Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping Attracts Massive New TV Audience

April 30th, 2014 4:00 PM | Comments Off on Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping Attracts Massive New TV Audience
FEI PRESS RELEASE
Lausanne (SUI), 30 April 2014
The 2013 Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping series champions from France will begin the defence of their title at the first leg of the 2014 Europe Division 1 League in Lummen, Belgium next Friday 2 May.  Photo: FEI/Tomas Holcbecher.

The 2013 Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping series champions from France will begin the defense of their title at the first leg of the 2014 Europe Division 1 League in Lummen, Belgium next Friday 2 May. Photo: FEI/Tomas Holcbecher.

The new global format of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping has resulted in significantly increased broadcast figures for the FEI’s oldest series.

The inaugural season of the Furusiyya FEI series, which now includes venues throughout Europe, the Middle East and the Americas, attracted broadcast coverage on 95 channels around the globe, representing an increase of approximately 30% compared to the previous season.
Broadcast hours from 2012 virtually doubled in 2013, the first season of the reformatted series under the Furusiyya flag. Cumulative audience figures are also up for the series, which culminated in the historic first Furusiyya FEI Final at the Barcelona Polo Club, enjoying an increase of almost 110% compared to 2012.
Additionally, the event index for the series, which assesses the combined impact of broadcast hours and audience figures, has grown by an impressive 96% from 2012 to 2013, according to data produced by global sports marketing researchers Repucom.
Highest viewing figures
While Europe remains the core market with the highest viewing figures, other regions are catching up. Thanks to the support of the Saudi Equestrian Foundation, which acts as title sponsor through its commercial arm Furusiyya, local and regional coverage in the Arabian Peninsula has increased significantly. There is also substantial growth in other parts of the world, notably the Asia-Pacific region and North America, which has been secured by FEI in cooperation with IMG Media, thereby further contributing to the overall global coverage of the series.
“The FEI is very grateful to the Saudi Equestrian Fund for its vision in supporting the Furusiyya series, and particularly to Ziyad Abduljahwad, who has made such an important contribution to maximising the recognition of the new Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping in the Arab region,” FEI President HRH Princess Haya said.
“The broadcast figures are extremely impressive and we are very happy that this new global series is getting the attention and the audiences that it deserves. We are optimistic we will achieve continued positive development and are looking forward to a fantastic 2014 season.”
2014 season underway
The 2014 series has already begun, with qualifiers at Al Ain (UAE) and Wellington (USA) in February, while round three is just around the corner as the first leg of Europe Division 1 will take place later this week, at the Longines Spring Classic of Flanders in Lummen (BEL) on Friday 4 May. The expansion of the sport around the globe is underpinned by the fact that the 2014 season comprises 20 qualifying rounds in 20 different countries.
Al Ain presented the single qualifier for the Middle East, while Wellington hosted the first of three qualifying rounds for riders in the North America, Central America and Caribbean region. The two biggest leagues take place in Europe with eight legs in both Division 1, which is pitched at CSIO5* level, and Division 2 which features CSIO3* fixtures.
Europe Division 1 has been expanded this season to include 10 nations – Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Ukraine – and each team has been allocated just four events at which they can collect qualifying points. A total of seven teams from this division will qualify for the Final which will take place in Barcelona (ESP) from 9 to 12 October
Chasing points
France, the defending Furusiyya champions, will be chasing points at Friday’s opening leg of Europe Division 1 in Lummen where eight countries will line out, but with Switzerland, Spain, Sweden and the host nation of Belgium also on points-gathering missions they will need to be on top form. Great Britain, Ireland and The Netherlands will also compete with teams of riders very keen to demonstrate their experience and potential.
The Belgian line-up consists of Pieter de Vos and Gregory Wathelet along with Nicola Philippaerts and Jos Verlooy, while Olivier Philippaerts, twin-brother of Nicola, is the reserve.
The French look formidable however, coming out with all guns blazing and determined to make their mark as they begin their campaign to retain the Furusiyya title. Their nominated riders are Timothee Anciaume, Aymeric de Ponnat, Jerome Hurel, Penelope Leprevost, Anne Sophie Godart and Kevin Staut, and they will be tough nuts to crack.
The Swiss are also leaving nothing to chance, with their selection headed by Olympic champion Steve Guerdat who is joined by Pius Schwizer, Paul Estermann, Romain Duguet and Alain Jufer.
Sweden sends out 2011 European champion Rolf-Goran Bengtsson, Jens and Peder Fredricson, Angelica Augustsson, Henrik von Eckermann and Emma Emanuelsson, while the impressive Spanish selection includes Pilar Cordon, Sergio Moya, Manuel Fernandez Saro, Manuel Anon and Eduardo Alvarez Aznar.
Determined
Along with the Dutch and British, the Irish may not be in the hunt for points this time out, but Irish Chef d’Equipe Robert Splaine is determined to make a strong and confidence-building start to the series anyway.
With the extensive experience of 2002 world champion Dermott Lennon and Billy Twomey combined with the skill and potential of Bertram Allen, Mark McAuley and Thomas Ryan in his side, Splaine says – “the Furusiyya series is about team Jumping at the highest level, and I’m taking horse-and-rider combinations that have earned their place at this level for a number of reasons and with the future, and our continuous policy of expanding our pool of horses and riders, in mind.”
Meanwhile the Dutch side has a new look to it, with Bart Bles, Anne-Liza Makkinga, Johnny Pals and Robert Vos joining forces with Jur Vrieling, while with the Whitaker cousins, Robert and William, flying the British flag along with William Funnell, Guy Williams and Spencer Roe the stage is set for a super-competitive opening leg of the Europe Division 1 League in Lummen.
The draw for order-of-go in the first leg of Europe Division 1 is scheduled to take place tomorrow, Thursday 1 May, at 12 noon local time, and the competition begins at 16.00 on Friday 2 May.
You can follow the entire series LIVE on FEI TV, so don’t miss a hoofbeat!
For further information on Round 3 of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping 2014 at Lummen (BEL) visit www.lummen-horses.be or contact Press Officer Edith de Reys at  edr.press.service@gmail.com or +32 475 659 281.
Facts and Figures:
The Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ 2014 series celebrates 105 years of team Jumping.
The 2014 season comprises 20 qualifiers in 20 countries.
Defending Furusiyya champions are France.
A total of 40 nations will compete for points in the qualifying rounds.
Qualifying events will take place in four regions – Europe Division 1; Europe Division 2; North America, Central America & Caribbean; and Middle East.
Lummen in Belgium presents the first of eight qualifying legs in Europe Division 1 next Friday, 2 May.
There will also be eight qualifying legs in Europe Division 2, while there will be three qualifiers in the North America, Central America & Caribbean region.
The single qualifier for the Middle East has already taken place in Al Ain (UAE), with Qatar and Saudi Arabia earning a place at the 2014 Final.
The 2014 Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping Final will again be held at the Real Club de Polo in Barcelona, Spain from 9 to 12 October 2014.
A total of 18 teams will compete at the Final, plus the home team if not already qualified.
In Europe Divisions 1 and 2, the starting field is not restricted to countries chasing points.
Europe Division 1 has been expanded this season to include 10 nations – Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Ukraine.
Longines are the official timekeepers for the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping series.
Furusiyya is the brand name for the commercial arm of the Saudi Equestrian Fund, which finalised a €16 million five-year sponsorship package with the FEI in November 2012.
Further information on the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping series is available here
“Furusiyya” (Arabic: فروسيه) this single Arabic word conveys so much, embracing the idea of horsemanship, chivalry, and equestrian knowledge in general. The term is a derivation of faris, or horseman and faras, a horse.
Longines has been based at Saint-Imier (SUI) since 1832. Its watchmaking expertise reflects a strong devotion to tradition, elegance and performance. It has generations of experience as the official timekeeper at world championships and as a partner of international sports federations.
Longines’ passion for equestrian sports began in 1878, when a timepiece was made with a horse and jockey engraved on the watch face. Over the years, the brand has built strong and long-lasting links with equestrian sports. In 1926, for the first time, the brand was involved as timekeeper for the Official International Equestrian Competition of Geneva.
Today, Longines’ involvement in equestrianism includes Jumping, Endurance and flat racing. Longines is a member of The Swatch Group S.A., the world’s leading manufacturer of horological products. With an excellent reputation for creating refined timepieces, the brand, whose emblem is the winged hourglass, has outlets in over 130 countries.

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