New York, NY – Riders USA Team Captain Robert Ridland has announced the five riders that will make up Riders USA when the Riders Masters Cup returns to American on April 25 through 28, 2019, at NYCB LIVE, Home of the Nassau Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum.
Following the conclusion of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Final, Ridland has made the bold move to name his team of five for the Riders Masters Cup out of the many worthy American riders coming to the Longines Masters of New York. While there was the option of naming a short list of 10 riders, as Riders Europe Team Captain Philippe Guerdat has done, Ridland has chosen his strong team and is confident that they will be prepared to secure victory on their home turf.
He has tapped top grand prix rider Laura Chapot, rising international star Lillie Keenan, four-time Olympian Beezie Madden, WEG gold-medal team member Devin Ryan, and world No. 2 rider McLain Ward. These athletes will go head-to-head with Riders Europe on Saturday, April 27, in front of an enthusiastic New York crowd.
Tickets for the Riders Masters Cup for the Saturday evening session start at just $35 and children 14 and under are free! While the Riders Masters Cup is the main event, spectators will be treated to an equestrian show by Santi Serra, which features his horses’ liberty training, the Masters One 1.50m CSI 5* class, and the Afterparty by Henri PFR, the official Tomorrowland DJ!
“It’s been a great competition all three times for the Riders Masters Cup, coming down to the last pairing,” said Riders USA Team Captain Robert Ridland. “We were in a pretty good position last year in New York and the Europeans came through, but it’s been a terrific competition. We are hoping to turn the tide this year. We have a good team on paper with veterans McLain Ward and Beezie Madden, and Devin Ryan who competed on the first team in Paris. Laura Chapot is our ace in the hole. She is one of the fastest riders around and is a huge addition to our team. Lillie Keenan of course is a great asset, as well as our U25 representative. I think we’ve got a great shot, but we will see.”
After her performance as the top-ranked American rider at the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Final, Beezie Madden stated, “Now the goal is the Riders Masters Cup, and I promise you that we will do everything to win it this time!”
A match-up between the world’s two major equestrian powers, the United States and Europe, the Riders Masters Cup is a battle that will make its second appearance at the Longines Masters of New York after launching at the Longines Masters of Paris in 2017. Riders Europe has dominated the series with three wins to date, but Riders USA will be hungry for a win in their home arena. Riders Europe Team Captain Philippe Guerdat has announced his shortlist but will not reveal the final riders until they arrive in New York.
Ridland noted, “The Riders Masters Cup was clearly the highlight of the show last year in New York. The crowd was up for it, and it was a tremendous match. We are looking forward to a great event again this year. We can’t promise a different result, but we will sure try!”
Riders Masters Cup veteran McLain Ward is looking forward to again taking part in the innovative event, saying, “Riders Masters Cup is a great class and I like the format because it provides excitement down to the very end.
“The way the point system works, it’s possible for teams can come back from a slow start,” continued two-time Olympic team gold medalist Ward. “It’s also an exciting competition for the crowd. There is strategy for the class; you have to have the right match-ups of riders. The team captains pick which rider goes against which rider and you want to have match-ups that you have the stronger combination for. We look at the different riders and horses, what their strengths and weaknesses are, and try to match them up where you have an advantage.”
“I am very excited to be on the Riders USA team at the New York Masters,” says speed specialist Laura Chapot. “I am looking forward to a great competition at a great event.”
“Once again we will see the incredible match-up of American and European riders in the Riders Masters Cup,” said Christophe Ameeuw, CEO of EEM and Founder of the Longines Masters Series. “The past three editions have been very exciting and come down to the very last riders, so we anticipate that this will once again be an event that can’t be missed.”
Riders Europe and Rider USA athletes will be matched in head-to-head duels during the final selection at the Longines Masters of New York on April 24 in New York. Team leaders, riders, and their horses will take each other on at NYCB LIVE, Home of the Nassau Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum, on Saturday, April 27, at 8:15 p.m., for a historic match-up.
Photo by Christophe Taniere Photography for EEM (Riders USA Team Captain Robert Ridland has named his team.)
Photo by Jessica Rodrigues for EEM (World Number Two rider McLain Ward will compete for Riders USA.)