The international classes of the Longines Equestrian Beijing Masters 2017 began on Saturday evening in the Olympic Stadium in Beijing with the team jumping competition under floodlights, where each team comprises of one top international show-jumper and two Chinese riders.
It was a particularly successful prelude for Lauren Hough (USA), Rima Da (CHN) and Abai Nulahemaiti (CHN), because they were able to assert themselves against ten further teams and together they jumped to victory. “Things went fantastically for us. I was actually very impressed by a lot of the Chinese riders,” commented an elated Lauren Hough, who is competing in the legendary Bird’s Nest for the first time. Second place went to Ludger Beerbaum (GER), Ciren Bianba (CHN) and Xin XU (CHN) ahead of the Canadian rider, Tiffany Foster and the two Chinese show-jumpers Fujun Yang and Maodong Yuan.
The international team competition is an important element of the concept behind the Longines Equestrian Beijing Masters. Through the exhibitions and the exchange with the best riders in the world under show conditions, the top Chinese riders are to be demanded and promoted in a special way, in order to further push the level of the sport throughout the country. But the international riders are also particularly put to the test at the Longines Equestrian Beijing Masters: Due to the Chinese quarantine regulations they are not allowed to bring their own horses with them to Beijing, but instead have to compete on borrowed Chinese horses, which they only get to know one day before the first competition starts. So the horse and rider have to get accustomed to each other within an extremely short space of time. “It’s really fun and I felt really comfortable with my horse straight away. Of course, it would be wonderful if one day we could bring our own horses here to this amazing venue. But the concept of the show is great and I believe it is a very important step in the direction of further developing the Chinese equestrian sport and making our sport more popular all over the world.”