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­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 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 the 2017 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
On January 23, 2018, Longines and long-time partner IFHA – the Inter­national Federation of Horseracing Authorities – celebrated their shared passion for flat racing at the much-awaited Longines World’s Best Racehorse ceremony at London’s Claridge’s Hotel.

In 2017, the American Thoroughbred Arrogate scooped the prestigious Longines World’s Best Racehorse for the second year running with a rating of 134. Longines is also proud to have served as the timekeeper for Arrogate’s triumph at the Dubai World Cup. Lord Teddy Grimthorpe and coach Bob Baffert, representing Arrogate’s owner Juddmonte Farms, were presented with a Longines watch and an iconic Longines Equus crystal vase.

Australian mare Winx, the previous year’s third-place finisher, was crowned second-best horse with a total of 132 points.
Currently the greatest prize-money earner in Australian history and the best turf horse in the world, she triumphed in each of the nine races she took part in throughout 2017.

Finally, joint third place went to Cracksman (GBR) and Gun Runner (USA), who were tied with a rating of 130. Cracksman turned in a worthy performance at the Group 1 QIPCO Champion Stakes, timed by Longines. Gun Runner’s victories in 2017 included the Breeders’ Cup Classic – a feat timed by the Swiss watch brand, the Official Timekeeper of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.

The Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings are determined by international handicappers according to the performances of horses across the world.
Longines World’s Best Horse Race
The 2017 Longines World’s Best Horse Race Award was once again claimed by the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, with a 126.25 rating. France Galop president Edouard de Rothschild, who accepted the award, also received an elegant Longines timepiece and a trophy in the form of a horse’s head. The top four finishers in that year’s Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe were Enable, Cloth of Stars, Ulysses and Order of St George.
The Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe also scooped the Longines World’s Best Horse Race Award in its inaugural year of 2015. The winner of the 2016 edition, meanwhile, was the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

The Longines World’s Best Horse Race Award recognises the highest- ranked race of the top one hundred Group 1 international races, with the ratings of the top four finishers in each race serving as the basis for the assessment.
Longines World’s Best Rankings
Horseracing is at the heart of Longines’ involvement in the world of equestrian sports. The Swiss watchmaker is the Official Partner and Official Watch of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA). As such, Longines is proud to present the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings, as well as the Longines World’s Best Jockey Rankings.

As early as 1878, Longines manufactured a chronograph engraved with a jockey and his mount. Very popular among jockeys and horse enthusiasts, this timepiece was already used at the racetracks as soon as 1881 to accurately time the performances of both riders and horses.

The Longines Rankings take into account various parameters, among which the level of the races, the distance as well as the surface on which the races are run. These criteria have been defined by a panel of experts. Each year, Longines rewards the racehorses and the jockey with the best overall rankings during a ceremony attended by all the professionals of the field
Longines and IFHA International Award of Merit
In 2013, Longines and the IFHA decided to create an award to honour public figures for their outstanding contribution to the world of horse racing. 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. 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.
He is also known for riding Kitasan Black, the Japanese Horse of the Year 2016. Besides, Take has 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), the Longines Hong Kong Cup (Hong Kong), and Dubai Duty Free Stakes (United Arab Emirates). “It is a great honour 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 development of global horse racing. If my approach to horse racing has delivered me international recognition with this award, I will make a continuous effort to influence the development of global horse racing”. Take follows trainer, owner and breeder Jim Bolger (IRL), Alec Head (FRA), former head trainer at the Haras du Quesnay stud, Seth Hancock, former President of the Clairborne Farm stud, the late Marcel Zarour Atanacio, former Chairman of the OSAF and the Romanet family.
Longines Ladies Awards
Since 2013, the Longines Ladies Awards have been celebrating women who, through their work and dedication, have contributed in a major way to the success and influence of equestrian sports at the highest level. The Awards reflect the recipients passion for the equestrian world a passion shared by Longines.
Illustrious past winners of the Awards include HRH the Princess Royal (2016); HRH Princess Haya Al Hussein (2015); Sylvie Robert, Christiane “Criquette” Head-Maarek, Jing Li, Bo Derek (2014); and Princess Zahra Aga Khan, Athina Onassis de Miranda and Sophie Thalmann (2013). Four prominent female personalities were honoured in 2017: Reed Kessler, Georgina Bloomberg, Michelle Payne and Belinda Stronach.

Reed Kessler is a young prodigy with an impressive track record: having picked up the USEF National Title in 2012 during her first senior season, she became the youngest rider to compete at the 2012 London Olympics, qualified for the Longines FEI World CupTMJumping Final in Gothenburg, represented the United States at the FEI Nations CupTM Jumping, and was awarded the Longines Rising Star Award in 2014. Reed Kessler shares her experiences and knowledge at the US Equestrian Learning Center project, which serves as an educational resource for amateur and professional riders alike. She also works as an ambassador for JustWorld International, a charity supporting education and health care in developing countries.

Professional rider Georgina Bloomberg is someone who makes use of her celebrity to help others. In addition to working closely with the Humane Society of the United States and joining the boards of Animal Aid USA and the Equestrian Aid Foundation, she founded her very own charitable initiative in 2006. Called The Rider’s Closet, Bloomberg’s charity aims to make riding apparel accessible to people involved in therapeutic equestrian programmes.

In 2015, Australian jockey Michelle Payne inspired an entire nation – and women the world over – by becoming the first woman to win the Emirates Melbourne Cup (Group 1) in the event’s 155-year history. Thanks to the fame this historic victory afforded her, Michelle has been able to raise public awareness of the challenges faced by women in a male-dominated sport.
Her career has had its fair share of lows – she has suffered serious race-day falls and injuries. Overcoming all the obstacles in her path, she made her comeback in 2016; now a dual license holder, she became the first Australian woman to train and ride a winning horse. During this busy year, she also served as a patron of the National Jockeys Trust, which offers assistance to injured jockeys, and received the Don Award – Australia’s top sporting prize – in recognition of her national exemplar status.

The Honorable Belinda Stronach – Canadian businesswoman, former minister and philanthropist – is also known in the horse-racing world as the co-founder and president of the Stronach Group, a world leader in horse racing, entertainment and pari-mutuel technology. Recognised as one of the world’s most powerful women by the World Economic Forum and Fortune and Time magazines, this visionary was an MP in Canada’s House of Commons between 2004 and 2008 while also serving as Minister of Human Resources and Minister responsible for Democratic Renewal. Strongly involved in public life, she has also made great efforts to facilitate social change. In 2008, she founded The Belinda Stronach Foundation with a view to developing socially innovative initiatives that would tackle some of the world’s most pressing challenges – malaria, education, and the empowerment of girls and women to name but a few.

Sources of inspiration for us all, these women are perfect embodiments of elegance, and particularly elegance of the heart, so greatly valued by the Swiss watch brand.

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. 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.

In 2017 Longines was honored to present this prize to a particularly talented athlete, the young rider Harry Allen. At the tender age of 17, the Irishman is already following in the footsteps of his famous older brother, Bertram Allen. He has enjoyed particular successes on the international show jumping 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 the American rider Reed Kessler, the Mauritian vaulter Lambert Leclezio, the British rider Jessica Mendoza and the German dressage rider Sönke Rothenberger.

Longines and the FEI reveal the
Longines FEI World’s
Best Jumping Rider
and Horse Awards
Longines and the Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI) celebrated the 2017 world’s highest officially rated jumping rider and horse during a ceremony held on Wednesday 11 April 2018 at the Mairie de Paris.
On this occasion, the Longines FEI World’s Best Jumping Rider & Horse Awards – aimed to recognize achievement and outstanding performance in Jumping across the globe – were presented for the very first time. USA’s talented rider Kent Farrington and amazing mare HH Azur are the inaugural winners of these prestigious awards.

The ceremony, the first of its kind, took place at the iconic Mairie de Paris on Wednesday 11 April 2018 along with the FEI World Cup’s draws for the disciplines of Jumping and Dressage.

USA’s talented rider Kent Farrington set himself apart in some of the greatest show jumping competitions of 2017 and finished the year with a total of 3,313 points in the Longines Rankings ahead of Harrie Smolders (NED) with 2,953 points and McLain Ward (USA) with 2,903 points.

American mare HH Azur, winner of the 2017 Longines FEI World’s Best Jumping Horse title, produced an extraordinary win at the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in Omaha last year with her rider McLain Ward. On the occasion of the ceremony, HH Azur was represented by her co-owner François Mathy, who came with his wife Claudia Mathy and McLain Ward.
Kent Farrington and HH Azur’s representative François Mathy were both granted an elegant Longines timepiece belonging to The Longines Saint-Imier Collection as well as a replica trophy in the form of a magnificent crystal winged hourglass in reference to the brand’s emblem.

Based on a system of points collected throughout the season, the Longines FEI World’s Best Jumping Horse prize is determined according to the ten best annual results of each horse ranked at Longines Rankings, whereas the Longines FEI World’s Best Jumping Rider is the leading rider in the Longines Rankings at the end of the year.

Points for the Longines Rankings are accumulated in Grands Prix, the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ and the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™, including the Finals, as well as the World and European Senior Championships. Double points are awarded at Finals and Championships.

Short interview with
Kent Farrington
In May 2017, Kent Farrington (USA) topped the Longines world ranking and he has left his challengers no chance of putting an end to his fabulous succession of victories. In February 2018, he fell and fractured his right leg and saw Harrie Smolders dethrone him at the head of the Longines World Rankings, thus reviving the race for the title of the Longines FEI World’s Best Jumping Rider 2018.

On the occasion of the ceremony crowning the year 2017, he received the 2017 Longines FEI World’s Best Jumping Rider title in person, from Ingmar de Vos, President of the International Equestrian Federation, and Juan-Carlos Capelli, Longines Vice President and Head of International Marketing. He talks to us now.
You have just been awarded the title of Longines FEI World’s Best Jumping Rider. What does such an award mean to you when you are being honoured from all quarters (even by Her Majesty the Queen)?
Kent Farrington
This award is very important to me because it represents an entire season, the whole job. It is not only about me but also a reflection of my entire team. I really am very honoured.
What was your most memorable moment of 2017?
2017 really was a special year and it is difficult to pinpoint just one event; I have experienced so many key moments with my different horses over the course of the year. But I have to say, it was very exciting to become world number one.
At the FEI, they often say there are always two hearts beating over the course. What do your horses mean to you?
My horses come to me when they are about seven years old. I even have a horse who is 17 years old now and still competes with me. Gazelle demonstrated exceptional skills last year. She has all the qualities of a great showjumper: power, speed, but she also has heart. She is also very mindful of the obstacles. What more could anyone ask for? She is just incredible.
Short interview with
François Mathy
The remarkable 12-year-old HH Azur, who, in 2017, won the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in Omaha (USA) alongside McLain Ward, adds yet another accomplishment to her list of achievements by bringing home the title of Longines FEI World’s Best Jumping Horse. Her owner, François Mathy (BEL), who was presented with the award on her behalf, talks about her...