Paris, FRA – Dec. 2, 2017 – After two days of intense competition, the European and pioneering stage of the intercontinental Longines Masters series continues to wow audiences! The intensity has been rising with every second, and most notably with the launch of two spectacular new events: the Masters Power, presented by the Lido de Paris, and the much-awaited Riders Masters Cup, presented by EEM, in partnership with EEF (the European Equestrian Federation) and Longines as Founding Partner. The Riders Masters Cup, a new team competition, highlighted the night and had the crowds on their feet, for what was the first-ever battle between Europe and the United States.
To inaugurate the competition, a true revolution in the world of equestrian sports, Christophe Ameeuw spoke out to say, “This incredible competition is dream came true: creating excitement through a unique competition built as a Grand Chelem”. Pierre Durand, ambassador of the Riders Masters Cup added, “I am sure that team leaders will surprise us like the greatest strategists to build amazing duos!”
The European and American anthems rang out in the legendary arena of the Longines Masters of Paris, hailed by generous applause by an audience eager to see the two nations – the world’s greatest in show-jumping – face off for the first time in the history of equestrian sports.
As the draw designated Europe to open the first round, it was Olympic champion Kevin Staut, riding Ayade de Septon et HDC, who led the way to venture through the technical course, which spanned a full 1.50m. The US team responded authoritatively, urged on by a crowd on fire, and pitted Devin Ryan riding the magnificent Cooper. After losing his bridle, Ryan left the victory to Kevin Staut, giving the first point to Europe.
The Americans gained the following two points with Chloe Reid and Sally 643 edging out the European pair of Maikel van der Vleuten and Dana Blue while Laura Kraut rode Viper Vrombautshoeve Z to top Gregory Wathelet aboard MJT Nevados S.
European riders fired back, gaining the final two points of the first round with Jos Verlooy on Igor and Lorenzo de Luca riding Jeunesse van’t Paradijs over American riders Reed Kessler with KS Stakki and Lauren Hough aboard Waterford.
When the five face-offs in the first round came to an end, Team Europe had gained the upper hand, with three winning rides for a total of three points above the United States’ two point total.
Team heads Robert Ridland and Philippe Guerdat then came together on the podium, for a friendly but resolute handshake to set out their strategy for the second round, a speed competition that promised a breathtaking show. A simple principle: bet on the same order of riders to preserve the freshness of the horses.
Traveling at full speed with Cooper, this time Ryan offered the win of the first dual to the US team. Van der Vleuten and Wathelet and bested their battles for Europe, while Kessler used of all her qualities to win her face-off with Verlooy, getting back the US in course just before the last dual! The last European rider to pass, the talented Lorenzo de Luca, faced the pressure and did not crack, offering a historic final round to the competition.
The strategy chosen by the team leader finally benefited Europe as they won the first leg of the all brand new Riders Masters Cup. The two teams gathered on the podium where the Europeans received the trophy from Fernanda Ameeuw. The Americans promised to take their revenge during the American leg of the Longines Masters on Sat,. April 28, in 2018.
“This first edition of the Riders Masters Cup showed that this wondrous sport – show jumping – can be simple, readable and thrilling to audiences, without giving up any of the elegance or excellence characteristic of them. Both the teams stepped up to the challenge in exceptional fashion, taking the audience right along with them and giving our sport the widespread support it deserves. I am proud to soon bring the Riders Masters Cup to New York, to share with audiences on the other side of the Atlantic the re-match of this very event which, I am certain, is in the process of revolutionizing show-jumping”, commented Christophe Ameeuw, CEO and Founder of EEM as the competition drew to a close.
|Europe – Chef d’équipe: Philippe Guerdat|
|Ayade de Septon et HDC||Kevin Staut||1||0|
|Dana Blue||Maikel van der Vleuten||0||2|
|MJT Nevados S||Gregory Wathelet||0||2|
|Jeunesse van’t Paradijs||Lorenzo de Luca||1||2|
|USA – Chef d’équipe: R. Ridland|
|Sally 643||Chloe Reid||1||0|
|Viper Vrombautshoeve Z||Laura Kraut||1||0|
|KS Stakki||Reed Kessler||0||2|