Getting ready for the excitement at Longines Masters of Hong Kong 2019! (15-17 February 2019, Friday to Sunday)

2019/02/14

Dear Members,

After a long wait, the Asian leg of the intercontinental Longines Masters series, the Longines Masters of Hong Kong 2019 will kick off tomorrow at AsiaWorld-Expo and last until 17 February 2019 (Sunday). Organized by the EEM and co-organized by the Hong Kong Equestrian Federation, the seventh edition of this five stared equestrian event is the second station of Masters series after the Paris edition and before the New York station. It gathers 32 international top jumping 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. They will compete in different classes during three days of challenging and exciting competitions for grand prizes up to US$400,000. Besides world class senior riders, top junior riders can get a chance to feel the vibe on the Masters’ stage at the first HKJC Asian Junior Challenge and HKJC Asian Junior Grand Prix. A total of five Asian junior riders from China Guangdong, Chinese Taipei, Indonesia and Hong Kong will compete for prizes in kind.

Alongside the Longines Masters of Hong Kong 2019, the second edition of the Asia Horse Week is organized to provide a world platform to connect Asian equestrian market with the rest of the world by knowledge exchange through a series of seminars and conferences. Experts from different equestrian professions around the world will speak at the event and share ideas with the visitors from 14 February 2019 (Thursday) to 16 February 2019 (Saturday).

The Official Opening Event of Longines Masters of Hong Kong 2019 and Opening Ceremony Protocol of Asia Horse Week were held today at the event venue. The officiating VIPs are Mrs. Sabrina Ibáñez, Secretary General of the FEI, President of APSO; Mr. Raphael Le Masne de Chermont, Chairman of the Asia Horse Week; Mr. Christophe Ameeuw , CEO of EEM and Asia Horse Week; as well as Dr. Anthony W K Chow SBS JP Chairman, The Hong Kong Jockey Club. Meanwhile, our HKEF President, Mr. Michael Lee also attended the Opening and joined the Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony with other honourble guests.

Our Hong Kong representatives at the Masters, Jacqueline Lai and Raena Leung arrived to Hong Kong last Saturday (9 February 2019) with their horses to gear up for the upcoming competitions. Jacqueline will be riding her good partner of the last three editions of Masters in 2016-2018, BASTA while Raena will be competing with two horses, namely FOLINDE VAN HET SLAGERSHOF and ORPHEE DU GRANIT.  Three competing horses of Jacqueline and Raena successfully passed the horse inspection this morning. Moreover, two junior riders representing Hong Kong at the HKJC Asian Junior Challenge and HKJC Asian Junior Grand Prix, Vincent Zi-Xiang Capol and Edgar Fung have attended the riders’ briefing and the first official training with other competitors today. Edgar will be riding CALMANO and Vincent will be riding IT’S A GAMBLE to compete at the HKJC Asian Junior Challenge on 16 February 2019 (Saturday) and HKJC Asian Junior Grand Prix on 17 February 2019 (Sunday).

As the prestigious showjumping competitions unmask tomorrow, Jacqueline and Raena will compete at the 2019 HKJC Race of the Riders with borrowed horses from the EEM in the evening tomorrow at 7 p.m. In this competition, showjumping riders will pair up with racing jockeys and finish a relay. Jacqueline Lai is paired with Vincent Ho to form the Team HKJC and Raena is paired with Chad Scholfield to form the Team Rattan. The other two teams are Team Fantastic with Neil Callan and Simon Delestre, as well as Team Treasure with Keith Yeung and Olivier Philippaertsto. The best two rider-jockey combinations will be awarded with top prizes. Another highlight of tomorrow’s competitions would be the Hong Kong Jockey Club Trophy at night at 8:45 p.m. Jacqueline with BASTA and Raena with FOLINDE VAN HET SLAGERSHOF will compete over two winning rounds at 1.5m for the prize of US$84,000. On top of the HKJC Trophy, all Asian top riders participating in this competition will battle for the first HKJC Asian Challenge cash prizes. The top three performing Asian riders from the HKJC Trophy class will earn a total prize of HK$250,000. Moreover, Raena is planning to compete at the AsiaWorld-Expo Trophy at 1.45m in the morning tomorrow. All participating riders and jockeys joined the official warming-up and training session today for their upcoming challenges during the Masters.

As the co-organizer of the Asian leg of the Masters series for the seventh consecutive year, the HKEF assisted in providing local show officials at the world class competitions like the previous years. This year, the following Hong Kong officials are appointed to provide professional services at the Masters: Mrs. Alison King as the Chief Steward; Ms. Alice Mak and Mr. James Pearson as Assistant Stewards; Mr. Allan Ho, Prof. Nigel King, Mr. Johnny Mak and Mr. Victor Tsang as Members of Ground Jury. They attended the horse inspection this morning at the competition venue.

In addition to the breathtaking competitions at the Longines Masters of Hong Kong 2019, our first Hong Kong Dressage Individual Gold medalist at the 18th Jakarta Asian Games, Jacqueline Siu returns to Hong Kong with her intimate partner, Jockey Club Furest on Tour and they will perform their award-winning test during the Masters every day at the arena.  Jackie and her horse also landed in Hong Kong on 9 February 2019 and are now under preparation of their performance.

With the Asia Horse Week taking place from today until Saturday, our HKEF President Michael Lee will conduct a presentation on “Equestrian Sports development in Hong Kong” at Session 7.1 tomorrow morning, together with speakers from Indonesia, Japan and China.

After the launch of EEM.tv in 2018, the public can continue following competitions at the Longines Masters of Hong Kong 2019 and conferences at the Asia Horse Week on live for free. The channel can be viewed at: https://www.eem.tv/en .

As the final countdown of the Longines Masters of Hong Kong 2019, let’s jointly support Jacqueline Lai, Raena Leung, Vincent Zi-Xiang Capol, Edgar Fung and Jacqueline Siu at the upcoming competitions!

Best regards,

Hong Kong Equestrian Federation

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