March 17, 2015-–The FEI and Longines sealed the deal on a new show jumping series, the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League, with competitions to be held in 14 venues across the U.S., Mexico and Canada, and more than $2.5 million in prize money.
Longines Vice-President Juan-Carlos Capelli and FEI First Vice-President John Madden teamed up with show jumping superstars Beezie Madden, Hannah Selleck and Jessica Springsteen to announce the series and celebrate the signing of the contract. From the USA to Mexico to Canada, seven East Coast and seven West Coast competitions will begin August 2015 and end February 2016.
“This is a momentous development in equestrian sport in North America,” John Madden, the Chair of the FEI Jumping Committee 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.”
Longines has been a part of the equestrian world since the 1800s and Capelli said the association between the company and the FEI is a long-term commitment. Not only is their relationship solid, but three-time Olympic athlete Beezie Madden also mentioned that the marriage of Longines with the sport of show jumping is an ideal match.
“Longines’ motto is ‘Elegance is an attitude,’” she said. ”It’s true of their core business but it also rings true for equestrian sport. 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.”
Throughout the press conference, one member of the equestrian team was celebrated above all others: the horse.
“There is one very, very special member of the community, whom we should never forget and who made all this work worthwhile,” John Madden said. “A cherished partner who brings us great joy and whose selflessness, honesty, talent and majesty has to be protected and celebrated at all times. I’d like to thank the horse.“
Springsteen praised horses as more than just animals, but as hard-working, talented athletes with unique personalities. “We are part of an exceptional sport because we get to rely on a very special partner: the horse,” she said.
Selleck agreed, adding that horses are also great levelers in the sport of show jumping. “As riders, we know that you can be winning one day, and on the ground the next,” she said.
The jackpot for the series is $1.4 million at the annual Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final. This year, the final will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada, Jan. 15-19. As part of the celebration of the new series, the iconic Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping trophy will be displayed at Morays Jewelers in Miami before it is sent to Las Vegas for the 2015 finals.