History

Naming the Nations Cup, a Brief History

©FEI/Cara Grimshaw

Hockey has the Stanley Cup.

Football, the Grey Cup.

In show jumping, the annual championship coveted by every international team the world over is known as the Nations Cup.

At least, that’s what it currently goes by. Equestrian sport’s oldest and most prestigious team challenge has had a name change or 12 in its 110 year history.

After World War II, for instance, it was known as the Queen’s Trophy. The team championship later became the President’s Cup, then reverted back to royalty as the Prince Philip Trophy—a title tug of war between monarchy and state, as it were.

In 1987, some 57 years after show jumping’s annual playoff came under FEI rule, the first commercial sponsor was established, bringing us the Gucci Trophy, so named after the Italian fashion house. #fancy

In 1990, Dutch technological brand HCS took up the mantel. (Whether that was a Cup or a Trophy five minutes of internet research did not reveal.)

Then in 1997, Samsung became smitten with horse sport, leading to the sport’s longest standing sponsor relationship to date with the Samsung Nations Cup from 1997 to 2002, followed by the Samsung Super League between 2003 and 2008.

Meydan Racecourse in Dubai put a ring on it briefly in 2009 and 2010, giving birth to the Meydan FEI Nations Cup.

Then there was the dry spell… Commercial sponsorship was dropped in 2011 and 2012 and the championship was simply the FEI Nations Cup.

The federation got back on the sponsorship bandwagon in 2013, memorably introducing the name changed cursed by copy editors the world over: the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup. And with it, three years of typos.

Which brings us to the latest in show jumping’s long line of sponsorship suitors, Swiss watchmaker Longines. Since 2016, the annual series has run under the banner of the Longines FEI Nations Cup.

But if you thought the name changes ended there, you’d be mistaken.

When the title sponsorship was introduced in 2017 it was the Longines FEI Nations Cup Jumping, a title it held through 2018. A subtle rebranding twist for 2019 brings us its current indoctorination: the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup, which presumably is a ploy to torture the media.

That’s an even dozen name changes in 110 years, if you weren’t keeping track. Which is fewer than the artist formerly known as Prince, but decidedly more than you might expect.

Meanwhile the Grey Cup, established the same year as the “Nations Cup” (1909), continues to be the Grey Cup.

The first leg of 2019 Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ season kicks off at the Palm Beach Masters, February 14–17, in Wellington, Florida. Watch it on FEI.TV