CSI5* World-Class Equestrian event unmasked yesterday – The Longines Masters of Hong Kong 2019
With much anticipation and fascination, the second and Asian leg of the Masters series has finally arrived in Hong Kong! Organized by the EEM, co-organized by the Hong Kong Equestrian Federation (HKEF), the Longines Masters of Hong Kong 2019 kicked off yesterday at AsiaWorld-Expo and will last until this Sunday (17 February 2019), gathering 32 world’s best riders from 16 countries and regions, including Austria, Belgium, China, Chinese Taipei, Egypt, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Republic of Ireland, Spain and Switzerland. Together with five top Asian junior riders from China Guangdong, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong and Indonesia, all participating riders will compete in different competitions during three days of event for prizes in kind or grand prizes up to US$400,000. In addition, alongside the Masters, the second edition of the Asia Horse Week returns to Hong Kong with Asian and overseas equestrian professionals exchanging knowledge and ideas on equestrian development in the world. Visitors to the Masters does not only get a chance to watch exciting competitions and take part in meaningful discussion at conferences, but also enjoy their time with prestigious gourmet, fashion and arts.
As the second and last day of Asia Horse Week continued, our HKEF President, Mr. Michael Lee delivered a presentation named “Equestrian Sports development in Hong Kong” under the session topic of “Sport development in Asia”. In the afternoon, the Asia Horse Week Closing Ceremony was held to mark an end to a series of educational and interactional conferences and discussions. At the ceremony, Raphael Le Masne De Chermont, Chairman of Asia Horse Week; Mr. Ingmar De Vos, FEI President; Mr. Anthony Chow, Chairman of Hong Kong Jockey Club; Ms. Sophia Chan, Secretary for Food and Health and Mr. Christophe Ameeuw, Founder of Asia Horse Week gave resounding Closing Remarks on the stage. Our HKEF President, Mr. Michael Lee joined the Group Photo session with other honourable guests to share the joy of successful completion of the programme.
With the support from the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) and kind assistance by Education Bureau, Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) and Home Affairs Bureau (HAB), HKEF organized educational tours for over 1200 students and members of different non-governmental organizations. Besides, being the co-organizer of the Masters for the seventh consecutive year, the HKEF worked with the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups, Agency for Volunteer Service and Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (IVE) and recruited a record high of over 250 volunteers to assist with the operation throughout the event this year.
As the first competition of the Masters this year, the AsiaWorld-Expo Trophy is a single-rounded competition against the clock at fence height of 1.45m. The classification is determined by the total number of penalties and in case there is an equality of penalties, the time taken at the round would be taken into account to decide the final placing. 21 horse-rider combination competed at this competition. At the end, the first place was taken home by Emanuele Gaudiano from Italy with Quinn van de Heffinck, who achieved a clear round in 55.93 seconds. The second and third places belonged to Netherlands’ Gerco Schroder with Glock’s Debalia and Great Britain’s Laura Renwick with Bintang II respectively. Our Hong Kong rider, Raena Leung riding Orphee du Granit completed the course with 9 penalties in 69.19 seconds.
Before the AsiaWorld-Expo Trophy began, all participating riders at the upcoming HKJC Asian Junior Challenge today and HKJC Asian Junior Grand Prix tomorrow were invited to walk the course in order to have a sense of the competition atmosphere before their actual challenges.
Hong Kong Jockey Club Race of the Riders
The first night of Longines Masters of Hong Kong 2019 was spent with a unique competition called Hong Kong Jockey Club Race of the Riders. In this class, four showjumping riders were paired up with four Jockeys for a relay competition of speed and courage. While riders have to jump over fences of 1.15/1.2m, Jockeys are expected to jump over fences at 0.7m. Our Hong Kong riders Jacqueline Lai and Raena Leung collaborated with two Jockeys, namely Vincent Ho (Team HKJC) and Chad Schofield (Team RATTAN) respectively. The other two pairs were French rider Simon Delestre with Neil Callan (Team FANTASTIC), as well as Belgium’s rider Olivier Philippaerts with Keith Yeung (Team TREASURE). After keen competition in the first round, Team FANTASTIC and Team HKJC took the top two places, granting them an entry ticket to compete at the final round. Eventually, the Team FANTASTIC with Simon Delestre and Neil Callan crowned the champion with the fastest time of only 81.29 seconds while the second place was taken home by Team HKJC with Jacqueline Lai and Vincent Ho in 97.96 seconds. Meanwhile, Team TREASURE and Team RATTAN came third and fourth respectively.
Team HKJC with Vincent Ho (left) and Jacqueline Lai (right)
Team RATTAN with Raena Leung (left) and Chad Schofield (right)
Raena Leung at the HKJC Race of the Riders
Jacqueline Lai at HKJC Race of the Riders
Hong Kong Jockey Club Trophy with HKJC Asian Challenge
The HKJC Trophy is an exciting showjumping competition with fence height of 1.5m, consisting the first round and winning round. Hong Kong’s Jacqueline Lai on Basta and Raena Leung on Folinde van het Slagershof competed against 27 world’s top rider-horse combinations at this competition. After the competitive first round, the top ten riders from Austria, Belgium, Egypt, France, Italy, Republic of Ireland and Switzerland entered the winning round. In the winning round, these 10 riders started with zero penalty. At the end, Olivier Philippaerts riding “H&M Cue Channa” from Belgium topped the class by finishing a superb clear final round in 34.72 seconds, followed by Swiss Pius Schwizer with “About a Dream” who finished a clear round in 35.07s, less than one second of time difference with the champion. The third place was awarded to Italian Emanuele Gaudiano with Chalou who also completed a clear final round in 35.73 seconds. Moreover, for the first time ever, the HKJC Asian Challenge was set up alongside the HKJC Trophy. The top three Asian riders competing at the HKJC Trophy were awarded with a total prize money of HK$250,000. At the end, Hikari Yoshizawa from Japan took home the first place in terms of its final ranking, followed by our Hong Kong representatives, Raena Leung and Jacqueline Lai respectively. Both of them also finished the first round with 9 penalties while Raena with “Folinde van het Slagerhol”’ took a slightly faster time of 73.03 seconds than Jacqueline with Basta. At the prize presentation ceremony, our President, Mr. Michael Lee was invited as one of the prize presenters to share the honour of the prize winners.
Besides competitions, our Individual Dressage Gold medalist at 18th Jakarta Asian Games, Jacqueline Siu with Jockey Club Furest on Tour presented their award-winning Dressage test in a surprising and creative way in front of the cheering crowd. She will perform again in the next two days of the Masters. Together with an amazing Equestrian Show by Frederic Pignon and Magali Delgado, the first day of Longines Masters of Hong Kong 2019 has came to an amazing end.
As a preview of tomorrow’s classes, one of our Hong Kong representatives, Raena Leung will ride on “Orphee du Granit” and compete in the Masters Power Maserati Trophy (six bars) in the afternoon. She is expected to compete against 15 world’s best riders at the competition. While in the evening, the first HKJC Asian Junior Challenge will be held for top junior riders aged 14-18 in the Asian region to compete in Hong Kong. Our Hong Kong representatives, Vincent Zi-Xiang Capol and Edgar Fung will participate at this competition on stallions called “It’s A Gamble” and “Calmano” respectively at 1m.
Please continue supporting Raena Leung, Edgar Fung, Vincent Zi-Xiang Capol and Jacqueline Siu today at the Longines Masters of Hong Kong 2019! You may also visit https://www.eem.tv/en/ for live broadcast of breathtaking competitions for free.
Hong Kong Equestrian Federation