The location is just as legendary as when the premiere was held eight years ago: The Bird’s Nest, the Olympic Stadium of Beijing, is an impressive setting, when ten of the world’s best show-jumpers compete against China’s top riders. The “Longines Beijing Equestrian Masters” (October 12th-14th, 2018) has however not remained the same. The show has undergone constant development, at the same time it is also the most important show for the Chinese riders.
The co-organiser, Ludger Beerbaum, also emphasised this development: “We are very pleased to see that the equestrian sport has become a highly participated sport in China.” Beerbaum, who is also responsible for the Longines World Equestrian Academy, organises the show together with the Aachener Reitturnier GmbH (ART) and “Dashing Equestrian” from Beijing. “The Longines Beijing Equestrian Masters is part of a long-term strategy to develop professional equestrian sport in China,” is how ART General Manager, Michael Mronz, explained the concept behind the event. The Masters is not a “travelling circus”, which top international riders meet up and compete at and fly home again afterwards. The priority lies in the exchange with the Chinese athletes.
190 of the latter will compete against ten international top stars, headed by the Dutchman Harrie Smolders, the current number one in the world ranking list. Henrik von Eckermann (SWE, No. 4 Longines Ranking), Daniel Deusser (GER, No. 6) and Gregory Wathelet (BEL), Christian Ahlmann (GER), Malin Baryard-Johnsson (SWE), Penelope Leprevost (FRA), Jane Richard Philips (SUI), Lauren Hough (USA) and of course Ludger Beerbaum (GER) are also awaited. “We are honoured to witness the best riders from all over the country and around the world perform on the stage we have set up,” stated Ms. Li Jing, President of Dashing Equestrian.
A record number of 235 horse/rider pairs will be taking part. In addition to the Longines Grand Prix on the final Sunday, the “BMW Elite Class” – a “team championship”, diverse competitions for young riders as well as the popular “BMW Jump and Drive” are on the agenda. The aim behind this exchange with the international stars is to introduce the strongest aspiring Chinese talents to top competition sport.
Source: Press release Longines Equestrian Beijing Masters
Photo: © Longines Equestrian Beijing Masters / Arnd Bronkhorst Photography