auren Hough & Leonidas. ph: Longines Equestrian Beijing Masters/Arnd Bronkhorst
The international classes at the 2017 Longines Equestrian Beijing Masters officially kicked off with the 275,000.00 RMB Team Competition on Saturday, October 14. Taking place at the Bird’s Nest Olympic Stadium in China, each team consisted of two Chinese riders and one top international show-jumper.
Due to Chinese quarantine regulations, the international riders were not allowed to bring their own horses, and instead competed on borrowed horses supplied by China.
It was a particularly successful day for Lauren Hough (USA), Rima Da (CHN) and Abai Nulahemaiti (CHN), who rode to a 1st place victory with the lowest overall score of four faults. “Things went fantastically for us. I was actually very impressed by a lot of the Chinese riders,” said Hough, who is competing at the event for the first time.
Hough and Nulahemaiti produced clear jumping rounds for “Team Lauren Hough” aboard respective horses Leonidas, a 13-year-old Westphalian gelding (Lenardo x Silvio I), and Gulio van de Koelaar, an 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Nonstop x Major De La Cour). Da rode to a singular four faults aboard the 13-year-old KWPN stallion Z Wellie (Celano x Germus R).
Second place went to Ludger Beerbaum (GER), Ciren Bianba (CHN) and Xin XU (CHN), who finished on eight faults for “Team Ludger Beerbaum”. In 3rd place, Tiffany Foster (CAN), Fujun Yang (CHN) and Maodong Yuan (CHN) finished on 12 faults for “Team Tiffany Foster”.
The international team competition is an important element of the concept behind the Longines Equestrian Beijing Masters, which aims to further push the level of sport throughout the country. The Longines Grand Prix, the feature event of the competition, kicks off on Sunday at 3:30p.m.
The full results can be viewed here.