A new phase in equestrian sport in China has begun, with the 2013 Longines Equestrian Beijing Masters being recognised as an official FEI event.
The 2013 Longines Equestrian Beijing Masters is the leading equestrian event in China, and this year the two-star competition will be held from April 18 to 20, 2013 at the Beijing National Stadium (Bird’s Nest). It is the third year of the event.
Swiss watchmaker Longines will once again this year take on the role as title partner and official timekeeper. This week’s launch ceremony for the event featured Chinese Equestrian Association Chairman Pan ZhiChen, Dashing Equestrian Representatives Michael Mronz and Li Jing, Longines China Brand Manager Dennis Li, showjumper Ludger Beerbaum, and Longines Ambassadress of Elegance and Swiss showjumper Jane Richard.
Equestrianism has a long history in China dating back to the Han and Tang Dynasties. Several equestrian-related leisure activities were extremely popular during this time, including mounted archery and polo.
The close ties between Longines and the world of equestrianism took another step forward in early 2013, when Longines and the FEI signed a 10-year agreement appointing Longines as the FEI’s first Top Partner as well as the Official Timekeeper and Official Watch of the FEI. Longines has been the timekeeper of equestrian events since 1881.
The 2013 Longines Equestrian Beijing Master has been brought to China by the combined efforts of the Chinese Equestrian Association (CEA); the Beijing National Stadium; Dashing Equestrian; the Aachener Reitturnier GmbH (ART) which is the marketing agency of CHIO Aachen, and Ludger Beerbaum. The event aims to promote the culture of the equestrian sport, while at the same time demonstrating the city of Beijing and its unique fusion between tradition and modernism to the world.
Michael Mronz from Dashing Equestrian said this year’s competition had attracted many internationally renowned riders, as well as 100 of China’s best showjumping horses. The grass arena in the Bird’s Nest will be replaced by a sand arena for this year’s event, which will also feature equine performances by Chinese participants, who will demonstrate equestrian vaulting and dressage.
• Several of the world’s best international riders travelled to Hong Kong at the weekend for the prestigious Longines Hong Kong Masters showjumping competition, with Patrice Delaveau (France) and Lacrimoso 3 HDC winning the CSI 5* Grand Prix Longines.
The jump-off featured 15 riders, with Britain’s Michael Whitaker (Viking) second and French rider Kevin Staut (Estoy Aqui de Muze HDC) third.
Ukrainian rider Katharina Offel and Olivia de Nantuel won the Longines Speed Challenge held on Thursday.