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A major sporting event organised every four years, the FEI World Equestrian Games™ brings together eight equestrian World Championships on a single site. The FEI disciplines – Jumping, Dressage and Para-Equestrian Dressage, Eventing, Driving, Endurance, Vaulting and Reining – are all included on the competition schedule, while equestrian-focused demonstrations and exhibitions will also be hosted throughout the duration of the event. The 2018 edition of the FEI World Equestrian Games™ will be held in Mill Spring, North Carolina (USA), over thirteen days from September 11th to 23rd, 2018 at Tryon International Equestrian Center.

The 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games™ are preceded by Test Events for each discipline. It is an important part of preparations for such a big event, providing organizers with the opportunity to check that preparations are on track while riders can check out the venue first hand. Longines is very proud to be the Official Timekeeper of the FEI World Equestrian Games™ which is expected to provide an extraordinary two weeks of outstanding sport.
Overview of the various competitions and respective schedule:
The FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 Jumping course will be designed by famous Alan Wade (IRL) who has been invited to course-design at some of the most prestigious show jumping events in the world.

September 19: Round 1
September 20: Individual Qualifier
September 21: Team and Medal Ceremony
September 23: Individual Finals and Medal Ceremony
Dressage will be held in the new 25,000-seat stadium and feature three classes: the Grand Prix, Grand Prix Special, and the highlight, the Grand Prix Freestyle. The Freestyle is performed to music of the rider’s choice and spectators can expect to see incredibly complicated choreography performed in unison with the music.

Schedule :
September 12: Individual Qualifier (Grand Prix)
September 13: Individual Qualifier (Grand Prix)
September 14: Individual Competition Medals (Grand Prix Special)
September 16: Individual Competition Medals (Grand Prix Freestyle)
Para-Equestrian Dressage:
Para-Equestrian Dressage is conducted under the same basic rules as conventional Dressage, but with riders divided into different competition grades based on functional abilities. There is no greater evidence of the incredible bond, trust and communication between horse and rider than in Para-Equestrian Dressage. This Paralympic sport is a humbling reminder of the strength of the human spirit.

Schedule :
September 18: Individuals Day 1 and Medal Ceremony
September 19: Individuals Day 2 and Medal Ceremony
September 20: Team Day 1
September 21: Team Day 2 and Medal Ceremony
September 22: Freestyle and Medal Ceremony
Eventing is a formidable combination of Dressage, Cross-Country, and Jumping, done over three days and with the same horse for each phase of competition. Often known as the triathlon of the equestrian world, Eventing is a sport that tests both the horse and rider in all aspects of horsemanship and athleticism.

September 13: Eventing Dressage Day 1
September 14: Eventing Dressage Day 2
September 15: Cross-Country
September 16: Eventing Jumping and Medal Ceremony
Driving is a high-octane sport involving a carriage pulled by four horses, also known as four-in-hand, and encompasses three phases of competitions spread over three days: Dressage, Marathon and Cones. A four-member team navigates the carriage, which makes the sport of Driving one of the most spectacular and adrenaline-fueled equestrian sports. The discipline demonstrates the incredible display of fitness and stamina of both horses and drivers.

Schedule :
September 21: Dressage
September 22: Marathon
September 23: Cones
Endurance is a long-distance competition against the clock. It tests the speed and stamina of both horse and rider and challenges each combination to ensure an effective use of pace and navigational skills of undulating terrains. Endurance is the ultimate test of the partnership between horse and rider. Mandatory vet checks and rest periods are a key aspect of the competition and ensure horse and rider welfare throughout the 100-mile test.

Schedule :
September 12: Endurance Competition
September 13: Medal Ceremony
Vaulting is simply described as gymnastics on horseback, and has a history as an equestrian act at circuses, but its origins stretch back at least two thousand years. Vaulting is a harmonious bond between horse and athlete that creates awe-inspiring acrobatic displays of skill and precision.
All vaulting routines – team, individual, and freestyle – are performed on the back of a cantering horse, traveling in a circle and attached to a lunge line. Competitors are judged on their ability to smoothly execute compulsory movements demonstrating strength, flexibility, and balance during their routines. The horses are an important part of the team and, like the human gymnasts, are also judged on their performance.

Schedule :
September 18: Squad Compulsory and Individual Competition
September 19: Teams Freestyle (Including “Pas de Deux” Freestyle) and Medal Ceremony
September 20: Individual Technical, Squad Freestyle and “Pas de Deux” Freestyle and Medal Ceremony
September 22: Individual and Squad Freestyle and Medal Ceremony
Reining originates from the working movements of horses and riders when herding cattle and is a judged event designed to show the athletic ability of ranch-type horses in an arena setting. With large fast circles, flying lead changes, 360 degree spins and sliding stops all required within individual performances, Reining is one of the most thrilling equestrian sports and the only FEI World Equestrian Games™ western discipline.

Schedule :
September 12: Team Sessions 1 and 2 and Medal Ceremony
September 13: Individual Qualifier
September 15: Individual Final and Medal Ceremony

The Tryon International Equestrian Center boasts 12 all-weather arenas including a floodlit international ring with a potential spectator seating capacity of up to 12,000 and VIP seating for up to 1,500, a covered arena with 5,000 seats, and a world-class cross country course that will be used for both Eventing and Driving.
Dubai hosted another successful edition of the
HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup presented by Longines
"Renowned Swiss watchmaker Longines presented another successful edition of the HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup, which took place on the 6th of January at the Dubai International Endurance City. The international event featured some of the top names from the world of endurance riding competing over a distance of 160 km. It began at dawn on Saturday and consisted of five stages of decreasing length at the purpose-built Dubai International Endurance City course. The eventual winner, Saif Almazrouei, who won aboard Nopoli Del Ma, was granted an elegant Longines timepiece in recognition of his remarkable performance”.
The Final of the FEI World Cup™ Dressage
2018 – Paris
As the Official Partner and Timekeeper of the FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final, Longines was honoured to reward German rider Isabell Werth and Weihegold OLD, who claimed the final on Saturday 14 of April 2018 in Paris. Laura Graves (USA) and Jessica von Bredow-Werndl (GER) who took respectively second and third place were also presented with a Longines timepiece.
Investing in the future
Longines becomes the Official Partner of the
FEI European Championships for Young Riders, Juniors and Children
Fontainebleau in France will host the Longines FEI European Championships for Young Riders, Juniors and Children from 9 to 15 July 2018. For the first time, Longines steps in as Title Partner for this important event that highlights the skills and potential of future stars from all across the continent. These Championships have marked the rise of many of today’s big names.
Youth development is very much in everyone’s mind these days. From Olympic level right down to grass roots, every sport is more aware than ever that engaging, energising and supporting young people is the very best way forward. This summer, the Longines FEI European Championships for Young Riders, Juniors and Children will attract a huge entry of emerging equestrian talent, each with their own hopes and dreams of making it to the very top. Longines is delighted to support them through title partnership of the event which will be staged in the lovely surroundings of Le Grand Parquet, the iconic 26-hectare venue located in the heart of the forest of Fontainebleau in France.

The Championships embrace the three disciplines of Dressage, Jumping and Eventing. In Dressage and Jumping there are individual and team medals on offer in three different categories of competition – Children, Juniors and Young Riders – while Eventing is confined to Junior and Young Rider level. The age-range for Children’s competitions is between 12 and 14 years, Juniors are between 14 and 18 years and Young Riders range from 16 to 21. All competitors must comply with qualification criteria that ensures the most experienced and competent young people are the ones who take on the challenge.

The oldest of the Championships is Junior Jumping which dates all the way back to 1952 when only two nations turned up at the inaugural event in Ostende, Belgium and the hosts won the team competition. In 1953 four nations lined out, six in 1955, eight in 1958 and ten in 1959. By 1973 the Junior European Jumping Championships were well-established and a total of 16 nations took part.
From the outset they threw up names that would become some of the most famous over the coming years. The legendary Graziano Mancinelli was just 15 years of age when competing for Italy in 1952 and was on the gold medal winning team in Rotterdam, Netherlands, two years later. Great Britain’s Ann Moore was champion in 1968, Switzerland’s Markus Fuchs in 1970 and Rio 2016 Olympic individual champion Nick Skelton from Great Britain dominated in 1975. At last year’s Junior Championships in Samorin, Slovakia, it was the Netherlands’ Rowen van de Mheen who took the individual Junior title ahead of Britain’s Harry Charles, son of London 2012 Olympic team gold medallist Peter Charles.

Junior European Eventing first took place at Eridge in Great Britain in 1967 where only 10 riders, seven British and three French, competed. The French claimed all gold and over subsequent years the fixture would pin-point lots of rising talent, including Britain’s Richard Walker, Virginia Holgate and Karen Straker and Italy’s Vittoria Panizzon and Stefano Brecciaroli. At last year’s fixture in Millstreet, Ireland, Great Britain’s Isabelle Upton claimed individual gold while Germany claimed the team title.

Germany’s Michael Fassbender was unbeatable for gold over the first three editions of the Junior Dressage Championships which were first held in Aachen in 1973. These Championships continued until 1980 before being blended with Young Riders, but they returned to stand-alone status in 1993, and the age-old rivalry between Germany and The Netherlands has played itself out ever since. Last year’s individual Junior champion was The Netherlands’ Daphne van Peperstraten and Germany took the team title.

All of the Young Riders Championships date back to 1981, although the disciplines were staged at three different venues that year. A young Dutchman called Jan Tops claimed the very first Jumping title in Copenhagen, Denmark, and 11 years later he would become an Olympic champion. Today he is one of the most influential drivers of the sport through the creation and management of the highly-successful Longines Global Champions Tour. The Young Riders Roll of Honour reads like a “who’s who”of the sport today, fellow-Dutchman Eric van der Vleuten claiming individual gold in 1982, Rio 2016 Olympic team champion Roger-Yves Bost winning in 1983 and fellow-countryman Patrice Delaveau in 1985. Britain’s Marie Edgar scored back-to-back wins in 1990 and 1991, and Sydney 2000 Olympic gold medallist Jeroen Dubbeldam brought the glory back to Holland once again in 1994. Great Britain won the 2017 team title, and Switzerland’s Bryan Balsiger stood top of the individual podium.

The first European Young Riders Dressage Championship was held in Rotterdam, The Netherlands and from the outset Germany proved near-impossible to beat, taking 22 of the first 25 individual gold medals and 22 of the first 26 team titles. Nicole Uphoff, who would go on to scoop four Olympic gold medals later in her career, was crowned individual champion in 1987 and current German star Jessica von Bredow-Werndl posted an impressive back-to-back double of wins in 2004 and 2005 on her way to the top of her sport. Germany took team and individual gold at the 2017 championships at Roosendaal, The Netherlands.
Olivier Depagne from France took individual gold and Great Britain claimed the team title at the inaugural Young Riders Eventing Champion­ships in Achselschwang, Germany. British superstar, William Fox-Pitt, was on the victorious team in 1988, and it was at Bialy Bor in Poland in 2003 that Germany’s Michael Jung, the most phenomenally successful event rider of all time, first came to prominence. In this discipline also, Germany will defend both the individual and team titles this summer.

The Children’s Europeans are the latest to be added to the FEI Champion­ships programme. Children’s Jumping was staged for the first time in Istanbul, Turkey in 2006 when the winner was French rider Margaux Bost, niece of Roger-Yves Bost. Britain, Belgium and Poland claimed the three steps of the team podium last summer, while Italy’s Lorenzo Correddu was crowned 2017 Children’s individual champion.

Vidauban in France was the venue for the first Children’s European Dressage Championship in 2015 where Denmark’s Sofia Hegstrup and Team Switzerland claimed individual and team gold respectively. Dutch riders had it all their own way in 2017 when Sanne Buijs scooped the individual title and helped her country to claim the team honours – quite an achievement for a 12-year-old athlete.

The 2018 Longines FEI European Championships for Young Riders, Juniors and Children are all about nurturing talent and looking ahead. And at Fontainebleau this summer, the future once again begins to unfold…
[Daphne Deschamps]