Photos by Stephanie Perez.
In one month, Long Beach will be filled with Olympic medalists and their horses as they gather to compete for the distinguished Longines Masters of Los Angeles, the first major equestrian competition following the Olympics.
To start the month-long countdown, the Longines Masters hosted a question-and-answer panel at the Shoreline Aquatic Park on Monday with USA’s show jumper Lucy Davis, and jumping veterans Rich Fellers and Will Simpson. Davis, a silver medalist fresh from the Rio Olympics, led the show by arriving on horseback, flanked by Fellers and Simpson on foot. Each talked about their experience as an Olympian and the importance of Longines Masters.
“I think it is hugely important that we cater to [the fans] and provide really great venues for the sport to evolve here,” Davis said.
The Longines Masters of Los Angeles has impacted the West Coast and has sparked a lot of international competitions here, she explained.
“A lot has changed since I started competing,” said Fellers, a London 2012 Olympian. “When I was a kid no one knew what it really was. The awareness of the sport has grown and grown.”
The four day event will take place at the Long Beach Convention Center from September 29 to October 2, and will showcase not just an equestrian competition but the whole glitzy lifestyle.
“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 Christophe Ameeuw, CEO of EMM and Longines Masters.
Davis, Fellers and Simpson will be part of the largest number of Olympians to ever compete together in the United States for the Grand Slam Indoor Show Jumping of the Longines Masters Series. Davis’s teammate Kent Farrington, France’s gold medalist Kevin Staut, Canada’s bronze medalist Eric Lamaze and Germany’s bronze medalists Christian Ahlmann, Daniel Deusser and Meredith Michaels Beerbaum are among some of the riders who will also compete.
“This is really a kick off to let people know how excited we are for the future of this event not just this year, but also years ahead,” said Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia.
The four-legged competition in the Southland will continue in Paris this December and Hong Kong in February. An unprecedented 2.25 million Euro bonus will be given to the rider who can succeed in claiming the top spot in the Longines Grand Prix of Los Angeles, Paris and Hong Kong, EEM officials stated.
Click here for more information on the event.