After a gripping competition over 1.6m obstacles, on a course etched out by internationally-renowned course designer Louis Konickx, French Patrice Delaveau, astride Aquila HDC, took top honors, ahead of second-placed Max Kühner of Austria on Cielito Lindo 2 by just 0.07 seconds in the jump-off, and Longines Grand Prix of Paris 2017 winner Daniel Deusser of Germany on Cornet D’Amour, who was in with the chance of a €2.25 million bonus if he’d also won in Hong Kong, in third.
Juan-Carlos Capelli, Vice-President and International Marketing Director for Longines, who handed the Longines Grand Prix to the winner, along with an elegant Longines watch.
With the crown of this evening’s Longines Grand Prix in hand, Delaveau has an excellent chance to collect the Grand Slam Indoor bonus of €1 million if he can win the Longines Grand Prix at the final leg of the current season of the Longines Masters Series, in New York, and follow it up with a win in Paris at the start of the 2018-19 season.
“It was great today, and my horse was fantastic,” said victorious rider Delaveau, “I love it here in Hong Kong.”
The other competition of the final day, earlier in the afternoon, the Masters One DBS, presented by new Official Partner DBS, featured a strong field competing over 1.45m obstacles. It was Great Britain Robert Smith who showed the determination and grit to come off victorious on 11-year-old gray gelding Cimano E, clocking a time of 57.17 seconds ahead of Christian Kukuk of Germany on Cordess, and Gerco Schröder of the Netherlands on Glock’s Debalia, who finished second and third respectively.
Earlier in the day, Hong Kong’s own Nathaniel Chan and Lay Your Love On Z won the JETS Junior Trophy, a competition that gives local fans a chance to cheer for home-grown talents from the next generation as they aspire after high-level honors in a five-star international arena. The young hopefuls were put to the test on a specially designed course in a Grand Prix format across two rounds. Both rides counted, with the winner decided by the fewest penalties across both and the best time in the second.
The success of the Longines Masters Series has also been recognized by experts, with an award of Best Live Experience at a Professional Sporting Event by the Sports Industry Awards Asia. The 2018 edition of the Longines Masters of Hong Kong has also confirmed its “M” Mark status helping to enhance the image of Hong Kong as Asia’s sports event capital. The “M” Mark, awarded by the Major Sports Events Committee, symbolizes intense, spectacular and signature event on the territory’s sports calendar.
The glamor and elegance of the event were echoed in the Prestige Village, where sophisticated luxury lifestyle took center stage, shining the spotlight on contemporary art, champagne and wine tastings alongside numerous fine-food outlets, and late-night musical performances from MC RiverJaxx and DJ Jérémie Charlier.
The Prestige Village was brought to life by a selection of suitably high-end exhibitors, among them Title Partner Longines, which displayed a collection of horological masterpieces in its elegant boutique; Official Partners DBS and Maserati, and an extraordinary collection of artistic masterpieces from Macey and Sons, including works by Cézanne, Turner, Constable and Ai Weiwei.
“Our ambition has always been to give equestrian sports the most incredible international stage. The Longines Masters Series brings together the Best of Sports and the Best of Lifestyle, with the 3 iconic capitals for backdrop: Paris, Hong Kong, New York” said Christophe Ameeuw, CEO of EEM and Founder of the Longines Masters Series.
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And so, the curtain goes down on the Asian leg of Season III of the Longines Masters Paris – Hong Kong – New York. Attention now turns to New York, which hosts the third and final leg of the Longines Masters Series.
The American stage presented by equestrian artist Clémence Faivre to the tempo of Amazing Grace, is set to break ground, taking up new quarters in 2018 in New York, at NYCB Live from April 26 to 29, 2018, unquestionably the world’s capital for business and lifestyle, and city that calls nothing impossible.