The Longines China Tour of Beijing Great Wall took place as a CSI 3* tournament last week for the very first time at the foot of Great Wall of China. It was a premiere that a high-level equestrian event could be held in the historic Ju Yong Guan site north of Beijing. Dutch rider Vincent Vermeulen secured victory in the main event, the Longines Grand Prix on Sunday, on the gelding Ceylon. Second was Kenneth Cheng from Hong Kong China and third place went to Chinese rider Jirigala Erdeng.
Eleven international competitions with a total prize money of CNY 1,400,000 (approximately 175,000 euros) were scheduled for the three-day event. China’s best riders competed against riders from France (Olivier Guillon), Great Britain (Nigel Coupe), Ireland (Dermott Lennon), Ukraine (Ulrich Kirchhoff), the Netherlands (Aniek Poels and Vincent Vermeulen) and other traditional equestrian sports countries.
Vincent Vermeulen (NED) & Ceylon
In brilliant sunshine and best venue conditions, 35 riders started the climax on Sunday, the Longines Grand Prix with CNY 820,000 (about 100,000 Euro). Eight of them made it without penalties and within the time allowed on the course set by the renowned German course designer Olaf Petersen. In the jump-off, Dutch rider Vincent Vermeulen didn’t let the chance missing. As the last one at the start, he knew what to do. With a quick and flawless ride, he took nearly two seconds ahead of the leading rider Kenneth Chang from Hong Kong China. Another 14-hundredths of a second advantage to Jirigala Erdeng from China. In recognition for his exceptional performance, Vermeulen was presented with an elegant timepiece from the hands of Juan-Carlos Capelli, Longines Vice President and Head of International Marketing.
Longines China Tour was launched in 2013 and has continued to evolve ever since. As the first stop of this year’s tour, the unique location right next to the Great Wall of China could be described as a complete success. The organizers, the China Equestrian Association (CEA) and China Equestrian International Development (CEID), in particular, were delighted with the words of Juan-Carlos Capelli, who gave speech at the opening ceremony: “We could not imagine an even better venue like this!”
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Source: Press release by Agence R&B Presse for Longines China Tour by CEID
Photo: © Longines China Tour / Agence R&B Presse