7 Riders at The Longines Masters Hong Kong to Follow on Instagram
It's only a matter of weeks before the Longines Masters arrives in Hong Kong, where the upper echelon of equine athletes will meet in the stadium for a weekend of high stakes and competition. Show jumping is simultaneously intense and elegant, and the uniqueness of the sport stems from the athlete's fast bond with their sporting partner, that is, their horses.
Thanks to Instagram, fans are able to get a behind-the-scenes look at the elusive world of show jumping, be it glimpses of the horses in training or at rest, or snippets of the alliance between man and rider in action. In the days leading up to the Asian leg of the elite equestrian event, we round up seven names to be watching, both online and in the arena itself.
Daniel Deusser (Germany)
An Olympic bronze medalist who is also currently ranked first worldwide on the Longines Jumping Rankings, Daniel Deusser is a force to be reckoned with and definitely one to watch this time around. His Instagram, though, reveals a refreshing look into his life outside the stadium—he may be global champion but he’s clearly also a family man through and through.
Edwina Tops-Alexander (Australia)
Widely regarded as the best Australian show jumper to compete on the global stage, Edwina Tops-Alexander came in second in the Longines Global Champions in 2016 and holds the record for most money earned by a rider on the Tour. She is based for most of the year in the Netherlands, where she is coached by her husband and Dutch champion Jan Tops. She documents her travels as well as her horses on her Instagram account.
Simon Delestre (France)
Currently world-ranked fifth, Simon Delestre is a seasoned show jumper whose recent titles include 2015 winner of the Gucci Gold Cup in Paris. This year, in addition to competing, he will be teaming up with Hong Kong jockey Derek Leung for a unique mixed event between show jumping and horse racing on Friday night. His account features many handsome shots of his horses resting, training or in action.
Kevin Staut (France)
Record breaker at home of the Longines Speed Challenge, Kevin Staut previously won gold in team jumping at the 2016 Rio Olympics and is currently sixth on the Longines Ranking list. He has also won medals at Show Jumping European Championships, Show Jumping World Championships and European Championships for individual as well as team jumping. He shares videos on his account where his jumps are documented in action.
Olivier Philippaerts (Belgium)
Olivier Philippaerts, son of Ludo Philippaerts, comes from a family of show jumping riders. In 2012, he became the youngest rider to ever win the CN International Grand Prix at the CSIO Spruce Meadows 'Masters' Tournament in Alberta, Canada. He and twin brother Nicola are ambassadors for H&M’s platform for equestrian sports, H&M We Love Horses, whose photos frequently feature on their feeds.
Nicola Philippaerts (Belgium)
Nicola Philippaerts is another young face in the world of show jumping but has already earned some notable victories, among them the Longines Grand Prix at the 2012 Falsterbo Horse Show in Sweden. He models for H&M We Love Horses alongside his twin brother, Olivier Philippaerts.
Bertram Allen (Ireland)
Bertram Allen may be only 21 years old, but he's already got a hefty load of accolades under his belt, and even manages his own stable in Germany. He was present at Longines Masters Hong Kong in 2016, where he came fourth in the Grand Prix—no doubt he'll be contending for a higher place this year. His Instagram highlights plenty of action shots as well as the behind-the-scenes of training with his horses.
Longines Masters Hong Kong, February 10-12; 1pm Friday, 9am Saturday and Sunday; AsiaWorld-Expo; Tickets: HK$200–980; VIP Masters Club tables for eight, HK$50,000–$70,000