Longines Awards

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In collaboration with its longstanding partners, Longines awards several prizes in recognition of excellence in all things equestrian. Whether horse, jockey, athlete, race or public figure, all have a role to play in making each competition unique and truly breathtaking. The winners are honoured in ceremonies attended by representatives from across the entire profession.
Longines
Ladies Awards
First held in 2013, the Longines Ladies Awards celebrate women who have continuously excelled at the highest level in the world of equestrianism and who, through their hard work and dedication, have made a significant contribution to the success of this industry. This prize commemorates the passion shared by both the recipients and Longines for the equestrian world.Previous winners of this award include HRH The Princess Royal (2016), HRH Princess Haya Al Hussein (2015), Sylvie Robert, “ Christiane ” Criquette Head-Maarek, Jing Li, Bo Derek (2014), Princess Zahra Aga Khan, Athina Onassis de Miranda and Sophie Thalmann (2013).The Longines Ladies Awards 2017 were granted during the Pan American Conference gala dinner presented by Longines on 19 May 2017 in Washington (USA) at the impressive Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. Before an audience of some of the world’s finest in equestrian sports, this prestigious prize was awarded by a jury consisting of three leading figures from the world of equestrianism: Louis Romanet, Chairman of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) ; Ingmar de Vos, President of the Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI) ; and Nathalie Bélinguier, former President of the International Federation of Gentlemen and Lady Riders (FEGENTRI)

In 2017, the Swiss watch brand paid tribute to the positive influence and exceptional commitment of four distinguished women in the field of equestrian sports : Reed Kessler, Georgina Bloomberg, Michelle Payne and Belinda Stronach. Truly a young prodigy, American rider Reed Kessler was the first to be introduced as a laureate of the 2017 Longines Ladies Awards. At only 18 years old, in her first year of eligibility in the senior Jumping ranks, she clinched the 2012 USEF National Jumping title. A few months later, Reed headed to London as the youngest equestrian athlete to compete at the Olympic Games. In early 2013, Reed achieved top results at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington (USA) and contributed to Team USA’s victory. She also competed at the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in Gothenburg (SWE) and represented the USA in the FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping. At the culmination of a successful year, she received the Longines Rising Star Award, rewarding her great talent and commitment to her sport at the FEI Awards Gala. Ambitious and talented, Reed has given the following advice : “ When you get consistent at something and you’re doing it well and it’s easy for you, it’s time to do something harder. ” The hard-working show jumper continues to build her career and has given back to the equestrian community by sharing her own experience in the US Equestrian’s Learning Center project, which aims to provide educational content for fans and athletes. She enjoys a large fan base, bringing an extraordinary outreach to equestrian sports, and she is also an ambassador for JustWorld International, a charity supporting education and healthcare in developing countries. Professional American rider Georgina Bloomberg, the youngest daughter of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, belongs to these personalities who use their celebrity to help others.
She made her own way in the horse world as an award-winning professional Grand Prix show jumper, author and philanthropist. While earning numerous prizes, including gold medals at the North American Young Rider Championships, the Maxine Beard Award and several World Equestrian Festival Challenge Cups, she also got involved in the equestrian world as a humane activist, helping young riders, horse rescue organizations and therapeutic riding facilities. Her tireless commitment to animal welfare organizations and the hours spent at horse training follows in what she once said : “ For me, it’s not about never falling – it’s getting up and riding again. ” Georgina ardently works with the Humane Society of the United States, she recently joined the board of Animal Aid of the United States, and she served as a board member of the Equestrian Aid Foundation, which provides support to riders, trainers, grooms, farriers and other professionals for medical expenses. In 2006, she founded her own charity, “ The Rider's Closet ”, with the purpose of making riding clothes more accessible to those attending therapeutic riding schools.
Her strong passion for equestrian sports led her to write a series of four books inspired by riding. Australian jockey Michelle Payne inspired a nation and women all over the world when she won the Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup in 2015, making her the first woman to do so in the Cup’s 155-year history. Aboard 100-1 shot Prince Of Penzance, Michelle made a statement that would resonate with an entire generation : “ Women can do anything, and we can beat the world. ” Her honesty in victory will be the legacy of the determined and talented young jockey. Michelle began race riding as a 15-year-old girl, and nine years later she would combine with the legendary trainer Bart Cummings to win the David Jones Toorak Handicap at Caulfield Racecourse aboard Allez Wonder, which was her first Group 1 success. It would be the first of many, and during a stellar 2010/2011 season, Michelle rode Yosei to victory in three Group 1s : the Inglis Sires’ Produce Stakes on Derby Day at Royal Randwick Racecourse, the Schweppes Thousand Guineas at Caulfield, and the Sky Racing Tattersall’s Tiara at Eagle Farm Racecourse.
Having gained national fame after her historical Melbourne Cup victory, Michelle took the opportunity to raise awareness about the difficulties encountered by women in a sports discipline dominated by men. Her career path hasn’t been without difficulties, as she suffered serious race falls and injuries, including brain trauma, broken vertebrae and damaged organs. She has overcome all setbacks, making a successful return to the saddle in 2016, this time holding a dual-trainer jockey license and becoming the first to train and ride a winner in Australia.
As part of a big year, she assumed the role of Patron of the National Jockeys Trust to help fallen and injured jockeys, and she accepted the greatest sporting award in Australia, the Don Award, at the Sport Australia Hall of Fame awards in recognition of her achievements that inspired a whole nation. Canadian businesswoman, former cabinet minister and philanthropist, The Honourable Belinda Stronach, P.C. is also known in the horse racing industry as the Co-Founder, Chairman and President of The Stronach Group, an industry leader in world-class horse racing, entertainment and pari-mutuel wagering technology.
In 2010, she resigned her position as Executive Vice-Chairman and board member at Magna International Inc., thus leaving behind the automotive business to focus on a different kind of horsepower. Her ambition is to modernize the sport of Thoroughbred racing and engage a new generation of fans by embracing technology and social media ; creating innovative events such as the $ 16 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational, which is the world’s richest horse race; and by providing superior guest experiences at all of The Stronach Group properties. Having been recognized as one of the world’s most powerful women by the World Economic Forum, Fortune Magazine and Time Magazine, to name a few, this visionary leader extended her influence to politics by serving as a Member of Parliament in the Canadian House of Commons from 2004 to 2008, holding such prominent cabinet positions as Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister responsible for Democratic Renewal.
While strongly committed to public life, she is equally committed to social change. In 2008, she founded The Belinda Stronach Foundation with the mission to develop socially innovative programs to tackle some of the world’s most pressing challenges, including malaria, education and the empowerment of girls and women. Stronach’s impressive life achievements have been honoured and recognized many times, including Canada's “ Top 40 Under 40 ” award, three honourary doctorates of laws (McMaster University in 2003, Brock University in 2009 and the University of Windsor in 2011), the Paul Harris Fellow Award (one of Rotary’s highest honours), and the Beth Sholom Humanitarian Award (one of Canada’s oldest and most distinguished awards). Says Stronach of her achievements : “ I was once called a disruptor. I think that’s one of the best compliments I have ever received. ” Juan-Carlos Capelli, Vice President and Head of International Marketing for Longines, welcomed the choice of recipients of the Longines Ladies Awards 2017. He paid tribute to their selflessness and great dedication to their favourite sports. An inspiration to us all, these women are the perfect example of elegance and, in particular, elegance of the heart, something which is very precious to the Swiss watch brand.
Longines Ladies Awards A different perspective
Murray et Reed Kessler
Gilles et Christiane Maarek
Each and every day, they are there by the side of the passionate and remarkable women highlighted by the Longines Ladies Awards. As observers privileged by their status as relatives, they recount their stories, giving us a different and personal perspective on these exceptional women, their careers and their successes.
Interview with Murray Kessler
Having witnessed from up close the rise and rise of his daughter, Reed Kessler, Murray Kessler shares some of his memories, talks about his fatherly pride and reveals his hopes for this talented young athlete, winner of a Longines Ladies Award in 2017.
Your daughter has been recognized by the global equestrian industry for her commitment to the equestrian world. What does this award mean to you as a father ?
Murray Kessler
It makes me proud, of course. Reed has won many awards related to competing. But, this award is different. It’s not just about winning, it’s about helping to advance the equine industry by raising awareness and giving back. Reed works hard at both. It is so gratifying to see her rewarded for that effort.
What is your earliest memory of Reed on a horse ?
M.K.
Reed could ride before she could walk. My earliest memories of her riding were when she was less than a year old in a basket on a pony. She used to be led from tree to tree that had Disney stuffed animals tied to each tree. Winnie the Pooh was one of her first riding inspirations !
Passion for horses seems to be a family affair. Did you wish to see your daughter compete at the highest level in show jumping ?
M.K.
Of course, I wanted her to. But, honestly, she would have gotten there with or without my wishing for it. She has always been so focused and so driven to have a top career in show jumping. There was never any indecision.
What are Reed’s main qualities which allow her to be the skilled rider she is today ?
M.K.
I’m not a trainer, but from what I observe, her focus, ability to remain calm under pressure coupled with an incredible work ethic are the reasons for her success. I’ve never seen someone so young work so hard over a sustained period of time.
Which role do you think you’ve played in your daughter’s career ?
M.K.
Reed and I are very close. Beyond financial support to help get her career and business off the ground, I believe my steadfast belief in her talent and her as a person have been essential. I love it that she calls me her “ Rock ”.
Which achievement in your daughter’s career are you the most proud of ?
M.K.
There are many. But, representing the USA at Olympics in London 2012, as the youngest rider in history to do so was clearly an unforgettable moment. Other great wins were the Queen Elizabeth Cup, The President’s Cup, A top 10 finish in World Cup Finals and, of course, The Longines Ladies Award !
Is your daughter asking you for advice when it comes to her career ?
M.K.
Reed opened her own business and has been on her own since she was 20 years old. And, while she doesn’t ask me for advice relative to the horses as her technical skills and experiences are well ahead of mine, she does rely on me for business advice. I’m proud to mentor her in these areas. It is just amazing to me that someone so young could be running a full business, on the other side of the ocean from her family.
What are your hopes/wishes for Reed’s future ?
M.K.
Reed is a championship caliber rider. I hope she reaches every goal and every medal she sets her mind to and enjoys the ride along the way.
Interview with Gilles Maarek
Christiane “Criquette” Head-Maarek’s husband, Gilles Maarek, opens up about this exceptional woman, recipient of a Longines Ladies Award in 2014.
If you were to describe your wife in three adjectives, what would they be ?
Gilles Maarek
Determined, generous and tough
Your wife won the Longines Ladies Awards in 2014 for her significant contribution to equestrianism. In your view, what does this award mean ?
G.M.
It’s a distinction awarded to women who have played an important role in equestrianism, and I am particularly proud that “ Criquette ” was chosen to receive it at the end of the Treve era. Treve was the mare who made her name in the Prix de Diane Longines, going on to win the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe twice. It’s an achievement that required every ounce of “ Criquette ”’s skill as a trainer because Treve was far from being an easy horse to train. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Longines for their involvement in equestrianism.
Trainers are nearly all men. Has your wife found it difficult to make her mark in the profession because she is a woman ?
G.M.
I can’t really answer that question because when I met “ Criquette ” in 1998, she was already very well known, having won a number of important races all over the world. But I think she has made her mark not as a “ woman ” but as a person. And I would add that other women have had extraordinarily successful careers as trainers, such as Corine Barande-Barbe in France and Gai Waterhouse in Australia. The training profession is all about observation, and that is something that women can be just as good at as men. I simply think that, as in the rest of society, women are beginning to take an increasingly important role in competitive arenas, but the change is a slow one. I also think that in general terms there is no difference between men and women when it comes to ability, unless you are talking about physical characteristics.
Your wife has had some remarkable victories as a trainer. What does her success in horse racing inspire in you ?
G.M.
I just think it is richly deserved. “ Criquette ” comes from a large horse-racing family which is instilled with a culture of achievement and success. She often says her father and grandfather taught her everything she knows. I have had a passion for horse racing since I was a child, and I knew of “ Criquette ” as a highly successful trainer long before I had the chance to get to know her personally. I would say her success is very much down to her individual personality and that she could have had a brilliant career in many other professions.
Does your wife have a different training style compared to that of male trainers ? In your view, what added value can a woman bring to the profession of trainer ?
G.M.
I don’t believe there is a fundamental difference between the training style adopted by a man and a woman. Trainers in the equestrian world may differ in the methods they use, but these are not dependent on their sex. I don’t see the world as being divided into two categories, with women on one side and men on the other. I believe above all in ability, and that can be equally divided between the two sexes. “ Criquette ” truly is what the English call a “ horsewoman ”. She is very much in tune with all of her horses and constantly thinking of their well-being and comfort, which is not necessarily the case for all trainers. Her method is firmly based on making continuous progress, without working the horses too hard and making sure they are not put under excessive mental strain. She nearly always leaves quite a long gap between races to give the horses a chance to recover completely. Countless times she has proved her ability to prepare for a specific objective and bring a horse on to top form for race day. Evidently, this method is at least as effective as others that make more demands on the horses at the morning training sessions.
Does she sometimes ask you for your advice ?
G.M.
Rarely … I have been a horse-racing journalist for about twenty years, and so I know a thing or two about assessing a horse’s chances at the start of a race. When she is hesitating between two engagements, “ Criquette ” will sometimes ask my advice on which would be easiest, because although she knows her own horses perfectly, she knows less about others’, particularly when it comes to the small categories. But that doesn’t happen very often … What’s more, she often completely ignores my advice and instead goes by her own instinct, which usually proves to be every bit as effective as my contribution !
You share a passion for horses with your wife. How significant a role do they play in your life together ?
G.M.
The profession of trainer is extremely demanding : you have to deal with the horses day in, day out, including weekends, and be in constant contact with them. There are of course exceptions, but I think it is quite difficult to live as a couple with a trainer if that passion for horses is not shared. Horses play a huge part in our lives, that much is obvious. But you do have to make sure they don’t take over completely.
Do you get involved in your wife’s work ?
G.M.
Not really. “ Criquette ” has all the abilities and skills she needs, and her achievements speak for themselves. You could say I’m her biggest fan, even if I do make the odd suggestion.
Longines Ladies Awards A different perspective
Molly Brindle
Claire Gray
The Longines Ladies Awards also aim to place the spotlight on all women at every level in equestrianism. Here, two such women whose day-to-day work is in precisely this environment offer us another perspective.
Cross interview
Molly Brindle and Claire Gray
Molly Brindle is Director of Corporate Partnerships at New York Racing Association, a not-for-profit corporation operating Aqueduct Race Track in Queens, Belmont Park on Long Island, and Saratoga Race Course, America’s oldest thoroughbred race track. Claire Gray is the Sponsorship Manager at Meydan Racecourse, home to the Dubai World Cup. Meydan is the first racetrack to host a 5* hotel offering impressive views of racing, and operates 20 racemeetings between November and March annually.
Where do you come from and what led you into the world of equestrian sport ?
Molly Brindle
I was born in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, and lived there until 19 when I headed off to Atlanta and began a career in media that lasted some 29 years. I worked for Cox Communications and subsequently Time Warner, which brought me to New York’s capital region, where I’ve lived in Saratoga Springs, the home of America’s oldest race track, Saratoga Race Course.
Claire Gray
I come from Aberdeen in the North of Scotland. As children my sisters and I were surrounded by horses – riding lessons ; owning our own livery yard business ; competing in Show Jumping. Horses have always featured heavily in my life.
Describe the career path that led you to the position you hold today.
M.B.
I got into this industry quite by chance through a former boss who had gone to work for the New York Racing Association. In 2008, I obtained a position in the sponsorship department and, within three weeks, we had a possible Triple Crown in our hands with Big Brown contending for the trophy in the Belmont Stakes. And that was diving into the deep end of the pool. I was working until 1 or 2 in the morning, I lost ten pounds, but I learned everything I could know. That year was tremendously exciting and now I’ve been starting my tenth year at the NYRA. Time flies when you are having fun.
C.G.
After university, I made my decision to go abroad for six months to a year and experience Dubai. I began working in one of the major hotel chains and enjoyed learning all about the incredible experiences Dubai has to offer. When I moved to Dubai in 2000, I was instantly drawn to the Dubai World Cup and everything it offered. I studied Marketing at university so the idea of being involved in Dubai’s biggest sporting event intrigued me. I was lucky enough to be offered a position in the Dubai World Cup office and so began my journey into the world of Flat Racing. That was 17 years ago, and I have witnessed first-hand the growth of the Dubai World Cup, which is now the World’s Richest Race meeting. Over the course of time and since the evolution of Meydan, our involvement has stretched to Endurance Racing and Show Jumping as well.
What does a sponsorship manager really do ?
M.B.
Our primary goal is sales and we contribute to the revenue of our organization. Nevertheless we are really working for two : we are working for our employer and for the brands we partner with. This is a true partnership, as we make sure to achieve the goals of all the stakeholders and know that, ultimately, the winner in that process is the fan.
C.G.
I manage the relationships with our clients and make sure their needs are catered for. The capability to build and maintain relationships and set expectations is key. You also need to be very adaptable – change is the only constant !
Do you think being a woman affects the role, or the manner in which you carry it out ?
M.B.
I would say that women are empathic and careful listeners. We have the ability to sublimate our ego, and that can make us more responsive to our sponsorship partners’ needs. I consider being a woman as an advantage. For quite some years now, the US Triple Crown sponsorship contacts have been females. So we do seem to be somehow dominant in this field, at least in the US racing on the East Coast. And I think it’s largely a good thing.
C.G.
One of the women’s strengths is ability to multi task. I think ladies are programmed differently to men. We can manage multiple layers simultaneously and have an in-built problem solving ability. Our Sponsorship team at Meydan is all ladies and I feel this works well for us. We have worked together for many years and our strong relationship allows us to consistently value the importance of the clients and meet their high expectations.
I would say that women are empathic and careful listeners. We have the ability to sublimate our ego, and that can make us more responsive to our sponsorship partners’ needs. I consider being a woman as an advantage. For quite some years now, the US Triple Crown sponsorship contacts have been females. So we do seem to be somehow dominant in this field, at least in the US racing on the East Coast. And I think it’s largely a good thing.
What have been the greatest challenges you have faced during your time as Director strategic Partner ?
M.B.
Probably the greatest challenge has been introducing new brands into our sport if they have never been to a race track. It is important they experience racing to understand how attractive it is now, especially to millennials, and see the great deal of fan engagement we can really provide. The huge advantage that racing offers sponsors is the fact that fans stay at the race track an average of five hours, while each race lasts about two minutes. Whatever the brand partner is setting out to do, it can happen in between races. So I think it’s really important that brands understand the difference in our sport experience. It takes us maybe longer to sell our sport than some other professional leagues, because we have to do that education first.
C.G.
Challenges exist in all our daily lives. In my role, one key challenge is finding common ground between expectation and obligation. Operationally, the greatest challenge for a Sponsorship Manager is sourcing new revenue streams and successfully closing sponsorship agreements.
Do you think your job or your manner to work would be different if you were located in another part of the world ?
M.B.
Certainly, as there would be different categories of sponsors to work with. For example, in Europe and the UK, you see financial services, real estate and law firms more involved with thoroughbred racing and we don’t experience this so much in the US. I guess that would be a different experience.
C.G.
Yes absolutely, every corner of the world is unique in terms of culture, custom and business style. Being in the Middle East has taught me a lot about the Arabian Hospitality culture that is so prevalent here – this understanding is a key attribute to any client servicing role in this region.
Being a woman in an industry traditionally dominated by men has been sometimes complicated ?
M.B.
Racing has become a pretty equalitarian world now. There are many women who are owners because of syndication of horse racing partnerships in the US and abroad for instance. One of my close friends started her own racing partnership and she has now gone global with this and has an Australian Group 1 winner. In general I think that the racing industry is certainly open to anyone at this point.
C.G.
I think the domination of men versus women is due to the nature of life. Generally speaking many women are faced with the challenge of balancing family life with their career aspirations. However, I’m delighted to see so many successful ladies prominent in the equestrian world and, whilst Flat Racing is male dominated, I feel other equestrian sports are well represented by female competitors.
The Longines Ladies Awards are all about celebrating women in equestrian sport. What are your thoughts about this award ?
M.B.
I think it’s wonderful that Longines recognizes women in equestrian sport. And to be able to meet these women, to hear their stories, is part of what make us appreciate a sport and gives us motivation. It’s really inspiring.
C.G.
I have been lucky enough to attend Longines Ladies Award ceremonies. It’s a really exciting concept and much of its success lies in the personal connection Longines has to the winners.
How do you manage time on a daily basis ?
M.B.
I would say some people think time management is not my strongest skill. However I organize every day. I’m really traditional : I make task lists and prioritize things. I love being able to tick the boxes and say done! I also try to get ahead of deadlines, as even the best laid plans can go astray. You have then to allow time for emergencies in order not to be in a crisis on your event day.
C.G.
I try to compartmentalize as best I can. I am a mother to two little boys, so my daily goal is to be present wherever I am. I think there’s a lot of pressure on people with the digital world evolving so quickly, and it’s often easy to not fully focus on the project in hand. But when push comes to shove, juggling is more likely to be the case !
Longines and IFHA International Award of Merit
In 2013, Longines and the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities decided to create an award to honour public figures for their outstanding contribution to the world of horse racing. In the same year, the prize was awarded to Irish trainer, owner and breeder Jim Bolger, while in 2014, Frenchman Alec Head, former head trainer at the Haras du Quesnay stud, received the accolade.
In 2015, Seth Hancock, former President of the Clairborne Farm stud, and the late Marcel Zarour Atanacio, former Chairman of the Latin American Organization for the Promotion of Thoroughbred (OSAF), were selected to receive the Longines and IFHA International Award of Merit. In 2016, this prize was granted to the Romanet family, one of the most active and dedicated families in the world of horseracing.
On 21 December 2017, in Tokyo, Japanese jockey Yutaka Take was conferred this honour. A legend in Japan, Take made his riding debut in 1987. As of 11 December 2017, the Japan Racing Association credits him with 3,940 wins, of which 322 came in graded stakes, while 74 have come in Grade 1. Take has won at least one Grade 1 for 23 straight years and a graded stakes race for 31 consecutive years. He also has the most victories in a year, 212, as well as the most earned prize money in a single year, with that figure standing at ¥ 4,414,042,000 (about USD 38,931,850).
" It is a great honor to receive such a prestigious award, " said Take. " As a jockey, I am happy to fly with a saddle back and forth locally as well as internationally as requested. It doesn't matter if there is a difference in the rules and language, I have been riding the same way everywhere, and therefore did not recognize that I was making a contribution to the achievement and improvement of global horse racing. If my attitude to horse racing has delivered me international recognition with this award, I will make a continuous effort to the development of global horse racing."
Born in 1969, Take followed in his father’s footsteps, as Kunihito Take was also a famed jockey. In 1987, the younger Take notched his first career victory at Hanshin Racecourse aboard a horse named Dyna Bishop. He ended the season as the champion apprentice with 69 winners. Two years later, he was the overall champion jockey, and Take held that title continuously until 1999, with the exception of 1991. Although Take has ridden a number of champions, he is most associated with legendary racehorse and champion sire Deep Impact. The pair won a total of seven Grade 1 races, including the 2005 Japanese Triple Crown, and Deep Impact has gone to be the premier sire in Japan.
Currently, Take is known for riding Kitasan Black, the reigning Japanese Horse of the Year, whose final race will come in the Arima Kinen. Take has also shown his abilities abroad. He has over 110 wins to his credit in eight different countries, including Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Korea, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and the United States. A sampling of his international victories includes Group 1 wins in the Prix d'Ispahan (France), July Cup (England), Hong Kong Cup (Hong Kong), and Dubai Duty Free Stakes (UAE).
­Longines World’s Best Jockey
In 2014, the extraordinary contribution of jockeys to the sport of kings was at last recognised. Each year since then, as part of a joint initiative between Longines and the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA), the best among them has been awarded a title : the Longines World’s Best Jockey. Based on a global ranking that records the points accrued by athletes throughout the year, this title is bestowed upon the very best of these racecourse champions.

The evaluation criteria are based on the results obtained during the 100 most highly regarded international Group 1 races, according to a list established each year by the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings Committee. The winner of the title receives a Longines timepiece and a replica of the Longines World’s Best Jockey vase. This crystal vase, created by Allison Hawkes, was inspired by the Fountain of Apollo in the gardens of the Palace of Versailles. It is adorned with a herd of wild horses, and each year, the name of the Longines World’s Best Jockey is engraved on it.

On 8 December 2017, Hong Kong once again provided the venue for the Longines World’s Best Jockey prize-giving ceremony during the gala evening at the Longines Hong Kong International Races. It was Australian jockey Hugh Bowman who clinched this year’s Longines World’s Best Jockey title, after dominating for the major part of the season. Indeed, Hugh Bowman won ten of the world’s Top 100 Group or Grade 1 races, and six of those victories came aboard Winx, which was celebrated in January 2017 as third “ Longines World’s Best Racehorse ” of the 2016 season. Amongst these great wins, five races were timed by Longines, including the Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Royal Randwick and the Japan Cup in association with Longines at Tokyo racecourse. Bowman succeeds Ryan Moore and Lanfranco “ Frankie ” Dettori.
­Longines World’s Best Racehorse
The title of Longines World’s Best Racehorse has been awarded every year since 2013 to the top three ranked horses in the international Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings. These rankings are established by international handicappers based on the performance put in by the horses at elite races. The title of Longines World’s Best Racehorse does not only honour these deserving equine champions, but also the teams behind them, thanks to whom the horses are able to combine performance and excellence at the highest level. The owner of the winning horse receives a Longines timepiece and a replica of the Longines World’s Best Racehorse vase. This crystal vase, created by a renowned French glassware artisan, is bedecked with a herd of wild horses representing power and speed and evoking a free and independent spirit. Each year, the name of the winner is engraved on the vase in recognition of their outstanding achievements. The owners of the second- and third-placed horses each receive an elegant Longines watch. In the ceremony’s fourth iteration, which was held in London on 24 January 2017 in the iconic Claridge’s hotel, American colt Arrogate was crowned Longines World’s Best Racehorse 2016. Longines had the pleasure to time his great victories throughout the year, namely at the Breeders’ Cup Classic in California and the Travers Stakes in New York. The American racehorse California Chrome ranked second, while Australian mare Winx occupied the third place. In January 2016, American legend American Pharoah was named 2015 Longines World’s Best Racehorse following his historical victories in the American Triple Crown and Breeders’ Cup Classic. The next Longines World’s Best Racehorse ceremony will take place in London in January 2018.
Longines World’s Best Horse Race
For the first time in 2016, Longines and the IFHA presented the Longines World’s Best Horse Race. This prize is presented to the highest-rated race among the top 100 international Group 1 races, as designated every year by an international panel of handicappers. The ranking is based on the scores of the first four horses in each race over the past racing season. In 2016, the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe was the first race to be honoured. On 24 January 2017, in a ceremony which was held in the Claridge’s hotel in London, the Breeders’ Cup Classic was named the 2016 Longines World’s Best Horse Race. Longines is proud to be the Official Partner and Official Timekeeper of this race, which attracts the best horses, breeders, trainers and owners from across the globe. In 2016, it took place at Santa Anita Park in California and was won by Arrogate, 2016 Longines World’s Best Racehorse. Craig Fravel, CEO and President of the Breeders’ Cup Classic, and Bryan Pettigrew, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Sponsorship, received the award for the 2016 Longines World’s Best Horse Race. They were presented with an elegant Longines watch from Juan-Carlos Capelli, Vice President of Longines and Head of International Marketing, and with a commemorative frame from Louis Romanet, IFHA Chairman. They also received a replica of the trophy of the Longines World’s Best Horse Race, which represents a proud horse head. The third Longines World’s Best Horse Race award will be presented in January 2018 in London, alongside the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Award.
Longines Rising Star Award
As the first “ Top Partner ” of the Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI), Longines is pleased to present one of the prestigious FEI Awards. Created in 2009, these honours are given by the FEI to people or organisations who make contributions to the progress and excellence of equestrian sports, both inside of and outside of the arena.

The FEI Awards are divided into five categories. The “ Best Groom Award ” is for a real behind-the-scenes worker and is given to a person tasked with ensuring that the horse for which he or she is responsible is treated as well as possible. The “ Against All Odds ” prize is awarded to a person who has pursued his or her equestrian passion despite a physical handicap or difficult personal circumstances. The “ FEI Solidarity Award ” is given to a person or organisation that has expanded equestrian sport to a wider audience. The “ Best Athlete Award ” distinguishes the athlete (person or horse) or rider/horse tandem that has demonstrated exceptional skill and taken the sport to a new level over the past year. And finally, the “ Longines Rising Star Award ” is an honour that is presented by the Swiss watch brand Longines, committed to offering lasting support to young talents in the brand’s chosen sports. This prize honours an athlete between the ages of 14 and 21 who demonstrates outstanding sporting talent and commitment in equestrian sports.

The “ Longines Rising Star Award ” has been presented for the fifth time at the 2017 FEI Awards ceremony held in Montevideo, Uruguay, on 21 November 2017. Longines was honoured to present this prize to a particularly talented athlete, the young rider Harry Allen, before an audience of some 350 representatives of the international equestrian community. At the tender age of 16, the Irishman is already following in the footsteps of his famous older brother, Bertram Allen. He has enjoyed particular successes on the international showjumping scene in 2017, winning two gold medals – one individual, one team – at the European Championships for Ponies in Kaposvár, Hungary. Talented, passionate and determined, Harry Allen is undoubtedly a name to watch in the coming years.

Harry Allen follows in the footsteps of the German dressage rider Sönke Rothenberger, the American rider Reed Kessler, the Mauritian vaulter Lambert Leclezio and the young British rider Jessica Mendoza.
Longines and FEI reveal the Longines FEI World’s Best Jumping Rider & Horse Awards
Longines and the Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI) were delighted to announce last September the creation of two new awards, the Longines FEI World’s Best Jumping Rider and the Longines FEI World’s Best Jumping Horse, recognising achievement and outstanding performance in Jumping across the globe.
Accumulating points throughout the whole calendar year, the Longines FEI World’s Best Jumping Horse will be determined from the horse’s ten best results of the year in the Longines Rankings, whereas The Longines FEI World’s Best Jumping Rider will be the leading rider in the Longines Rankings at the end of the year. Capturing the suspense and excitement throughout the year as the world’s best Jumping athletes and horses battle it out on the international circuit, the winners’ of these two new awards will be presented with a Longines watch and trophy during the Longines FEI World CupTM Jumping Final held in Paris in April 2018.
Points for the Longines Rankings are accumulated in Grands Prix, the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping and the Longines FEI Nations CupTM Jumping, including the Finals, as well as the World and European Senior Championships. Double points are awarded at Finals and Championships. Juan-Carlos Capelli, Vice President of Longines and Head of International Marketing, said : “ With our partner the FEI, we decided to create the Longines FEI World’s Best Jumping Rider and Horse awards in order to increase the global visibility of the discipline of Jumping. We hope that these awards will inspire more people to follow the results of the leading athletes and horses in the Longines Rankings throughout the year, get to know the many different competitions and understand how they are linked, such as the legs of the three Longines FEI World CupTM Jumping series all leading towards the Final. By bringing together the heroes of Jumping on a global level, we are convinced that Jumping and equestrian sports in general will further extend their international outreach. ”
“ We’re very pleased to announce these two new awards, together with Longines, which will serve as an additional recognition of outstanding performance and achievement at the highest level of the sport ”, FEI President Ingmar de Vos said. “ These awards will add an exciting new dimension to the already coveted monthly Longines Rankings leader title, and build engagement with our audiences as they follow the top athletes and horses throughout the year. ” As part of Longines’ partnership with the FEI, the watch brand lends its name to the FEI world ranking for riders: the Longines Rankings.
The Swiss watch brand is the Official Partner of the three main series (Western European, North American and China Leagues) and the Final of the Longines FEI World CupTM Jumping, as well as the series and the Final of the Longines FEI Nations CupTM Jumping. Moreover, Longines participates in the FEI Awards and presents The Longines Rising Star Award to athletes between ages of 14 and 21 who demonstrate outstanding sporting talent.









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