First, they introduced the “fastest class in the world” with the Longines Speed Challenge—a 1.45m speed course created in 2010 that allots a two-second penalty for a rail, instead of the usual four.
In 2015, they brought us the Longines Masters’ “Grand Slam Indoor of Show Jumping”—a three-continent spanning series inspired by the Grand Slam of tennis.
Now EEM and European Equestrian Federation (EEF) have announced a new American-European equestrian duel competition slated to premiere in 2017: The Masters Riders Cup.
From the press release:
The United States and Europe have time and again proven their leadership on the international show jumping scene. Since the introduction of the World Equestrian Games in 1978, no nation other than these have been able to earn a place on the podium. In 37 World Cup finals, European and American riders have only failed to win the title six times. Team results in the Olympic Games are further proof of Europe and the United States’ domination: out of 72 team medals awarded since 1912, Europeans and Americans have only ceded 7 wins.
However, until now there has never been a direct, rules-based competition between Europe and the United States, an event like golf’s Ryder Cup in which equestrians compete individually against one another on behalf of their team. EEM and EEF are bringing this contest to life beginning with the inaugural Masters Riders Cup at the Longines Masters of Paris in December 2017.
This unique event is set to be a spectacular clash between the best European and American riders, providing a ring for the two most dominant forces in the world of show jumping to battle it out in an innovative, exciting and strategic contest.
The Masters Riders Cup will pit a team of five European riders against a team of five American riders. Starting at the Longines Masters of Paris 2017, the new class will take place every year, alternating annually between Europe and the United States.
For the competition’s first season, the teams will be composed by Robert Ridland, the current chef d’equipe of the United States national team that claimed silver at the Rio Olympics, and Philippe Guerdat, selector of the French national team that took gold. The two team captains will serve as chief strategists.
The competition will take place in two stages. Riders will contend in a series of five duels in each stage, and each duel will award points to the winning rider’s team. Depending on the results of the first stage, the winning coach can designate which rider will match up with each opponent.
Prior to the second stage, the team captains will determine the starting order of their riders, while indicating any possible substitutions of the horses and explaining their strategy choices.
Come 2018, the battle for national pride will continue when teams will compete for the Masters Riders Cup at the Longines Masters of Los Angeles.
Europe vs America. It’s on!