The Longines Equestrian Beijing Masters is taking place from October 23rd-25th, in the Olympic stadium in Peking, the “Bird’s Nest”. This year’s fifth edition of the show is also remaining true to its exceptional concept: The best 22 riders in China compete against twelve international top riders, who are lent horses for the competitions. The current number one in the world rankings, Scott Brash, is aware that this is an event, from which all participants profit, which is why he is on board again this year.
“I enjoy competing in Peking,” the British rider commented. It doesn’t bother him at all that he is not allowed to take his own horse to the Chinese Capital with him due to the quarantine regulations – on the contrary: “I think it’s a good challenge for the European and US riders. Competing at a show like this on an unknown horse furthers our understanding of the horse and our riding skills. So I am really looking forward to meeting my borrowed horse.”
Obviously, this is an opinion shared by the medal winners of the European Championships in Aachen: Double European Champion, Jeroen Dubbeldam, has also confirmed his participation in Peking, together with his Dutch colleague, team gold medallist, Maikel van der Vleuten. The individual Vice European Champion, Gregory Wathelet from Belgium and the individual bronze medallist, Simon Delestre, are also taking part. From the USA, Lauren Hough, the double bronze medallist of the Pan American Games 2015, has also announced her participation. She certainly won’t be the only world-class female rider in Peking though, because Penelope Leprevost from France and Jane Richard Philips from Switzerland are both also on the starting list.
The Beijing Masters ambassador Ludger Beerbaum and Marco Kutscher will be riding for Germany, and Henrik von Eckermann and Rolf Göran Bengtsson will be representing Sweden.
The top 22 riders of the Chinese annual rankings complete the high-profile line-up of participants. They not only have the opportunity to compete against the best riders in the world in the international competitions of the Beijing Masters, who incidentally together have accrued the impressive total of 46 Championship medals. In addition to the jumping competitions, the Chinese riders can also look forward to workshops with the international stars.
A popular offer as Scott Brash confirmed: “The Chinese riders are very interested in the sport and want to learn in all aspects of it. The program is very beneficial and I’m sure many riders learn a lot at the show.”
And that is precisely the aim, because at the Beijing Masters it is not merely about the victory in the Grand Prix on Sunday, but predominantly about the sustainable development of the equestrian sport in China. In addition to the German show-jumping legend, Ludger Beerbaum, the Aachener Reitturnier GmbH (ART) has also been supporting the project since the first show in 2011 in its role as co-organiser.
As was the case for the Masters held so far, ART employees will once again be on-site working closely together with the Chinese to guarantee the smooth running of the show. “Once again this year, we can look forward to fantastic sport in the ‘Bird’s Nest’ with the best riders from Europe, the USA and China,“ assured ART General Manager, Michael Mronz. “In 2014, the live broadcast of the ‘Longines Grand Prix’ achieved one of the highest audience ratings in the history of the equestrian sport. We will continue to further establish the ‘Beijing Masters’ not only in terms of the sporting aspects, but as an overall concept among the top events on the international equestrian sport circuit.”