The Longines Masters of Hong Kong is an annual equestrian show jumping event held at AsiaWorld-Expo. Together with Paris and Los Angeles, the Masters is a circuit series recognized by the FEI (Fédération Equestre Internationale), the governing body of equestrian sports. Hong Kong is the Asian leg of the Grand Slam of Indoor Show Jumping, and 2016 marks its fourth year held in the city.
Title-sponsored by luxury watchmaker Longines and billed as “six-star”, this is as much a luxury lifestyle and entertainment event as an equestrian show, targeted at Hong Kong’s and Asia’s social elite in addition to fans of the sport. However, general tickets are readily available and reasonably priced (access to the Prestige Village is even free), and the event is very family-friendly. Kids are the biggest fans of horses, after all.
The event is held over 4 days with the final Grand Prix on Sunday being the prime attraction. Throughout the weekend there are various competitions, demonstration matches (polo, for example), and shows with both professional and amateur jockeys and riders. I don’t know anything about horses in general, much less the sport of show jumping, but found it quite exciting and entertaining. The animals are pure elegance and majesty, and incredibly athletic.
This year, Germany’s Marco Kutscher riding his horse Van Gogh took home the top prize, and made history as the first repeat winner in the series (he won last October in Los Angeles as well), netting him a nice bonus in addition to the prize money. Hong Kong entertainer Aaron Kwok, officially a Longines “Ambassador of Elegance”, was on hand with some other VIPs to present the trophy.