The Longines Masters will make its official jump into New York — its new US base — at the end of the month. The four-day series of equestrian events will feature local riders, such as Georgina Bloomberg and Jessica Springsteen.
The event will run from April 26 to 29 at NYCB Live, home of Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, in Uniondale.
The Longines Speed Challenge, which is considered to be the fastest show jumping competition in the world, will be held Friday, April 27. The first ever Riders Masters Cup — a two-part equestrian speed duel which began with Riders Europe defeating Riders USA in Paris in December — will be held on Saturday, April 28.
American legend Robert Ridland will be heading up Riders USA as team members seek to redeem themselves against Riders Europe. It is likely his five-rider roster will be led by Olympic gold medalists McLain Ward and Beezie Madden, who are ranked number three and number 23 in Longines Show Jumping Standings, respectively.
Of the three remaining spots, one of which must be reserved for an under 25 rider, two could go to veterans like Laura Kraut, Lauren Hough, or younger riders such as Springsteen, Kristen Vanderveen, Andrew Ramsay, and Quentin Judge.
The under 25 spot could go to Adrienne Sternlicht, Lucy Deslauriers, or Jennifer Gates.
Philip Guerdat, who coached the French to a gold medal in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, will head up Riders Europe in defending its title.
It is likely Guerdat will choose from a squad that includes some heavy hitters in terms of world rankings like the Netherlands’ Harris Smolders, who ranks number two, France’s Kevin Straut, who ranks number three, and Sweden’s Peder Fredricson, who ranks number five.
Also on the long list of possible team members are Patrice Delaveau of France, who topped the Longines Grand Prix in Hong Kong in February, Gregory Wathelet of Belgium, who ranks number 17 in the world, Phillips Rozier of France, and Jerome Guery of Belgium.
Guerdat could choose Edward Levy of France or Olivier Philippaerts of Belgium for the team’s under 25 spot.
The final teams and the official draw for the order-of-go will be held on Thursday, April 26 during the press preview on opening day.
The equestrian festivities will culminate in the Longines Grand Prix, during which riders will compete for the Grand Slam bonus of 1 million Euros, on Sunday, April 29.
The event also promises all the trappings of luxury with celebrity chef Antonia Lofaso of Top Chef curating meals for the ringside Masters Club, and Prestige Village, a 60,000-square-foot shopping pavilion.
Prestige Village, which is making its inaugural run in New York at the event, will feature the latest in riding apparel, music, parties, and rare art. Guests will be able to check out the Longines Grand Prix and Riders Cup trophies, as well as the official watch of the event, and the Lamborghini Urus Sport-utility vehicle.
International graffiti artist El Niño is set to make his mark at the village in his own unique way. The lifestyle brand Sam Edelman will cap the event off with a Saturday night after party in Prestige Village.
The Longines Masters of New York marks the end of season three for the international series, which includes Hong Kong and Paris.
President and CEO of Equestrian Events Management, Christophe Ameeuw, who is founder of the Longines Masters Series, said coming to New York was a dream and he still can’t believe it’s now a reality, and that he is overwhelmed by the warm welcome from longtime partners, new brands, and the entire equestrian community.
“We bring our guests the best-in-show jumping, entertainment, and hospitality, and I think we have raised the bar this year,” he said.