China's Qingdao Troupe won a top prize at the 10th Budapest International Circus Festival here on Monday, bagging a Golden Pierrot award with an eye-catching Chinese pole performance. Hungary's Richter Troupe, with an acrobatic equestrian act, and Germany's Merrylu Cassely and Rene Casselly Junior, who performed breath-taking acrobatic stunts on the backs of elephants, also won Golden Pierrot awards at the gala performance Monday night. Hungary's Laszlo Simet, Brasil's Super Silva and Romania's Trio Stoian seized Silver Pierrots respectively, while Bronze Pierrot awards went to France's Sampion Bouglione, Russia's Stynka Troupe, Portugal's Cesar Dias, Ukraine's Duo Maybe, and Ambra and Yves Nicols (Spain and Italy). The award was named after Pierrot, a stock character or clown seen in pantomimes and comedies since the 17th century. It has been granted to top circus artists since 1996 when the Budapest Circus Festival was introduced. This festival is now believed to be the world's second most prestigious circus event. Over 30 performance groups from nearly 20 countries competed during the five-day festival.