Saddle up — if you’re a fan of The Hampton Classic Horse Show, you don’t have to wait until August to enjoy high-quality show jumping.
For the first time, the Longines Masters Series will host its grand finale, April 26-29, at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale. The Longines Masters Series, founded by EEM World, is an international equestrian tour that kicks off every December in its origin city of Paris, continues in Hong Kong in February and concludes in the United States in April.
Since 2014, the U.S.-based competition has been held in Los Angeles. The newly renovated Coliseum was a major factor in EEM’s decision to move to Long Island. Many riders also live on the East Coast, making the event more accessible to them.
Since its founding in 2009, the horse show has featured some of the world’s best horse riders, including Olympic champion McLain Ward from upstate Brewster. The seasonal event combines competitive show jumping, luxury shopping, fine dining, live performances and artwork for equestrian enthusiasts and spectators alike.
And this year is no different.
From local celebrity riders to ticket prices, here’s a by-the-numbers look at what’s in store.
60,000: NUMBER OF PEOPLE EXPECTED TO ATTEND
Each day features six to 10 riding events, also known as “classes.” Highlight events include the Masters Power Six Bar — scores are based on the height of riders’ jumps — and the Riders Masters Cup, a two-part showdown between Riders USA and Riders Europe. Organizers expect a crowd of 60,000 people.
74: COMPETING RIDERS
The event features 34 five-star Olympic-level riders and 40 amateurs. Local riders based in the tristate area include Brianne Goutal; Jessica Springsteen, daughter of rockers Bruce Springsteen and Patti Scialfa; and Georgina Bloomberg, daughter of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Rider Daniel Bluman, who trains in East Norwich, will host a drop-in clinic for attendees who want to learn more about the event.
$17.50: STARTING TICKET PRICE
Depending on the sessions and seating levels, attendees can buy tickets as low as $17.50. Lower level stadium seating tickets for premier sessions are available for $25 and up. Certain events, such as the Longines Grand Prix on Sunday, April 29, cost upward of $75 for lower levels and around $150 for VIP seats.
$27,500: COST OF A MASTERS VIP CLUB TABLE
“Top Chef’s” Antonia Lofaso, originally from Babylon, is the show’s official chef. She’s curating the American-Italian menu for the Masters VIP Club, which features Lofaso’s famous handmade rigatoni, a charcuterie board, braised oxtail, ricotta crostini and her signature cannolis, for people with a sweet tooth.
2: NUMBER OF SECONDS ADDED TO A RIDER’S TIME IF A RAIL IS KNOCKED OFF
The Longines Speed Challenge, dubbed the fastest show-jumping competition in the world, is the highlight event of Friday, April 27. In typical show-jumping classes, four seconds are added to a rider’s total time if they knock off a rail. In the Longines Speed Challenge, that number is cut by half. That means riders who have time added can still speed up to other riders and win.
22: NUMBER OF EXHIBITORS
A 60,000-square-foot pavilion is the prime destination for attendees to shop, dine and rest between events. Attendees will be able to browse a range of vendors including a Longines boutique, Sam Edelman, luxury leather purse maker Mark Cross, art displays, live performances and a dozen equestrian brands like Hermès Sellier. The best part? Nestled in the middle of the village is a paddock where attendees can get up close to riders as they warm up before their next competition.
The Longines Masters Series
WHEN|WHERE April 26-29 at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale
TICKETS $25-$75 daily grandstand tickets ($17.50-$22.50 amateur/local competition)