By Kay Schroeder
Long Beach(Perfect Travel Today)10/2/16/–EEM Founder and CEO, Christophe Ameeuw is creating quite a buzz in the world of equestrian events by making Long Beach, CA the destination of the first leg of the 2016 Longines Masters Grand Slam Indoor Show Jumping. According to those in the know, Long Beach, CA was chosen because of its easy travel accessibility and beach/ocean proximity, thus allowing the riders, staff, and horses to take a relaxing walk and a cool, refreshing dip in the ocean. Other close by amenities include the historic Queen Mary ship tours, Shoreline Village, Hollywood movie studio tours (within 33 miles), and Disneyland (27 miles). The city of Long Beach offers shopping, entertainment, and a whopping 125 quality restaurants.
It’s all here at the Long Beach Convention Center, world-class show jumping, tantalizing foods, art, fashion, spectacular music and other entertainment. No wonder the Longines Masters is shaping up to be such a resounding success.
For the second season, EEM welcomed The Master Uliano Vezzani, the Italian course designer who is considered to be the “Maestro” by the world’s best riders.
Among the partnering organizations is AMADE Mondial, founded in 1963, by Princess Grace of Monaco and is currently presided over by Princess Caroline of Hanover. Other charity organizations include JustWorld International, Baby2Baby, Autism Speaks, New Children for Tomorrow, Andre Agassi Foundation, Feeding Hong Kong, and many others.
Of particular interest is another organization that Longines supports, Jr. Posse Youth Equestrian Organization in Compton, CA. Their motto is “Keeping kids ON horses and OFF the streets!” Jr. Posse offers Horse Science Programs, as well as year round after-school Equine Science, Horseback Lessons, Life Skills Development and other training.
At the conclusion of this 2016 Longines Masters Series Grand Slam Indoor Show Jumping event on October 2, seasoned sports journalists will be providing the winning riders’ names, event statistics, and purses won. Some of the sites to visit to read the reviews are: I-jumpsports.com, http://jumpernation.com, Hollywood Reporter.com, as well as other sources and sites that can be found by typing 2016 Longines Masters in the search field on Google.
With other media reporting the event statistics, I thought it might be fun to take a peak at what goes on behind the scenes of planning, organizing and final production of this sophisticated/complex equestrian event. Have you ever wondered what kind of support people and services are required to ensure the success of a dynamic, fast moving, and activities packed event like this one? Let’s take a look at just a few of them.
Safety is traditionally one of the first concerns to be addressed. What happens (heaven forbid) if a horse is injured or needs medical attention for any other reason? As I was walking from the parking lot to the Convention Center Thursday morning at 7:20 a.m., the first person I encountered was Jerry. As we exchanged greetings, I asked him about his truck/trailer’s logo “Horse Ambulatory Service.”
He explained that he attends each event, and is on call in case of an emergency, ensuring there is no lag time in getting the horse to immediate medical assistance. Jerry said he loves the work and has been providing this service for twenty-four years.
Multiple-city equestrian events add yet other layer of complexity in the logistics of transporting not only riders and their baggage, but also transporting the horses and their saddles, bridles, stirrup irons, reins, and other pieces of tack required in the sport of show jumping. Commercial airlines are most often the travel mode of choice for riders and horses. However, before a horse can be flown on a passenger airliner, full service companies like European Horse Services are hired to ensure that all health, vaccination, insurance, customs formalities, and other documentation requirements of the importing country are met. Skilled personnel, pick up, load and transport the horse in a specially equipped truck/trailer. Once at the airport, the container housing the horse is carefully loaded into the airplane. A trained, onboard attendant is dedicated to attending to the horse’s needs throughout the flight.
Another essential behind the scenes support service is that of the farrier. Later in the day, I happened to pass by the onsite farrier’s truck/trailer and stopped for a brief chat. His trailer was well stocked with the tools of his trade, and horseshoes, some made of steel and others made of aluminum. Having a farrier onsite to immediately tend to a horse that has a loose or thrown shoe can save valuable time and/or possible injury. While surfing the internet, I ran across an informative article on horseshoeing that you might want to take a look at: http://www.farriery.eu/articles/004-2007.htm. This article lists the horseshoeing care techniques for different disciplines: Dressage; Show Jumping; Trail, Hacking, Equestrian Tourism; Eventing; Driving-Carrriage; Endurance; Reining; Polo; Racing (Steel and Steeple Chasing – Fences); and Harness Racing (Trotting).
To keep the public (via the Internet, newspapers, blogs, magazines, and websites) up to date as events unfolded during the four-day competitions, an array of energetic and very talented people worked tirelessly throughout those days gathering data in support of this event.
In the Village Prestige, the many shops/displays that were located on the perimeter of the warm up arena provided a pleasant interlude to visit and perhaps do a little shopping for virtually anything from designer shoes to a very exotic Lamborghini. Companies represented were Emirates, Hermes, Sellier, Jonathan Adler, Just One Eye, La Martina, Rinck, Terranea Resort, Lamborghini, and Sam Edelman.
As the Title Partner of the intercontinental series, Longines provided its timekeeping expertise to all the trials of the weekend. Perhaps the most dazzling item was the Official Watch of the Longines Speed Challenge in which Longines Ambassador of Elegance, Mikaela Shiffrin presented to the winner of this competition in recognition of being the fastest in the world. Also presented was Longines Official Watch Dolce Vita in stainless steel and 18 carat rose gold and steel watchband.
Lastly, and perhaps everyone’s favorite kind of support, celebrated 2-Star Michelin Chef, Yves Mattagne, Executive Chef of the Sea Grill Restaurant traveled from Brussels to prepare the most delectable food (using locally sourced ingredients) for the competitors, media and other guests. I was lucky enough to get an opportunity to meet Yves earlier in the day when he very generously shared his passion for food and joy about travelling to this event. He made me promise to come back to share “something very good he was making” for lunch. Yves’ love and dedication to food was very evident in the variety, quality, and freshness of these creations:
★ Caesar’s Salad with Broiled Chicken Strips and Caramelized Pecans
★ Caprese Salad on Focaccia Bread Sandwich
★ Chinese Chicken Salad Wrap with Farro Salad
★ Vegetarian Wrap
★ Fresh Fruit Plates
★ Chocolate Chip Cookies with Half Dipped White Icing
Dinner meals included Dry-Edge Beef Carpaccio prepared in the tradition of Harry’s Bar in Venice, Italy. The meals were paired with Champagne Barons de Rothschild and fine Bordeaux wines by Antoine Moueix Proprietes. Chef Mattagne said “I’m really looking forward to cook for the Southern California crowd with its celebrities, and its beautiful people – and really excited to work at such a spectacular beachside event this year in Long Beach.”
Yves further explained, “At the Longines Masters, whether it’s in Los Angeles, Paris, or Hong Kong, we enjoy the privilege of serving international film and television stars, European royalty, foreign dignitaries and top CEOs and business tycoons from all over the world. There really is no more of an impressive place to make and renew top connections.”
Through the herculean efforts and support of Longines and all of the others who partnered with EEM, the “2016 Longines Masters Grand Slam Indoor of Show Jumping” is indeed a star-studded event.
Now on to Paris, then Hong Kong to compete and complete this amazing series celebration as “We Ride the World.”
Three-Pronged Journey: Los Angeles, Paris, Hong Kong
2016 Longines Masters Series Grand Slam Indoor Show Jumping, Los Angeles
September 29 thru October 2
Long Beach Convention Center
287 S.Robertson Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211