by EEM with the U25 Grand Prix, open to athletes aged 25 and under.  Founder and producer of the Longines Masters, EEM affirmed its commitment to propelling the next generation forward in their sporting careers.  It was an all-American podium finish, much to the delight of the home crowd, with Catherine Wachtell (USA) of Long Valley, NJ, snatching the win following a five-horse jump-off.  Coached by Todd Minikus (USA), who is competing in the Masters One division in New York, Wachtell, 23, earned the victory with a time of 34.96 seconds aboard Indy van de Roten, a 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare owned by Autumn View Farm.

Hot on her heels was 17-year-old Samantha Cohen (USA) and Carmen, her 11-year-old grey Dutch Warmblood mare.  With Olympic team gold Medalist Laura Kraut as her coach, Cohen gave it her best effort trying to catch Wachtell but fell short of the win when stopping the clock in 35.75 seconds to finish runner-up.  Taking third step on the podium was Samantha Wight, 20, who took a conservative approach, jumping clear in a time of 40.92 seconds aboard Edison.

“It’s a great division and I think it’s one of the most competitive because you have all the young talent and really amazing horses,” said Wachtell, a recent Georgetown University graduate who will be attending Fordham Law School in New York in the fall.  “It’s tough, but it’s really awesome to be a part of!”

Harrie Smolders Scorches to Victory in Masters One Kingsland 1.45m

The world’s best show jumping athletes were once again showcased at the Longines Masters of New York in the $60,000 Masters One Kingsland 1.45m on Saturday, April 28.  Dutchman Harrie Smolders (NED), who is poised to ascend to the number one position in the Longines World Rankings, topped a six-horse jump-off to take the win.  Riding the 13-year-old Holsteiner stallion Capital Colnardo for owner Copernicus Stables, Smolders took charge of the jump-off by blazing around the shortened jump-off track in a time of 33.12 seconds, overtaking the lead from Emanuele Gaudiano (ITA), who had stopped the clock in 34.05 seconds aboard the nine-year-old Oldenburg stallion, Chalou.  Edward Levy (FRA) took third position on the podium riding Rafale d’Hyverniere after posting a clear jump-off performance in a time of 34.84 seconds.

“It was quite a good class with only six clears,” said Smolders of the Masters One 1.45 competition presented by leading European apparel company, Kingsland.  “(Course designer) Louis Konickx did a good job; it was quite delicate.  It was not very big, but still tough in enough to jump.  The time was perfectly set.  In the jump-off, there were very fast ones straight away.  I saw Emanuele Guadiano and thought he had a good pace; into the double combination he could have gone maybe a little faster.  That is the only place he left a little gap, and that is where I tried to beat him.”

Of his appearance in the inaugural Longines Masters of New York, which joins Paris and Hong Kong in the series, Smolders noted, “It is always a high-standard event, very exclusive with high quality service.  We are always happy to come to the Longines Masters anywhere in the world!”

American Victory as Devin Ryan Tops the Lamborghini Masters Power Six Bar

Requiring horsepower in its own right, the $20,000 Lamborghini Masters Power Six Bar saw the fences grow higher and higher as competitors fell by the wayside.  The last man standing was Devin Ryan (USA) and his 12-year-old Hanoverian mare, Florida, the only pair to successfully clear the final height of 1.80m and claim victory.

Hot off his impressive second-place finish in the recent 2018 Longines FEI World Cup Final in Paris, the Longines Masters of New York was Ryan’s first appearance back on American soil.  Hailing from nearby New Jersey, Ryan did not disappoint the home crowd, who willed the pair over each of the six fences on their way to the win.

“I decided I was going to do it for the spectators,” said Ryan, 36, of his decision to enter the Lamborghini Masters Power Six Bar with Florida, a horse he started riding last fall that goes by the nickname ‘Bambi’.  “She’s a really careful mare and it’s always good for a horse to go in a ring and do something a little different.  It was just like doing a gymnastic at home.  I don’t normally jump this high at home but if the horse can do it, it can do it.  She’s super easy to deal with, but when she puts her eye on a jump she turns into a spitfire and she lights up.”

Three riders tied for the runner-up spot after having a fence down in the final test.  Longines Ambassador of Elegance Jane Richards Philips (SUI) partnered with Calinesse de Guldenboom and two up-and-coming American female show jumping stars, Mavis Spencer (USA) aboard Dubai and Kristen Vanderveen (USA) riding Bastian 86, all tried their best, but only Ryan successfully left all the rails in the cups in a true demonstration of horse power.

Canada atop Masters Two Mark Cross Podium

Kicking off Saturday competition at the Longines Masters of New York, two-time Canadian Olympian Mario Deslauriers climbed to the top of the podium after claiming the Masters Two Trophy Mark Cross 1.40m. Deslauriers and Curo, a nine-year-old Oldenburg gelding were fastest in the one-round speed event to cross the timers clear in 57.11 seconds for the win.

“Curo is a blast to ride,” said Deslauriers, who competes for his home country of Canada, but now calls New York City home. “It was a nice change to bring him inside and show him the new fences, the crowd, and all the activity. He really grew up a lot this week.”

Deslauriers is at the Longines Masters of New York with his 18-year-old daughter Lucy, who is competing in the Masters One CSI5* division, saying, “Overall, the event is great and a nice new flavor. To have an indoor event with all the background performances, the boutique area, and this level of sport is a fresh look and I think we need more of that.”

Fellow Canadian competitor Wesley Newlands took second and Samantha Wight (USA) finished third.

Jennifer Kocher Wins Masters Three Oscar de la Renta 1.25m in Fine Fashion

Saturday’s highlight competition in the Masters Three division, the Oscar de la Renta 1.25m, was won by Jennifer Kocher (USA).  The win did not come easily as eight riders passed the first round test to advance to the jump-off over the course set by Louis Konickx of the Netherlands.  Four riders again jumped clear in the tie-breaker with Kocher posting the winning time of 36.02 seconds riding Elion V, a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion owned by her husband, Andrew Kocher (USA), who is contesting the Masters One division at the Longines Masters of New York.

Tori Corts (USA) finished second with a time 36.90 seconds riding the 14-year-old Chico Bello while Sweden was represented on the podium by Sophie Mörner, the only rider to qualify two horses, both owned by Lövsta Stuteri, for the jump-off.  It was her younger mount, the nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, Elliot, who stopped the clock in 38.46 for third place.

For full information on the 2018 Longines Masters of New York, visit www.longinesmasters.com.

Contact: Jennifer Wood
jennifer@jumpmediallc.com

Ridland Reveals Long List for Team USA in Second Duel of the Riders Masters Cup

The global rivalry is heating up again as the Chefs d’Equipe from Team USA and Team Europe officially submitted their long lists this week. Team Europe, triumphant in Paris in December, will look to sweep as Philippe Guerdat, the gold medal coach from the 2016 Rio Olympics, plans to bring over a roster of top talent to defend the title. Ridland, the American legend whose underdog team nearly shocked the European squad in front of a packed French crowd, is hoping that on home soil, with some lineup changes and strategic learnings, his roster of stars will reign victorious when the Riders Masters Cup, created by EEM and presented by EEF and Founding Partner Longines, comes to New York April 28, 2018.

Who better to lead Team USA into battle at the Riders Masters Cup in New York than hometown heroes and Olympic gold medalists McLain Ward and Beezie Madden?

Ward, who sits at No. 3 in the FEI Longines Show Jumping Standings, is most likely to lead the riders into battle with Madden (currently ranked #23) for Team USA as they take on some of Team Europe’s best show jumpers in an epic battle for the Riders Masters Cup.

With only 5 spots on each Team, which must include one under 25 rider, joining Ward and Madden as they battle for American glory will be two selections from veteran superstars Laura Kraut and Lauren Hough, or potential young guns Kristen Vanderveen, Andrew Ramsay, Jessica Springsteen, and Quentin Judge, who would bring lots of energy to the team competition.

Local standouts Adrienne Sternlicht and Lucy Deslauriers join west coast rising star Jennifer Gates competing for the single Under-25 spot on Team USA.

Ridland and this more experienced squad, whatever the final makeup, are poised for vindication and ready to fly the flag high in what promises to be epic competition, action packed sport, and intense team rivalry keeping fans on the edge of their seats! This is an event not to be missed when the transatlantic battle continues and pins these two international showjumping super powers against one another in an epic battle of strategy and sport.

The final teams and the official draw for the order-of-go will be held on Thursday, April 26, 2018, during the press preview on opening day of the Longines Masters of New York!

Make sure to follow www.RidersMastersCup.com for updates and for the reveal of Team Europe in the days to come! Don’t forget to share the love for Riders Masters Cup and the team you support on social media with the hashtags #WaveYourFlag and #RidersMastersCup.

Team Europe Edges Past Team USA in Inaugural Riders Masters Cup

Laura Kraut & Viper Vrombautshoeve Z. Photo Credit: Laurent Vu for EEM.

Paris Event Sets the Stage for the Second and Final Showdown of the Riders Masters Cup

PARIS – Dec. 2, 2017 – A brand new type of equestrian competition premiered at the Longines Masters of Paris, pitting the United States and Europe against each other in an exhilarating head-to-head matchup. Presented by EEM, in collaboration with the European Equestrian Federation (EEF), and with Longines as a founding partner, the initial stage of the two-round Riders Masters Cup captivated the Paris audience at the international Longines Masters Series. The heart-pounding competition will culminate with the second and final showdown taking place on April 28, 2018, during the inaugural Longines Masters of New York.

EEM CEO Christophe Ameeuw stated, “When we decided to move our American Leg of the Longines Masters to New York, we were living a dream to jump on the grandest stage. Our show has become known for combining glamour, lifestyle, and gastronomy with the best in show jumping; a true 6* experience! We are thrilled we have the opportunity to bring an exciting new competition along with it. The Riders Masters Cup brings the best of equestrian sport together with exhilarating team competition and is a showcase for the exhilarating event in the world’s biggest media market.”

A new annual equestrian competition, the Riders Masters Cup bridges the first and third leg of EEM’s Longines Masters Series, which presents one of the most prestigious show jumping events in the world spanning three continents: Europe, Asia, and North America. Season III of the Longines Masters Series kicked off in Paris, travels to Hong Kong in February, and premieres in New York in April.

The passion and intensity from the 2016 Rio Olympic Games continued into the Riders Masters Cup, which featured multiple Olympic show jumpers for both sides. Team USA is led by 1976 Olympian and 2016 USA Olympic Coach Robert Ridland, who brought home the silver medal last summer, while Team Europe’s Chef d’Equipe is led by two-time Swiss Olympian Philippe Guerdat, keeper of the Gold medal from the 2016 Rio Games with the French team. Six of the 10 riders from the two teams are also previous Olympians, including: the youngest competitor in show jumping history to compete in the Olympic Games, 2012 Olympian Reed Kessler of the USA; two-time Olympian and 2008 Olympic Team Gold Medalist Laura Kraut (USA); a member of the 2016 French gold medal-winning Olympic Team and current World #3, Kevin Staut, and more.

Drawn by Racing 92 rugby player Dimitri Szarzewski, the five duels of the Riders Masters Cup comprised:

  • Team USA Devin Ryan vs. Team Europe Kevin Staut* from France
  • Team USA Chloe Reid vs. Team Europe Maikel van der Vleuten* from The Netherlands
  • Team USA Laura Kraut* vs. Team Europe Grégory Wathelet* from Belgium
  • Team USA Reed Kessler* vs. Team Europe Jos Verlooy from Belgium
  • Team USA Lauren Hough* vs. Team Europe Lorenzo de Luca from Italy

* Denotes Olympian

The fans were enraptured showing their team spirit as the first two riders took to the ring to kick off the highly-anticipated Riders Masters Cup. Competing on a course designed by 2017 Longines FEI European Championship designer Louis Konickx, Team USA’s Devin Ryan and Cooper faced the daunting competition of current world #3 ranked show jumper in the world Kevin Staut and Ayade de Septon et HDC. Staut showed an incredible clear round with a time of 59.05, but unfortunately Ryan suffered a tack malfunction forcing elimination.

The powerhouse of female show jumpers then took the reins for Team USA, starting with the second duel of the evening, in which the formidable 21-year-old Chloe Reid and Sally 643 competed against world-ranked #5 Maikel van der Vleuten and Dana Blue from Team Europe. The Team USA rising star evened the score as she raced around the course in a clear round with a time of 64.08 leaving van der Vleuten in the dust after he dropped rails at the first and last jumps.

Laura Kraut and Viper Vrombautshoeve Z took the lead for Team USA with another clear round and a time of 63.01 to beat Team Europe’s world-ranked #10 Grégory Wathelet and MJT Nevados S who had four faults after a refusal at the last jump finishing with a time of 65.85.

Then, Team Europe’s Jos Verlooy and Igor evened the score for Team Europe with a time of 59.84 just edging out Team USA’s Reed Kessler’s and KS Stakki’s time of 60.71.

Every fan in the arena was on their feet, anxiously awaiting the final duel of the first round of the Riders Masters Cup as Team USA’s Lauren Hough and Waterford entered the ring against Team Europe’s No. 4 world-ranked Lorenzo de Luca and Jeunesse Van’t Paradijs. De Luca dominated the course with a time of 60.07 and fans eagerly awaited the appearance of Olympian Lauren Hough. Unfortunately, two refusals forced Hough out of the ring and Team USA fell to Team Europe in the first round by a score of 3-2.

With a close first round and an electric crowd, the second round had riders and horses return to compete over a Table C faults converted course, where three penalties were added for every rail that fell and riders scored two points for each winning ride.

In the first match-up, Devin Ryan of Team USA redeemed himself with a clear round, adding no penalties to his time of 60.16 seconds riding Cooper and scored the first two points for his team after Kevin Staut and Ayade de Septon et HDC had a rail at the final jump and finished with a final time of 62.79 seconds after three penalty seconds were added.

Maikel van der Vleuten and Dana Blue dropped the top plank of the Masters Riders Cup fence, adding three seconds to their time and finishing with a total of 63.12 seconds. Chloe Reid and Sally 643 also had a rail down for a time of 65.09 seconds and gave Team Europe two more points.

“I was lucky this time!” said van der Vleuten.

Laura Kraut and Viper Vrombautshoeve Z had one rail down and missed an inside turn to record a time of 64.84 seconds. Gregory Wathelet and MJT Nevados S came away with the win after they recorded a time of 61.97 seconds despite pulling rails at the final jump.

Reed Kessler scored another two points for Team USA when she and KS Stakki finished clear in 65.38 seconds, besting Jos Verlooy and Igor.

Lauren Hough and Qantas struggled again in the second round, dropping a rail and with a refusal, while Lorenzo de Luca, came back into the ring with the same gusto and took the round once again with a clear round and a time of 68.09.

De Luca’s triumphant win sealed the deal earning Team Europe the win with a final score of 9-6.

Team USA now turns its eyes on New York with renewed intensity and Ridland was extremely proud of his team, which included four female riders and faced a dominant all-male team on their home turf. “There was a little bit of the unexpected and a couple instances of bad luck. It’s probably a faster paced action event than we’re used to,” said Ridland.

When asked what he would do differently, Ridland smiled and seemed confident that his team would change the tides when they crossed the Atlantic and head to New York in April. He said, “I would leave a couple more jumps up!! For New York, I think we came in with a pretty good strategy and a very good team. The home field advantage will be for us and in our favor in New York. The spectators, riders, and the sport in general will realize what it’s about after seeing this and I really look forward to that. We’ll give them a run for their money.”

The first edition of the historic Riders Masters Cup will culminate on U.S. soil on April 28, 2018, at the Longines Masters of New York at NYCB Live, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Until then, each team will continue training and strategizing in anticipation of their return to the ring next spring with a renewed fervor and the goal of either revenge or continued domination.

Fans can stay updated on the news from each team at www.RidersMastersCup.com and show their support on social media with the hashtag #WaveYourFlag.

Press Contact: Jennifer Wood/Jump Media, jwood@jumpmediallc.com.

Riders Masters Cup: The Birth of a Legendary Competition

Official poster created by artist Riccardo Guasco.

Equestrian sports are set to experience a real revolution this year with the creation of the Riders Masters Cup presented by EEM and the EEF (European Equestrian Federation). This new team competition will launch on Saturday, December 2nd and directly pit the two powers of international show jumping against one another: the United States and Europe. The first edition of the Riders Masters Cup will be held as part of the Longines Masters of Paris, and the second face-off will take place on April 28, 2018 during the Longines Masters of New York.

The United States and Europe: The Two “Powers” of Equestrian Sport

In all major international championships held since 1912 (Olympic Games, World Equestrian Games and World Cup), the United States and Europe have only conceded 13 titles to the rest of the world.

Until now, there has never been a direct competition with its own rules between these two powers of international show jumping. The Riders Masters Cup will highlight this healthy rivalry – also marked by solidarity and long-standing friendship – making the start of a great sporting saga.

Riders Masters Cup: The Birth of a Legend

Christophe Ameeuw and his team at EEM are constantly seeking innovation and are determined to bring equestrian sports to the forefront of the world stage. With this goal in mind, they have created the Riders Masters Cup in partnership with the European Equestrian Federation (EEF).

The first edition of the Riders Masters Cup will be held in the evening of Saturday, December 2, 2017, as part of the Longines Masters of Paris. The second competition will take place in the United States, on April 28, 2018, as part of the Longines Masters of New York. This transatlantic battle will propel show jumping to the same level of popularity as tennis with the Davis Cup or sailing with the America’s Cup.

Sport, Show & Strategy

How does it work? The Riders Masters Cup is a competition between two teams made up of the best riders and horses. The Riders Masters Cup is a spectacular and highly strategic event that pits five American riders against five European riders in ten duels during a two-round competition.

For this first edition, the composition of the teams has been entrusted to Robert Ridland for the American team and Philippe Guerdat for the European team.

The first round will see competitors vying with one another in a Table A against the clock on a Grand Prix-style course. The starting order and composition of the duels will be decided by a draw. The winning team is awarded one point for each duel won on this round.

For the second round, a Table C, each duel won is worth two points, and the team leader’s strategy is crucial in terms of the starting order of riders, substitution of horses and the choice of opponent.

#Waveyourflag

With the Riders Masters Cup, EEM and EEF will proudly elevate the team spirit of equestrian sports. The audience will play a significant role supporting and following the selections, preparation and live strategy through the website ridersmasterscup.com. In the stands, each team will need the public’s support. National pride, team spirit, live strategy and audience participation will be the watchwords of this new competition. Together, we will encourage the audience at home and in the stands to #waveyourflag!

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