John Whitaker of United Kingdom rides Argento celebrates after winning the Longines Grand Prix during the Longines Hong Kong Masters 2015 at the AsiaWorld Expo on 15 February 2015 in Hong Kong, China. Photo by Victor Fraile / Power Sport Images
Living legend John Whitaker is the toast of Hong Kong after winning today’s $US700,000 Longines Grand Prix (0 penalties 42.54 sec).
The 59-year-old won the Gucci Gold Cup last night and backed up this afternoon on his magnificent 13-year-old stallion Argento to take out the most prestigious event of the show.
“You always come wishing for the best but I didn’t expect to win the two major classes,” said Whitaker.“Argento is on really good form, the last few months he’s been jumping exceptionally well. He obviously likes Hong Kong.”
Whitaker said winning the Longines Grand Prix was one of the biggest highlights of his illustrious career. “This stands up there with everything that I have done,” he said.
Last year’s Longines Grand Prix winner Henrik von Eckermann managed second placing (0 penalties 43.28 sec) on Gotha and admitted afterwards that the day prior he had made a prediction that Whitaker would win given the top form he was in during the early part of the show.
“I’m pleased with my horse, she did an amazing job. It was my fault, I didn’t get the jump off as smooth as I should have. John was the better man,” von Eckermann said.
French rider Simon Delestre was delighted to finish third on Ryan des Hayettes (0 penalties 43.58 sec). Martin Fuchs was fourth (0 penalties 43.70 sec) and current world number 1 Scott Brash 5th (0 penalties 44.15 sec).
The Longines Hong Kong Masters, now in its third year, was toasted a success by organisers EEM World and sponsor Longines.
Longines Ambassador of Elegance Aaron Kwok; “I’m honoured to be here today. It’s my third time. I find the sport incredibly exciting and it proves that no matter how hard the competition, it’s what’s in your heart that counts.”
“More people have joined us at the Longines Hong Kong Masters this weekend, I hope to see you next year.”
Source: Hong Kong Masters