Less than one month to go until the kickoff of season 2 of the Longines Masters Series, which will begin with the Longines Masters of Los Angeles (September 29—October 2), before traveling to Paris in December and culminating with Hong Kong in February 2017. The four-day competition at the Long Beach Convention Center will bring spectators fast-paced, heart-pounding international show jumping competition.
To begin the countdown to the launch of the series, the Longines Masters hosted on Tuesday a special multi-generational Q&A panel of Team USA show jumpers Lucy Davis (Rio 2016 silver medalist), Rich Fellers (London 2012, Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Finals 2015) and Will Simpson (Beijing 2008 gold medalist). Also in attendance were Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia; and CEO of EEM, creators of the Longines Masters, Christophe Ameeuw Davis. The event concluded with guests being treated to a taste of Long Beach’s food, live art by local artist John Culqui, and a celebratory toast to welcome the Longines Masters to Long Beach.
“In exactly one month, the Longines Masters of Los Angeles will welcome the world’s top riders, luxury brands, one-of-a-kind artwork, and exquisite global cuisine to Long Beach to embark on the journey of the Longines Masters Series season two,” said Ameeuw. “We are so grateful to Longines for their continued global support and dedication to elevating the sport of show jumping on an international stage.”
Highlights from the event included:
Long Beach Mayor Dr. Robert Garcia expressed how grateful he and the city are to host the Longines Masters, and why they welcome the event with such open arms.
Christophe Ameeuw spoke about the breadth of the international series, which will begin on September 29th with the Longines Masters of Los Angeles and travel to Paris and Hong Kong. He introduced the new Super Grand Slam Bonus that the world’s top riders will vie for in Season Two of the Longines Masters Series and spoke of his enthusiasm over bringing the event to Long Beach.
Fresh off her performance in Rio, Los Angeles native Lucy Davis naturally made her homecoming grand entrance in style as she arrived on horseback. She shared the excitement of the moment she stood on the winners’ podium, how she’s looking forward to the Longines Masters of Los Angeles, why she thinks it’s so important to raise the profile of show jumping in the U.S., and what it means to her to have an event of this caliber in her backyard.
Rich Fellers, who was part of the 2012 U.S. Olympic show jumping team and a 2015 Longines FEI World Cup Finalist, discussed the evolution of how much the equestrian sport has grown in popularity and the effect the Longines Masters has had on raising show jumping’s profile with an American audience.
Olympic gold medalist Will Simpson spoke about his experiences in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and why he competes at the Longines Masters of Los Angeles. He discussed all that the Longines Masters has to offer, including the event’s unique Pro-Am Style & Competition for Charity.
California local artist John Culqui, whose work has become iconic in the city and is known for his art having classic Southern California beach-based imagery, was on site as he painted a piece live for attendees. A first-generation Ecuadorian American, Culqui has shown in exhibits in the U.S. as well as internationally in Australia.
In addition to the incredible riders who were in attendance at today’s preview, the largest number of Olympians to ever compete together on U.S. soil are preparing for the American leg of the Grand Slam Indoor of Show Jumping, the global three-leg competition known as the Longines Masters Series. Joining from Team USA will be Lucy Davis’s teammate and fellow silver medalist Kent Farrington, who will return to the Longines Masters to face familiar faces from the Rio games, including Team France gold medalist Kevin Staut, Team Canada bronze medalist Eric Lamaze and Team Germany bronze medalists Christian Ahlmann, Daniel Deusser, and Meredith Michaels Beerbaum. French superstar, World Number 2 and 2016 gold medalist Simon Delestre will also compete, appearing at the American competition for the first time after multiple appearances in Paris and Hong Kong.
A full rider list will be released in September to give spectators a glimpse of the world’s top-rated riders who will be exhibiting their skills and competing for the new Super Grand Slam Bonus at the Longines Masters of Los Angeles.