The second annual LA version of the Longines Masters Grand Prix show jumping series is back in town again. For four days horses take center stage the the LA Convention Center, next door to the Staples Center.(Move over Clippers and Lakers, you’re not the only athletes in the neighborhood!)
If you’re local, you should come by, and if not, mark your calendar for next year–you don’t want to miss it. This is a one-of-a-kind equestrian competition. Not just a horse show, but a glamorous society event. Here are 7 reasons you should put this event on your calendar.
1. Celebrity horses. In a town fixated on celebrities, the equines are the shining stars this weekend. Where else can you see Argento, Simon, Hello M’ Lady, and Cristallo under one roof?
2. Legendary riders from around the world. John Whitaker, Kevin Babington, Edwina Top-Alexander, Scott Brash, Bertram Allen are all competing, to name a few. And American riders Georgina Bloomberg, Richard Spooner, McLain Ward, and Beezie Madden are representin’. It’s a who’s who of elite equestrians–the riders we amateurs read about in magazines and aspire to be like.
3. Fun activities for the kids (and adults who are kid-dish). There’s face painting, balloon critters, miniature horses to pet, and a extra-small version of a jumping course to gallop around.
4. Fangirl opportunities. I chatted briefly with Kent Farrington who was a super nice guy. I also got to ask Beezie what she would do as a career if she were not a professional rider. She looked puzzled for a split second as if she couldn’t fathom such a reality and responded, “something with horses.” I just knew our Olympian has the heart of a horse girl!
Also, the warm-up arena is in the heart of Prestige Village, the shopping area, so you can get up close (and sometimes personal) with the horses and riders.
5. The Charity-Pro Am Class is like Halloween + show jumping + a reality fashion show. Last year Rodrigo Pessoa stole the show by galloping the course in a cupcake bra a la Katy Perry. Kaley Cuoco of The Big Bang Theory blazed around in an Indian costume. At the conclusion of each team of competitors’ rounds, style judges awarded points for the costume. Last year Ariana Rockefeller was a judge. This year Denise Richards will be one of the panel of three judges.
6. Shopping, shopping shopping. You can buy anything from a Chagall painting from Opera Gallery to a new saddle from Voltaire, to a Winston riding jacket from LA Saddlery (hubby, if you’re reading. . . I need a jacket and my birthday is coming up).
7. Fantastic people watching. Last year Bruce Springsteen walked past me in Prestige Village, and the in-gate man who dresses up in outlandish costumes and I waited at a crosswalk together (today he had on what looked like a leopard print top hat).
Destry Spielberg on the big screen. Terrible picture quality, but can I get props for capturing those knees on my cell phone?
It’s fun checking out the riding attire of the young equestrianistas.. Loved the soft burgundy colored jacket Ms. Spielberg was wearing. Local girl and Sidelines writer Sophie St. Clair had on a gorgeous black jacket with just a touch of sparkly bling.
The horsey fun is just getting started, so come on down. But if you’re far away or can’t handle the LA traffic, you can live stream the happenings and spectate from the comfort of your home if you click here.
Your Turn: What international equestrian event have you attended and been “wowed” by, or what event do you have on your bucket list?
Do you Tweet and Instagram? Please follow along as I’ll be Tweeting and Instagramming all weekend long from the Masters. And you can “like” us too on the Saddle Seeks Horse Facebook page, if you’re so inclined.
Thanks for reading!