Nearly a dozen of the world’s top showjumpers are heading to China next month for the Longines Equestrian Beijing Masters, being held in the city’s Olympic Stadium, the Bird’s Nest.
Eleven international will ride against the best 20 showjumpers China can muster, from May 9 to 11. The highlight is the “Longines Grand Prix” on the final Sunday.
Show Director Frank Kemperman said the event was focusing on the development of the equestrian sport in China.
“It is about giving the Chinese riders the opportunity to learn from the best,” he said in announcing the competition at the Beijing Pengyuan Horse Club.
It is the fourth year for the event, which began when Chinese organisers asked German show-jumper Ludger Beerbaum for his support. Beerbaum in turn brought the Aachener Reitturnier GmbH (ART) as the marketer of the annually staged CHIO Aachen into play. Beerbaum and the ART have since been applying their know-how and have been co-organising the Longines Equestrian Beijing Masters together with their Chinese partners from “Dashing Equestrian”.
Scott Brash, Ben Maher (both from Great Britain) and Beerbaum, who are at the top of the Longines world rankings, will all be competing in Peking.
European Champion Roger-Yves Bost and his French compatriots Pénélope Leprevost and Kevin Staut will also be there, as will German riders Marco Kutscher and Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum.
Swiss rider Jane Philips Richard, Laura Kraut (USA) and Nick Skelton (GB) round off the top-class field of international riders.
The event is attracting great media attention, and the biggest Chinese TV channel, CCTV, will be broadcasting the Longines Grand Prix live on Sunday, and Eurosport will also be broadcasting live in Europe.