Hong Kong—Feb. 21
Germany’s Marco Kutscher will go home from the Longines Hong Kong Masters quite a bit richer after not only winning the Longines Grand Prix but also becoming the first rider in history to win the Grand Slam Indoor Super Bonus presented by EEM.
Kutscher is now more than $400,000 richer. In addition to his $165,000 share of first prize money, Kutscher also picked up a bonus check for more than $275,000 for winning a second non-consecutive Longines Grand Prix. He also triumphed in this prestigious class in the American leg of the series last October in Los Angeles. Kutscher, currently ranked No. 18 in the world, was overjoyed with the win. “I am now a Hong Kong millionaire,” he joked.
Kutscher had been battling illness all weekend and amazingly managed to get himself together for the main event. Adding to that there was serious pressure on him going into the final round against the best of the best as he was the last rider to enter the arena and had an ominous opponent, Kevin Staut, holding the lead with a time of 46.61 seconds.
“I felt very anxious going out as the last rider but I have been in this position before so that experience helped me a little bit,” Kutscher said. Aboard his talented and magnificent bay stallion Van Gogh, Kutscher rode the round of his life to complete the challenging course in 45.16 seconds and win the bonus. “I have never won a bonus and it’s not like every day I win a grand prix, so this is a tremendous thrill,” Kutscher said.
Marco Kutscher and Van Gogh jumped to an impressive win in the Longines Grand Prix Hong Kong Masters. Photo by Power Sport Images for MGSI
Kutscher is the first rider to meet the challenge of winning two out of three grand prix events in this intercontinental series that takes place in Los Angeles, Paris and Hong Kong.
Founder of this innovative series, EEM CEO Christophe Ameeuw congratulated Kutscher for historic performance. “We are ending the fourth edition of the Longines Masters of Hong Kong on a high and it is incredible to see Marco win this Grand Slam Indoor Super Bonus and great for the public here to be able to witness history and an incredible standard of sport,” Ameeuw said.
Marco Kutscher celebrated his win over Kevin Staut (left) and Emanuele Gaudiano. Photo by Power Sport Images for MGSI
Longines Grand Prix Runner-up Kevin Staut was full of praise for Kutscher and not surprised he stole victory in the last round. “The way Marco performed in the opening round I knew it was going to be very hard to beat him,” Staut said. Italy’s Emanuele Gaudiano finished third (46.74 seconds), current world No. 2 Simon Delestre from France was fourth placed (46.76 seconds) and Irish young gun Bertram Allen (47.11 seconds) was fifth.
Kevin Staut and For Joy van’t Zorgvliet HDC claimed second in the Longines Hong Kong Masters Grand Prix. Photo by Power Sport Images for MGSI
Marco Kutscher celebrated his Longines Hong Kong Masters Grand Prix and bonus win. Photo by Power Sport Images for MGSI
Italian rider Emanuele Gaudiano rode Caspar 232 into third place. Photo by Power Sport Images for MGSI
Frenchman Simon Delestre and Chesall Zimequest took fourth in the Longines Hong Kong Masters Grand Prix. Photo by Power Sport Images for MGSI
The press conference after the Longines Hong Kong Masters Grand Prix.