September 2016 - Elite Jumping Headed to Arena Near You!

Longines returns top flight show jumping events to the West Coast.

Great show jumping is headed West, thanks to the return of the Longines LA Masters and the second year of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League.

Set for Sept. 29-Oct. 2, the Longines Masters Los Angeles returns to Southern California for its third year, this time at the Long Beach Convention Center, rather than downtown Los Angeles.

Beezie Madden & Simon on their way to winning the Del Mar International World Cup class last year. Photo: Kim F Miller

Some of the world’s top jumpers will likely stay in the West to vie for points in the World Cup™ NAL league. Launched last year as an upgrade to the North American World Cup competition, it prompted positive change on the show jumping landscape on the North American continent. Modeled after the Longines FEI World Cup Western Europe League, the system has provided the North American continent with an elevated league, marked by an emphasis on quality of competition and dramatic staging that has evolved the prior system to the next level of sport.

The seven events that comprise the NAL West sub-league actually kicked off in Canada, Aug. 28 at Thunderbird Showpark in Langley, British Columbia.

Things follow fast with classes at the Sacramento International Horse Show Oct. 8, then at the Del Mar International, Oct. 22, both under the management of West Palms Events. October 29, it’s back to Canada for the fourth round at the two-year-old Royal West in downtown Calgary, a fun, new show at a venue that’s familiar to many as home of the Calgary Stampede.

Number 5 in the West is Nov. 19 at the Las Vegas National, run by Blenheim EquiSports. Number 6 is in Guadalajara Mexico on January 28 and the finale is at HITS Thermal on February 11.

Productive Partnership

The NAL is the product of a partnership between the FEI and Longines, the luxury watchmaker, with the main objective set as elevating World Cup level show jumping in the United States, Canada and Mexico. And due to the commitment to excellence, the series of 14 events is providing an improved qualifying experience for the sport’s horses, riders, organizers, and spectators.

Chilean pair Samuel Parot & Atlantis winning the big class at the Sacramento International. Photo: Kim F. Miller

Las Vegas National World Cup winner Peter Lutz & Robin de Ponthual. Photo: Kim F. Miller

With seven events on the West Coast and seven events on the East Coast, horse-and-rider pairs have the opportunity to carefully select events to best suit their competition calendars. And for those balancing commitments abroad, the League’s format counts the top four scores, out of a possible seven, which allows for even the tightest schedules to have the flexibility to qualify for the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final.

The East sub-league began with the Bromont International CSI3*-W in Quebec, Canada on Sunday, July 31 and ends March 12 in Ocala, FL.

At season’s end, seven U.S. athletes from the East Coast sub-league, three U.S. athletes from the West Coast sub-league, two Canadian athletes, and two Mexican athletes will earn bids to the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final, which will take place in Omaha, Nebraska from March 29 to April 2, 2017. (See related story, Omaha Welcomes The World)

The inaugural season’s 14 events will continue to comprise the series, now in the second year of the three-year contracts (with the exception of the qualifier in Valle de Bravo, Mexico, which moves to Guadalajara, Mexico).

Multi-Olympians Beezie Madden and McLain Ward and Quentin Judge were among East Coast-based Americans to compete in at least one of the West NAL events last year, along with several top foreign riders. Chile’s charming Sam Perot became a fan favorite after winning qualifiers in Sacramento and Calgary and Beezie Madden’s win in Del Mar was super exciting. The totally revamped league got off to a great start and is sure to gain traction this year. The fact that the Finals, (for jumping and dressage), are in the United States next spring will likely heat up the chase among American contenders.

The North American League boasts a minimum of U.S. $2.4 million prize money across the series, and offers the best jumping athletes from North America and around the world the chance to qualify for the jackpot of more than U.S. $1.4 million on offer annually at the Final.

Those unable to attend the NAL events can tune in to live action of all qualifiers on FEI TV, the FEI’s official video platform: www.feitv.org. The additional FEI classes at these competitions will be available to view via livestream on the FEI’s YouTube channel. Visit www.youtube.com/user/feichannel to view the full details on the livestream.


Excerpted and edited from Longines and FEI press releases.