French rider Kevin Staut won the "Longines Equestrian Beijing Masters". He asserted himself at the "Bird's Nest", the Olympic Stadium in Peking, against ten international and 21 Chinese riders. Ludger Beerbaum from Germany came second, Jane Richard Philips from Switzerland ranked third. The best Chinese competitor was Meimei Zhu in fourth place. As a result of the live broadcast on the Chinese State TV channel, CCTV 5, the "Longines Grand Prix" achieved one of the highest TV viewing figures in the history of the equestrian sport. Eurosport also broadcasted the competition live.
"It is something special winning here in the Olympic Stadium of Peking," commented Kevin Staut, who beat four other riders in the jump-off, "the Bird's Nest is unique". He added that he was surprised at the high level of the Chinese riders: "I came here the last time two years ago and there has been a lot of progress since then." The special concept of the Longines Equestrian Beijing Masters, which places the focus on the constant development of the sport in the country, is a great opportunity for China and the international equestrian sport, Staut stated.
The "Longines Equestrian Beijing Masters" it is not about presenting the sport with the world's top riders as a closed community, but instead about promoting the sustainable development of the equestrian sport in China. This means on the one hand giving the best Chinese riders the opportunity to compete – as well as the international show-jumpers, who ride borrowed horses since the quarantine issue still hasn't been solved yet. Furthermore, the Chinese work closely together with their international colleagues on the organisational side of the event. "One World" – that was the motto of the 2008 Olympic Games in Peking. Today, six years later, the organisers of the "Longines Equestrian Beijing Masters" have turned this motto into their own.
"One world – that fits in perfectly with our concept of building up the equestrian sport here in Peking together with the Chinese," commented Frank Kemperman. Some of the best international riders in the world have been travelling to China's capital city for the last four years to compete against China's best riders in the legendary "Bird's Nest" Olympic Stadium – and to engage in an exchange with them in the form of small workshops or jointly walking the course together. The show has already experienced significant development: In sporting terms, the level of the show has progressed from being a 2* show up to a 3* event, there is considerable interest on the media and sponsor front. "The Longines Beijing Masters is particularly a fantastic environment for premium brands, in order to present China in a new light," said Michael Mronz. A further five staff members of the Aachener Reitturnier GmbH are on location at the Bird's Nest, in order to guarantee the smooth running of the event together with their Chinese colleagues. Ludger Beerbaum got the experienced organising team from Aachen involved in the project when the Chinese organisers asked for his assistance four years ago. "A lot has happened over these four years," said Beerbaum, "but in order to establish the Longines Equestrian Beijing Masters permanently as a 5* show, we still have a lot of work ahead of us."
For Kevin Staut and the other riders celebrating was on the agenda instead of work on Sunday evening. The "4th Longines Equestrian Beijing Masters" was brought to a festive close with a Gala Dinner.
Source: Press release from the Longines Equestrian Beijing Masters
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