The rider’s list for the next Longines Masters of Paris is quite simply outstanding; among those present will be eight of the world’s top ten riders including European, World and Olympic Champions. Among these show-jumping stars, six lead the pack, all performing particularly well at the moment:
Pénélope Leprévost (FRA). Ladies first: World No. 3, according to the latest FEI Longines ranking. The Frenchwoman who won the Paris Grand Prix in 2011 is currently the best female rider in the world and her star is rising so well at present that she could soon become the second female World No. 1 after Meredith Michaels- Beerbaum. Pénélope is also the French No. 1, ahead of all the men!
Scott Brash (GBR). Credit where credit's due! For nearly two years, the Scotsman has been No. 1 worldwide. When he needs to win a specific race, Scott Brash is often there to pull it off, as illustrated by his win at the Outdoor Grand Slam last summer in Calgary, and it's clear that repeating the feat in the intercontinental Longines Masters Grand Slam series is part of his game plan. Second in the 2013 Paris Grand Prix with Ursula XII, and second in the Longines Grand Prix of Los Angeles last October with Hello M'Lady, it's easy to see that the challenge is within his reach.
Kent Farrington (USA). World No. 2, Farrington is also the American No. 1. holder of a bronze team medal from the World Equestrian Games in Caen, and he has already had 22 international victories in 2015, including 6 Grand Prix! At the Longines Masters of Los Angeles, he came third in the 2015 Longines Grand Prix and won two of the events in 2014. In addition, Kent does particularly well in Europe, where he has had six wins this year, including the prestigious CSIO Grand Prix in Dublin.
Steve Guerdat (SUI). This Swiss champion is the holder of two individual prestigious titles : Olympic champion in London in 2012, he also won the final of the Longines World Cup last April in Las Vegas. He also won a class in Paris in 2013, and came in second in the 2014 Longines Grand Prix of Los Angeles.
Bertram Allen (IRL). The rookie! At barely 20 years of age, this young Irishman holds a record envied by many more established riders and, in 7th place, he is already a presence in the worldwide Top 10. Among his many victories, he took the Dublin CSIO Grand Prix before his home crowd in 2014. In 2015, he's already won no fewer than 29 international competitions, including five Grand Prix, and the Longines Speed Challenge in Los Angeles. France is a lucky country for him, as his three Five Star wins were all in France, in Bordeaux, Paris-Champ de Mars and Dinard.
Jeroen Dubbeldam (NED). Last but not least of these six stars is the 2x World Champion, and European Champion, Jeroen Dubbeldam. The Dutchman is the only rider in the history of the sport, alongside legendary German Hans-Günther Winkler, to have won all three major individual titles since he was Olympic Champion in 2000 in Sydney. Jeroen Dubbeldam is a man who likes Championships, a man with objectives: Only 22 appearances in international competitions this year, when the other riders take on at least twice that number. That shows how important this great champion considers the Longines Masters. It's a superb opportunity for the Parisian public.
Of course this focus on the six show-jumping stars should not outshine the galaxy of other stars who will ride at the Longines Masters of Paris. To begin with the French: after Pénélope Leprévost, we will see three other world silver medalists: the individual silver medalist Patrice Delaveau (the most successful rider in the Longines Masters, with nine wins already on the young riders' series), Kevin Staut (winner in Paris in 2013) and Simon Delestre (bronze medallist in Aachen) as well as the 2013 European champion, Roger-Yves Bost, a serious contender for the Longines Speed Challenge which he won in 2010 and 2012.
The German Daniel Deusser (winner in the final of the 2014 World Cup), the Belgian Gregory Wathelet (this year's silver medallist in the European Championships), the legendary Ludger Beerbaum (the German holder of 19 medals, including four Olympic Golds!), to mention only the riders from the World Top 10, will be in Paris.
Two other top riders will be certain not to miss the Paris show: British rider John Whitaker and Marco Kutscher of Germany. Whitaker won the Grand Prix at the Longines Masters of Hong Kong with his magnificent horse Argento at the beginning of the year, putting the Grand Slam Masters Super Bonus within his grasp. John remains on course for a Super Bonus of € 250,000 if he marks a (non consecutive) second win in Paris.
In Los Angeles, it was Marco Kutscher, the world No. 15, who won the Grand Prix and if his victory in the Longines Grand Prix is repeated in Paris, his performance would be rewarded with a bonus of € 500,000, and carries with it the hope of Super Bonus of € 1,000,000 if he can triple it in Hong Kong.
The best of Sport, a veritable “Six Star” Sport – the 2015 Longines Masters of Paris, this year will be more than ever a show held under the banner of emotion and celebration, and bearing the universal values of sport: respect, courage and tolerance.
As a result of the tragic events of 13 November, EEM, with the support of the Prefecture (local police) and in cooperation with the Paris Horse Show, will make every effort to ensure an increased maximum security throughout the event: systematic searches, controlled access, crowd surveillance.