The highly anticipated Longines Masters of New York officially opened on Thursday, April 25, with a five-star win for Adrienne Sternlicht (USA) to kick off four days of international show jumping competition at NYCB LIVE, Home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The Longines Masters of New York runs April 25 through 28 as the third leg of the Longines Masters Series following stops in Paris and Hong Kong.
Adrienne Sternlicht and Fantast. Photo by Sportfot for EEM.
Speed was the name of the game and no one played it better than Sternlicht who hails from nearby Greenwich, CT. A team gold medalist at the 2018 World Equestrian Games, the 25-year-old American turned and burned to capture the win in the Masters One EQ Exchange 1.45m. Forty-one of the world’s top ranked show jumping competitors took their turn over the track set by course designer Frank Rothenberger with Sternlicht posting the winning time of 26.11 seconds.
“He’s an awesome speed horse, he’s naturally very quick,” said Sternlicht of Fantast, a 14-year-old Belgian Warmblood stallion owned by Starlight Farms. “I actually went into today not planning on going for the win, but I think sometimes in a smaller ring where all the distances are related you can pick up on a flow and everything happens nicely, you can have a really fast time. I honestly didn’t know I went into the lead when I jumped the last jump, but I am very happy. I will jump him in the Longines Speed Challenge tomorrow night and that will be his most important class of the week.”
While Sternlicht has her sights set on an inaugural victory in Friday night’s Longines Speed Challenge, her mount has already proven himself more than capable. Under the saddle of Canada’s Erynn Ballard, Fantast galloped to a convincing win in last year’s remarkable edition of the Longines Speed Challenge.
Winner Adrienne Sternlicht, second-place finisher Erynn Ballard, and third-place rider Darragh Kenny are congratulated by Fernanda Ameeuw of EEM. Photo by Sportfot for EEM.
Ballard is back for another Longines Masters New York appearance, finishing second in Thursday’s Masters One EQ Exchange 1.45m with a new mount, Judge Hof Ter Zeedycke, a 10-year-old grey Belgian Warmblood gelding owned by Skymaster, LLC. Ballard, who immediately followed Sternlicht into the arena, gave it her best shot but fell just short with a time of 26.19 seconds to finish runner-up. Ireland’s Darragh Kenny slotted into third with a time of 26.27 seconds riding Cazador LS for owner SHL Farm.
Demonstrating the Longines Masters tagline of “We Ride the World,” the five top finishers represented five different nations. Great Britain’s Amanda Derbyshire took fourth place with a time of 26.72 seconds riding Roulette BH while Daniel Bluman of Israel rounded out the top five after stopping the clock in 27.27 seconds with Colestina H.
If the Masters One EQ Exchange 1.45m was any indication, Friday night’s Longines Masters Speed Challenge promises to bring an adrenaline rush of excitement to New York!