Female Riders Claim The Podium In Longines Speed Challenge

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Megan McDermott (Photo by Sportfot)

Day two of the Longines Masters of New York featured a full day of action-packed competition, culminating with the Longines Speed Challenge, regarded as the fastest show jumping class in the world. Leading into the Friday night competition, Longines Ambassador of Elegance and Co-founder of The Golden Hat Foundation Kate Winslet met local New York children with autism and accepted a check on behalf of The Golden Hat Foundation, the Longines Masters of New York official nonprofit partner.

Longines Masters of New York also honored Long Island military this evening with a procession by the Marine Corps color guard and mounted police, and EEM received an official citation issued by Nassau County officials, welcoming the Longines Masters Series to New York.

Ahead of the Longines Speed Challenge, the Longines Masters Series showcased their global dedication to those living with autism in partnership with The Golden Hat Foundation. EEM hosted members of local equine therapy partners to enjoy an evening at the Longines Masters of New York with Longines Ambassador of Elegance and co-founder of The Golden Hat Foundation Kate Winslet.

“The Golden Hat Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to changing the way people on the autism spectrum are perceived, by shining a light on their abilities and emphasizing their potential,” said Kate Winslet. “With proper education and career training, these individuals can truly realize their dreams. Tonight is a shining example of how organizations, like Longines and the Longines Masters of New York, can make an impact to further autism awareness in their community.”

Kate Winslet attended the second day of the international competition to watch notable riders such as Georgina Bloomberg and Jessica Springsteen compete.  

This evening was also Military Appreciation Night, during which EEM CEO and founder of the Longines Masters Series Christophe Ameeuw and the Longines Masters of New York recognized some of the bravest men and women of New York. The recognition included a procession by the Nassau County Police Department Pipe and Drum, Nassau County Police Department Color Guard and Marine Corps Color Guard and the Nassau County Mounted Police. The ceremony closed with a moment of silence for fallen soldiers and the playing of the National Anthem.

One of the most-anticipated competitions at each leg of the Longines Masters Series in Paris, Hong Kong and New York, the Longines Speed Challenge places an emphasis on precision and agility, encouraging riders to jump the course at record speeds with each knocked-down rail–known as a fault—resulting in a 2-second penalty instead of the standard 4 seconds. With the lightened penalization for each fault, horse and rider place their entire attention on getting through the course as fast as possible, resulting in a riveting competition.

The 2018 Longines Speed Challenge was dominated by an all-female podium, with Erynn Ballard coming in first place with a finishing time of 60.62 seconds. Brianne Goutal, the only rider in the class without any faults, followed in a close second, and Kristen Vanderveen rounded out the podium.

Earlier in the day, Gregory Wathelet of Belgium took home the trophy of the Masters One Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.5m class, finishing the course in 31.74 seconds while Jonathan Corrigan and Mavis Spencer, daughter of actress Alfre Woodward, took first place in the Masters Two Ecuries d’Ecaussinnes and Masters Two Eastern Hay classes, respectively.

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