A revolution is about to occur in the world of equestrian sports with the creation of a brand-new team competition presented by EEM in collaboration with the EEF and with Longines as the Founding Partner: The Riders Masters Cup. This new style event will see the two powerhouses of world show jumping, the United States and Europe, battling it out in prime time at the Longines Masters of Paris on December 2nd 2017. With the rivalry between the two head coaches already hotting up on social media, Philippe Guerdat unveils the riders shortlisted to represent Europe.
On December 2nd, the Longines Masters of Paris will set the ball rolling for this brand-new international show jumping event, with the return match taking place across the pond on April 28th 2018 during the Longines Masters of New York. The Riders Masters Cup is a competition between two teams consisting of the best riders and horses from each of the two geographical zones. The two legs are designed by Louis Konickx, who designed the courses at the last European Championships. The event aims to raise the profile of equestrian sport by inviting the general public to share its intrinsic values, namely, excellence, prestige and sharing. The event will combine performance, showmanship and strategy in the form of ten duels fought between five American riders and five European riders. For this first event, two men with much experience in the matter will be responsible for putting the teams together: Robert Ridland for the United States and Philippe Guerdat for Europe.
Three weeks before battle commences in the arena at the Longines Masters of Paris, the chef d’équipes and their riders are already warming up on social media, with some very original challenges under the hashtag #RMCIBetYou. In the past week, the two chef d’équipes have launched hostilities and been asserting their strength in a couple of light- hearted videos in which they predict the final result and playfully challenge one another. The contest is clearly already underway well in advance of this first historic edition of the Riders Masters Cup.
Philippe Guerdat has piled the pressure on the American chef d’équipe by revealing the riders shortlisted to represent Europe during the competition in Paris. For the occasion, the Swiss chef d’équipe has shortlisted the current best riders, the stars of their discipline, starting with France’s Kevin Staut, Olympic team gold medalist in Rio in 2016 and current World number 3 in the Longines FEI World Rankings, but also Belgium’s Grégory Watheletwinner of the Longines Masters of Paris in 2016, and Italy’s Lorenzo de Luca, who is in great form and is the current World number 4.
The Netherlands’ Maikel van der Vleuten, current World team gold medalist, Switzerland’sSteve Guerdat, Olympic individual champion and winner of two World Cup finals, Scotland’sScott Brash, Olympic team gold medalist in 2012, Belgium’s Niels Bruynseels, team gold medalist at the Nations Cup Final in Barcelona in 2017 and Spain’s Sergio Moya, fourth of the World Cup Final in 2013, will complete the selection. The young riders on this shortlist are also already well-known in the discipline: Belgium’s Jos Verlooy, the winner of Longines Grand Prix of Los Angeles in 2014, France’s Edward Levy, French Young Rider Champion in 2012, and Laura Klaphake who took part in her first senior European Championships at just 23 years of age.
It is a breath-taking list of riders with amazing track records that Robert Ridland will no doubt soon counter!
On November 30th the final list of the 5 riders representing Europe in this first historical edition will be announced, so stay connected!
For all the fans who are impatient to enjoy this incredible experience, social networks are a prime showcase to follow all the news about the Riders Cup. Thanks to the hashtag #WaveYourFlag, you can support your favorite team on the social networks, and thus join the Riders Masters Cup community for a unique social challenge! The public will also fully play its role in the grandstands, where each team will need its full support. National pride, team spirit, live strategy and audience participation are the watchwords of this new competition.