Show Jumping Will Debut at NYCB LIVE for Longines Masters of New York3 April 2018 - EEM World
Silver fins that echo the smoothly rolling sand dunes of Long Island’s legendary beaches encircle the beautifully renovated NYCB LIVE, home of Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in New York. Located a short drive from JFK International Airport, just outside the metropolis of New York City, the stadium, which underwent a $175 million renovation in 2017, will attract a new kind of star this April.
NYCB LIVE has long been known as a concert and sports venue; Billy Joel played his first-ever arena show there 40 years ago, and fittingly opened the stadium to a sold-out crowd after its renovation was complete. Since then, NYCB LIVE has jumped from milestone to milestone: last July, it hosted the first professional boxing match held on Long Island in 31 years; the New York Islanders and the Brooklyn Nets both played a pre-season game there last fall, and Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus officially closed after 147 years with its last show ever at NYCB LIVE.
But, aside from limited horse presentations on the PBR circuit, equestrian sports have not been featured at Long Island’s premiere sports venue.
That will change in a big way when the Longines Masters of New York debuts from April 26-29, 2018, and NYCB LIVE becomes home to over 300 top-level show jumping equines.
With 300 horses arriving in just under four weeks, along with their riders, grooms, and staff, NYCB LIVE is deep into its preparations to ensure that the four-legged athletes are comfortable and prepared to jump in CSI5* and CSI2* competition.
Temporary stabling will be constructed in a secure outdoor lot adjacent to NYCB LIVE, giving the horses that sometimes have to be stabled indoors during stadium events, access to outdoor light and fresh air. Wash racks and room to hand walk are being built into the stabling plan, and organizers have walked the footprint of the event many times as they lay out the stabling plan that will take shape in a few weeks time.
The Longines Masters series is well-known for its ability to “export” the unique European show jumping experience, and when it comes to New York, spectators can expect the same, front row experience of a highly visible, indoor warm up arena next to the main competition arena.
Riders will also have an all-important secondary warmup constructed outside between the stables and the horse entrance to the stadium. It’s a short walk for the horses to enter NYCB LIVE via the main loading dock. They will use a ramp prepared with farm grade matting to ensure traction; the same area leads into the warmup paddock and will also provide an exit from the show area.
The main attraction, of course, is that show arena, with its high tech footing, courses planned accordingly, and stadium seats to hold an expected 4,000 spectators per day.
With over $400,000 in prize money over the three days, the Longines Masters of New York will easily be the highest-stakes show jumping competition on the Eastern seaboard this spring, and in the brand new-setting of NYCB LIVE, it will be a unique attraction for equestrian enthusiasts everywhere.