The prize-giving ceremony of the Longines Grand Prix with Henrik von Eckermann, Ludger Beerbaum and Gregory Wathelet on the podium and Jing Li, CEO of Dashing Equestrian, Dennis Li, vice-president of Longines China, and Li Nianxi, chief secretary of the Chinese Equestrian Association, in the front. Photo (c) Longines Equestrian Beijing Masters/Arnd Bronkhorst.
Ludger Beerbaum won the Grand Prix of the Longines Equestrian Beijing Masters. He asserted himself at the “Bird`s Nest“, the Olympic Stadium in Beijing, against ten international and 22 Chinese riders. Henrik von Eckermann from Sweden finished second, the Belgian rider Gregory Wathelet came third.
“I am delighted about this victory, especially when I recall what happened the first time I rode here, when I fell off my horse in the Grand Prix,” grinned Ludger Beerbaum during the press conference.
“The fifth year of the ‘Beijing Masters‘ is a small anniversary too, so for me as one of the co-organisers it is wonderful that I won. In the meantime, everything has become much more professional and we saw fantastic sport, especially from the Chinese riders.”
The Longines Equestrian Beijing Masters is about the sustainable development of the equestrian sport in China. The best Chinese riders compete against the best riders in the world. Due to the unsolved quarantine issue, the latter don’t bring their own horses with them to the Chinese capital, instead they take part in the competitions on borrowed horses. In addition to the sports programme, there are workshops and joint walking the courses, during which the riders from China can engage in an exchange with the top stars of the jumping sport.
Great emphasis is also placed on international cooperation as far as the organisation is concerned: Ludger Beerbaum and the Aachener Reitturnier GmbH support the Chinese organisers as co-organisers of the event. “The event has shown good further development since the first ‘Masters’ in 2011,” is how Michael Mronz, General Manager of the Aachener Reitturnier GmbH, summed up the meanwhile fifth edition of the Longines Equestrian Beijing Masters. “We are very pleased about the growing acceptance both among the riders and the spectators. The interest of the media and sponsors is also remarkable.”
With prize-money totalling around 1.3 million RMB, the Longines Equestrian Beijing Masters is the equestrian sport event endowed with the highest prize-money in the whole of China. In addition to the Grand Prix, an international team competition was staged for the first time this year. The long-term goal of the organisers is to establish the show permanently as a five-star show, Ludger Beerbaum commented, “Rome wasn’t built in a day either, but we are on the right track.”
Source: Press release from Longines Equestrian Beijing Masters.
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