In this golden Autumn, crystal trophies symbolized honor and the pursuit of equestrian dreams of riders. From nothing to everything, beginning to infinity, the 8th Longines Equestrian Beijing Masters was held at the National Stadium (Bird’s Nest) from Oct. 12th to 14th. There were 251 pairs of riders and horses participating，competing in 6 different features of competitions. The total prize money was RMB 2.3329 million. This classic equestrian event was held by Chinese Equestrian Association, the National Stadium (Bird’s Nest), Dashing Equestrian, world's top equestrian event "CHIO Aachen" operation team-A.R.T. with four-time Olympic champion Ludger Beerbaum.
This event also had become the first CSI 4* in China. As it became the longest equestrian event ever held at the symbolic place where lighting the both of the Olympic Summer Games flame and the Olympic Winter Games flame in China, the Bird’s Nest. At the 8th Longines Equestrian Beijing Masters, Longines watches was the title sponsor as well as the official timekeeper. BMW still was the diamond partner and mobility Partner. At the same time, it was the highest level of equestrian show jumping event for Chinese ridersin mainland of China as well.
We had been shown an international standard equestrian arena which was nearly ten thousand square meters in 72 hours. This event was designed in 3,825 square meters tent, 7,500 square meters sandy land, about 25,000 square meters construction area, 7,000 square meters spray printing, 243 rooms in 3,825 square meters stable area, 2,100 square meters warm-up area, 4,800 square meters competition filed. More than 600 professional application vehicles had been moving in and out of the bird's nest to transport over 1500 tons of sand fiber nearly 2,000 trips. At least 4,000 staffs participated in the construction of the 8th LEBM at the bird's nest.
Eight years of contract, ride for dreams, ride with passion
Under the background of China's economy going to high-quality development, “consumption upgrade” continues to strengthen. With the booming equestrian industry market, there are more and more equestrian clubs in China. The FEI and the Olympic Committee pay more attention to the equestrian market in China. The equestrian industry is welcoming unprecedented opportunities for development. Chinese Equestrian Olympic Team captain Tongyan Liu participated in three competitions: Longines Grand Prix, BMW Elite Class, Team Championships. In the Longines Grand Prix, he won the second place with the horse “Ku Bu Qi” by 63.54s with zero penalty. Tongyan Liu was the first one who finished the game with zero penalty in the first round of BMW Elite Class. He won the second place with the horse “Ku Bu Qi”. In the International Team Competition, Tongyan Liu and his partners Jane Richard and Ruihong Zhou won the second palace by 240.75s with 15 penalty. "Our team will bear in mind the responsibilities to achieve good results. We will go all out to make the Chinese dream of "Tokyo Olympic Equestrian Stadium, Five-Star Red Flag Flying in the Wind" come true” Tongyan Liu shared his thoughts.
Huang Zuping competed at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games as the eldest equestrian sportsman for China, he has over 20 years of experience with equestrianism. He remarked that “LEBM as the first international master in China, invites outstanding international riders in every year. In this light, it draws the most public expectations. As for us, we will get to compete in the same game with the international top riders. We learn from them in their daily lives. And this is hard to come by.” Huang Zuping is of the same age as Ludger Beerbaum, a four-time Olympic gold medalist. Back in 2005, he had strict training at Rudger’s course in Germany. Over-50-year-old Huang Zuping joined Longines Equestrian Beijing Masters again, with his beloved horse, not for the pursuit of fame, but for his growing passion for equestrianism.
For the past few years, the post-90s and even post-00s riders had been showing on the equestrianism with the increasing popularity of equestrian sports in China. Many riders took to the LEBM through this year's“Road to the Bird’s Nest”Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Regional Tour, which now includes 59% post-90s and post-00s riders. The U14 Rising Star Class was newly added, which allowed young Chinese talents to demonstrate their skills at Bird’s Nest. “Today, we are very pleased to see that equestrian has become a highly participated sport in China. Many young riders are involved in equestrian training at a very young age. A growing number of people have enjoyed the fun equestrian brought them.” said Ludger Beerbaum, a four-time Olympic equestrian sports champion and Chairman of Longines World Equestrian Academy, had proudly expressed his recognition of the Chinese equestrian’s thriving development and young riders. LEBM will boost the development of equestrian sports in China with innovation.
Domestic and foreign riders have achieved gratifying results in the Bird's Nest
There were 156 rider-horse pairs competing in International Team Competition, Longines Grand Prix, Dashing Challenge Class on the first day of the 8th LEBM. On the second day, there were 190 rider-horse pairs competing in 5 different features of competitions. This kind of competition had more than doubled compared with the same period last year. As Ms. Li Jing, president of Dashing Equestrian said:“We are very fortunate to encounter each other before the construction of the equestrian industry; we are very fortunate to support each other in the development of equestrian culture in China; we are very grateful to earn recognition by international sponsors like Longines and BMW and we are honored to witness the best riders from all over the country and around the world to perform on the stage we set up."
BMW Elites Class attracted 39 pairs of riders and horses to join, all riders were competing in the reverse order of the first round’s results. The route was 480 meters long, with a combination obstacle and a triple obstacle, and the rider needed to finish the ride in 74 seconds. The route was so difficult that the 18th rider Xujia Shi was the first one who finished the game with zero penalty. Among the rest competitors, Kenneth Zheng and Vincent Vermuelen, the champion of the first round, finished the race with zero penalty. Only three riders entered the extra round from 16 pairs of riders and horses .
In the extra round, the dark horse Xujia Shi and her horse “Cognac du Vlist Z”won third place. Kenneth Zheng and “Fancy Face” won the second place by 41.81s with zero penalty. Vincent Vermuelen kept up his great work, winning the first place with his horse “Ceylon” by 40.99s. “I continued the luck of yesterday, there weren’t so many riders who got zero penalty in the first round, so I wasn’t too stressed. I won the championship with such a slender lead in the extra round, and it feels great. I hope that I could win this trophy here next year.”
The U14 Rising Star Class, as a new class this year, attracted 36 pairs of riders and horses to join, and the youngest rider is only 7 years old. The U14 Rising Star category was added this year to give more opportunities to Chinese teenage riders to showcase their skills at the Bird’s Nest. This competition was a sub-race, competitors had to finish jumping over the first 6 fences to start the next 5. The height of the fences is 60cm, the designer added more turns in the route, which required higher horse control ability and line selecting ability for the riders.
The Chinese young rider Keyi Chen with the horse “Chou Chou Z”won the first place by 22.07s with zero penalty. Yutian Liu with “Mikke’s Moonlight”won the second place by 22.21s, Yuchen Song with “Jindou”won the third place by 22.81s with zero penalty. "I am very happy to have the chance to compete with so many riders of my age and I enjoyed the game very much. I believe I have a long way to go in the future, I'll continue to work hard.” The teenager champion rider Keyi Chen shared her thoughts.
The Longines Grand Prix, as the highlight of the tournament, Harrie Smolders - the world championship owner, Ludger Beerbaum - four-time Olympic champion, Daniel Deusser – famous German rider, and many other famous riders were participating in the Final. Upon starting, the difficult designation of the route brought a lot of challenges to the riders, many riders hit the obstacles or had time penalties. In the end, 7 riders finished the ride with zero penalty.
Eleven hurdles are set up in the additional round, the route length is 300 meters, and the horses needs to jump 10 times in total. The first two riders Kenneth Cheng and Malin Baryard-Johnsson both hit the last fence. The third rider Daniel Deusser with his horse “Gringovantelzenhout” finished the route by 40.68s with zero penalty for the first time, which helped him win the third place. Henrik von Eckermann, the champion of last year, was the fourth rider on the field. He and his horse “Cincitty” finished the route by 38.38s with zero penalty, winning the championship for the second time. The last Chinese rider, Ciren Bianba, with his horse " High Sky Du Sud ", won the second place by 40.63s.
Equestrian style is shared inside and outside the Bird's Nest
After eight years of operation, the organizers had won praises from equestrian enthusiasts for its rich experience, reasonable event setting, excellent rider service and the most sincere love of equestrian. "Second Scene" is a new project added to the 8th Longines Equestrian Beijing Masters. Through close-range interviews with different roles of international riders, award-winning riders, organizers, sponsors, etc., This is a new area to let everyone know everything about LEBM. The rich column setting passed the microphone to the entrants, race parties and sponsors of the LEBM, so that everyone involved in the competition can express their opinions and love for equestrian. To "Let the love speak." After the event, audiences who are interested in this year's "Second Scene" , “I hope next year, we will be able to learn more about the stories and anecdotes behind the events from ‘Second Scene’" .
At the 8th Longines Equestrian Beijing Masters, riders with their love horses could not only gained a higher level of competition experience, but also enjoyed a higher quality of service and welfare. Cheval Dashing Stable Supplied specially designed various official souvenirs for riders; Melitta Daily King Coffee customized the commemorative coffee cup with the name of the riders made the memories of the game be remembered. Canten’s high-end brand Blairquhan and War horse offered the beverage for this year’s event. Well-known bakery Croissant-Village provided riders’United Family Hospitals Beijing provided medical care as a strong shield for the players; French wine brand Maison CASTEL, champagne time was a symbol of honor and joy for the winners of the final round of the six major events. The honorary trophies were all from Kosta Boda Orrefors the mother factory in the deep forest of the Swedish Crystal Kingdom.
Before the final tournament, everyone's eyes were on the Longines Blue carpet Area. This was the pinnacle of the LEBM: the ambassador Eddie Peng, together with Ruby Lin, Meng Li, Jingkang Liang, Xiaoyun Chenand Zhehan Zhang, drew everyone’s attention. They gave performances to cheer for all the riders and added luster to the LEBM.
With the development of Chinese equestrian in recent years, Equestrian sports were becoming more and more popular in public life. Last year's well-recognized equestrian park had became larger, richer, more participatory for sending more happy hours to everyone in this year. Cooperating with other event sponsors and well- known brands, the experience program was set up within the equestrian park, including five different zones, providing a full equestrian life experience for the audience.
During intermission, people entering the equestrian park. The activities promoted the communication between worldwide riders, while the BMW Child Safe Driving Training camp helped kids to practice before their actual tournaments. Everyone could be a judge by using the“SAP Spector Judge”APP! The Children's Equestrian Experience Area in park gave a deeper understanding of not only equestrian itself, but also felt the spirit of teamwork, kindness, tolerance and fraternity.
Since 2011, the Longines Equestrian Beijing Masters came to the Bird’s Nest, had attracted enormous riders and equestrian lovers’ attention. From the beginning to CSI4*, every step forward was about the truest expression of those who truly love the equestrian. Nowadays, the LEBM had became the leader of national equestrian tournaments, enriching and improving itself all the time, spreading the professional knowledge to more and more people. The ambassadors helped attracting more attention to the LEBM, which urged the team to maintain a meticulous working attitude.