March 17, 2015--The brand new Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League was launched in Miami (USA) today by three of the biggest names in the sport – Beezie Madden, the most decorated US female equestrian athlete of all time and currently the only woman in the top 10 of the Longines world rider rankings, American Gold Cup winner and FEI Solidarity Ambassador Jessica Springsteen, and Hannah Selleck, team and individual gold medallist at young rider level and one of the sport’s up-and-coming stars.
The trio, who all started riding almost as soon as they could walk, are already gearing up for the new league, which kicks off in August 2015 across seven East and seven West Coast venues in three countries: the United States, Mexico and Canada.
The North American League boasts a minimum of US $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 US $1.4 million (€1.3 million) on offer annually at the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final.
Elegance is an attitude
“Longines’ motto is ‘elegance is an attitude.’ It’s true of their core business but it also rings true for equestrian sport”, Beezie Madden said. “Our sport is about elegance and the harmony we achieve with our horses is essential to success. Longines is the perfect partner for equestrian sport.”
“We are part of an exceptional sport because we get to rely on a very special partner: the horse”, Jessica Springsteen said. “Our horses are so much more than an animal. They are hard-working talented athletes with their own personalities. It’s an awesome sport and I’m so excited to share my passion for it with you today.”
“Horses are a great leveler”, Hannah Selleck said. “As riders we know that you can be winning one day, and on the ground the next. Riders can have very long careers which last for many years. Some of the more mature riders are old enough to be my father, but I quite like the one I’ve got!”
The 14 events* that will host legs of the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping™ North American League were selected after a rigorous screening process from a long list of 25 applicants. Impressively, 11 of the events featured in the recently published North American Riders Group Top 25 rankings.
The Longines FEI World Cup Jumping™ North American League will be showcased on a broad range of global platforms, from live TV broadcasts to streaming on digital outlets and mobile, focusing on the drama of equestrian sport with fascinating behind-the-scenes documentary-style coverage.
“The Longines FEI World Cup Jumping North American League is a massive boost to our sport and will dominate the headlines in 2015,” FEI 1st Vice-President and Chair of the FEI Jumping Committee John Madden (USA) said. “The new league is a huge opportunity for our athletes to shine on a North American stage and showcase top-level equestrian sport to fans across North America and the world.
“This league is also ideally suited to wide-ranging global brands that want to reach out to North American and international audiences, drawing very clear affinities with their own visions and values alongside Longines.”
Longines equestrian boost
Longines, the FEI’s Official Top Partner, Timekeeper and Watch of the FEI, is a major supporter of the Olympic sport of Jumping around the world, and is already title partner of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Western European League and Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping China League.
Longines is now looking forward to supporting the further growth of Jumping across North America as the official Title Partner and Watch of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League. In addition, Longines will also provide a dedicated timekeeping team and data handling service for each of the 14 legs.
“We are proud to be partnering the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League”, Juan-Carlos Capelli, Vice President of Longines and Head of International Marketing said. “This association is part of our long-term commitment with the FEI as we are its Top Partner, but also the Title Partner, Official Timekeeper and Watch of the Longines FEI World CupTM Jumping Western European League, Chinese League and, as of today, the North American League.”
The Swiss watchmaker’s timing heritage in the United States goes back to the 1870s, and by 1886 the company’s popular chronograph engraved with a jockey and his mount was being used by most sport judges in New York.
To celebrate this time-honoured legacy and the launch of the new league, the coveted Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping trophy will be showcased at Morays Jewelers boutique in Miami, before being transported to Las Vegas for this year’s Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final. The world’s best riders, including many of those that will go on to contest the new season North American League, will be bidding to be crowned the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping champion in Vegas (15-19 April).
Today’s launch was held at SPORTELAmerica, the annual sports media industry convention in the USA.
Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League calendar*
Bromont, QC (CAN) - International Bromont
New York, North Salem (USA)
Washington, DC (USA) - Washington International Horse Show
Lexington, KY (USA) – National Horse Show
Toronto, ON (CAN) – Royal Agricultural Winter Fair
Wellington, FL (USA)
Ocala, FL (USA) – Live Oak International
Langley, BC (CAN) – Thunderbird
Rancho Murieta, CA (USA) – Sacramento International Horse Show
Del Mar, CA (USA) – Del Mar International
Calgary, AB (CAN)
Las Vegas, NV (USA) – Las Vegas National
Valle de Bravo (MEX)
Thermal, CA (USA) –HITS Thermal
Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League
A total of 14 athletes from the new North American league will qualify for next year’s prestigious Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final, which will take place in Gothenburg (SWE) on 23-28 March 2016.
The top seven athletes from the East Coast US, top three from West Coast US, and the two best-placed athletes from Canada and Mexico, will qualify for next year’s Final, alongside winners of 13 other leagues around the world.
Longines, the FEI's Top Partner, Official Timekeeper and Official Watch of the FEI, has a long equestrian sports tradition: www.fei.org/hub/longines/longines-equestrian-sports.