The European stage of the intercontinental Longines Masters series, held in Paris, launched Season III of the competition with an incredibly rich and inventive programme of events. It was all about sport, passion and putting on a show, and the spectators – whether at the arena or watching from home via the new digital channel, EEM.tv – were treated to an unforgettable weekend. The competition is a highlight on the world show jumping calendar and, every year, reasserts its position as a must-see event. And there is no better proof of the competition’s status than the loyalty of some of the best riders in the world.
Sport reigned supreme, delivering on all its promises.
Ever faster, with the Longines Speed Challenge on Friday evening, ever more dazzling with the Masters Power du Lido de Paris, and ever stronger with the Longines Grand Prix, a standoff opposing some of the world’s best riders.
The Longines Grand Prix brought the weekend to a magical close with an exceptionally high-level line-up performing on a track that owed everything to the talent of Louis Konickx – warmly acknowledged by Christophe Ameeuw and greatly appreciated by all the riders. The audience were gripped from start to finish, from the first clean round by French youngster Edward Lévy to the jump-off qualification of almost all the favourites. Lauren Hough, Daniel
Deusser, Maikel van der Vleuten, Pénélope Leprévost, Simon Delestre, Bosty, Kent Farrington and Steve Guerdat carefully negotiated the many difficulties thrown up by the first round.
Given that the favourites come out last in the jump-off, everyone had a chance to see their name in the top three spots on the leaderboard at some point. However, Daniel Deusser soon grabbed first place and stayed there, despite the big names that were to follow. For a moment, Simon Delestre looked as if he might outdo Deusser, but he missed out by 13 hundredths of a second. “Hermès Ryan was phenomenal. We couldn’t have done any better today. The fastest horses in the world were competing in the jump-off and I took all the risks I could. Once again, the Parisian crowd has been fantastic, and I’d like to thank them for their support. This amazing horse has been really consistent, finishing in the top five seven times in his last seven Grand Prix events. I certainly intend to take part in the Longines Masters in Hong Kong and New York, and I would love to be selected to compete in the Riders Masters Cup in New York. It’s a huge leap forward for our sport.”
Third place went to another iconic pairing: American Lauren Hough and her fabulous Ohlala. “She has been amazing, » Lauren told us. “Starting out in fourth position, I stuck to my plan even though I knew that the fastest in the world were here and that they were likely to move out in front of me. So I’m really pleased with third place. I’m now looking forward to New York for revenge in the Riders Masters Cup! I really hope the USA will beat Europe then!”
Daniel Deusser shares his masterful win at the Longines Grand Prix of Paris with his great accomplice, Cornet d’Amour. “I’m so, so happy. My horse was jumping in his first Grand Prix after several months off and a handful of small warm-up events. Our sport is about carefully dosing speed and risk. When the fastest go last, how do you know what risks to take? I made the right choice today and now I’m looking forward to Hong Kong.”
It is worth noting that Daniel Deusser started Season II of the prestigious series with a win at the Longines Grand Prix in Los Angeles. This triumph in Paris, kicking off Season III, gives him another chance to attempt the Super Grand Slam worth a bonus of €2.25 million for the rider who takes all three Longines Grand Prix victories in the same season. So, it is ‘game on’ again. No one has ever achieved the feat so far, but the German rider has every possibility of doing so: the ball is in his court.
Alongside the competition, the Prestige Village dazzled visitors all weekend with a high-quality blend of cultural happenings made possible by an array of partners and exhibitors found all around the riders’ training paddock, giving the crowd a rare opportunity to see the stars of international show jumping up close. It was an action-packed four days with something for everyone. While young visitors revelled in the magic of the Longines Carousel and performers putting on a show in the Village aisles, grown-ups let their hair down at the after-parties worthy of a music festival, strutting to the beat of DJs like River Jaxx, Synapson, Richard Orlinski, Kid Noize and Elephanz!
And so the curtain comes down on a stunning edition of the Longines Masters of Paris. Next stop, Hong Kong from February 9th to 11th, 2018, for the Asian round where Daniel Deusser has previously won the Longines Speed Challenge, then New York from April 26th to 29th, for yet more thrilling action!