BY EMILY RIDEN / JUMP MEDIA
When the Longines Masters of New York comes to NYCB Live, home of the Nassau Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum, on April 26-29, 2018, the show will bring with it many of the top-ranked show jumpers in the world. However, they are not the only ones who are engaged in competition surrounding the exciting inaugural event! Thanks to the creation of the all-new “Masters Squad” program, young riders from throughout the Northeastern United States are able to participate in the Longines Masters of New York in their own unique way.
The Masters Squad is led by committed “Masters Squad Captains”, a group of riders ranging in age from elementary to college students, who have the opportunity to earn prizes based on participation in social media initiatives and on the number of Longines Masters of New York tickets that they are able to sell. Masters Squad Captains are the most passionate leaders in the equestrian sporting community.
Prizes start with the selling of just 25 tickets, which earns the rider in-ring recognition during the Longines Speed Challenge on the Friday night of the event, and escalate from there, with additional prizes including Longines Masters posters, Masters Squad Captain hats and hoodies, a Sport Horse Lifestyle gift pack, Masters Squad saddle pads, an EquiFit gift pack, and a special invitation to a Masters Squad BBQ with a 5* rider. If a rider sells 115 tickets, they receive the highest prize: a one-day group clinic with a 5* rider.
And while selling 115 may sound like a daunting task initially, with a show schedule that includes the second-leg of the Riders Masters Cup and the Longines Grand Prix, tickets are in hot demand. That demand has made it easy for riders, including members of the New York University (NYU) equestrian team, to already hit the 115-ticket goal.
“Reaching our goal was really easy, because so many people in the area were excited to have a five-star show in our area!” said Shelby Phillips, who co-captains the NYU equestrian team alongside Madison Charlton. “Normally they drive to the Hamptons, Lake Placid, or HITS, [which can take] two to five hours, so being able to get in the car for 45 minutes to go watch our heroes motivated people. Our friends got larger groups of people together and bought a bunch of tickets in bulk. We’re really excited to share this incredible opportunity with our friends, and we cannot believe we are getting a clinic out of it!”
Both the selling of tickets and participation in fun social media initiatives as part of the Masters Squad are aimed at helping young riders aspire to compete in the show ring, learn from incredible riders, and meet their heroes. Now a few months underway, the program has already proven to be successful in creating a community of riders that are able to utilize the Longines Masters of New York platform to foster engagement in competition, to encourage them to work hard, and to help grow the general enthusiasm around the sport by facilitating the growth of the fan base from inside out.
While at the Longines Masters of New York at NYCB Live, Masters Squad members and spectators alike will have the opportunity to watch the world’s top-ranked equestrian athletes race against the clock in the Longines Speed Challenge on Friday, April 27, face-off in a Team USA versus Team Europe duel in the second leg of the inaugural Riders Masters Cup on Saturday, April 28, and jump for the biggest purse of the week in the Longines Grand Prix on Sunday, April 29. Spectators will want to plan to come early and stay late to watch the best riders in the world in the warm-up ring, enjoy live music performances, and to shop the event’s extraordinary Prestige Village!
Tickets are on sale now at LonginesMasters.com, and it’s not too late to become a part of the Masters Squad for a chance to not only attend the event and encourage others to do so, but to earn prizes along the way!
Learn more and complete an application at