SPORTS REPORT: Longines Global Champions Tour of Valkenswaard Day 1

August 18, 2023


The competition against the clock for the Big Tour combinations counted no fewer than 85 horses, of which 45 went clear. However, only five of them managed to ride under 65 seconds. Big names were on the starting list, but it was Irishman Richard Howley who beat them all. The 31-year-old who lives in Wetherby, England, crossed the finish line in 61.27 seconds with the 13-year-old grey mare Farianne (KWPN, Indoctro x Corland). Howley runs HK Stables with his partner Morgan Kent, also active in international competitive sport. In 2018, he won a gold medal at the World Young Horse Championships in Lanaken. With his ride, Howley relegated Sweden's Evelina Tovek, who was leading until then, to second place with Herrald (KWPN, Emerald x Quick Star). Tovek, who lives in Bonn, Germany, and is trained by world number one Henrik von Eckermann, stopped the clock at 62.43 seconds. Derin Demirsoy (TUR) was third with Caprice d'Elle (SF, Arko III x Papillon Rouge).

The Medium Tour saw four Dutch riders in the top five but victory went to Omer Karaevli (TUR) and 10-year-old Istinov (KWPN, Ustinov x Vegas). With this beautiful dark brown gelding, which he has been competing internationally since 2018, he managed to leave the strong Dutch contingent behind with a time of 26.39 seconds. Niels Tacken managed to come the closest to Karaevli's time. He crossed the finish line in 26.79 seconds in the second phase with the eight-year-old Zangersheide mare Camila Totalis Z (Cavalo Z x T'Is Voltaire D01). VDL rider Leopold van Asten was third with VDL Groep Urane de Talma (SF, Argentinus x Perle de Talma). They stopped the clock at 27.29 seconds. Harrie Smolders (Deesse de Kerglenn) and Manon Hees (Jodinus PP) finished fourth and fifth respectively.

There were 58 combinations on the starting list for the Small Tour competition. For a long time, it seemed as if Frenchman Kevin Staut's time of 25.15 seconds could not be improved and would be the winning time, but that illusion came to an end after Dutchman Bert Jan van de Pol managed to complete his second phase in 25.05 seconds and took over the lead. However, it was not to be a Dutch victory. Khaled Almobty (KSA) was the only one who managed to ride under the 25-second mark. He stopped the clock at 24.19 seconds with the 13-year-old mare Limonca (OS, Limoncello II x Silbersee), making him the winner of this class. Van de Pol had to settle for second place with the 11-year-old KWPN gelding Harvey (Cantos x Nobility). Staut rode the mare Vida Loca Z (Zang, Vigo d'Arsouilles x Cornet Obolensky) in this competition.

Young Horses

The Young Horses opened the Longines Global Champions Tour of Valkenswaard with a Two Phases Special competition. Tomorrow's super stars showed their best side and no fewer than 30 six- and seven-year-olds managed to stay clear. The fastest second phase was ridden by Iñigo Lopez De La Osa Franco (MON) and the promising SF stallion Golden Diamond (Diamant de Semilly x Deauville van 't L). They rode a nice clear round in 35.04 seconds. Brazil's successful top rider Marlon Modolo Zanotelli finished in second place with Kristalline des Bergeries (SBS Verdi TN x Untouchable) with a time of 36.49 seconds. The silver medal winner of the 2022 World Championships in Herning, Belgian Jérôme Guery was third with Diamond Touch (Holst, Diamant de Semilly x Chin Chin). They crossed the finish line in 38.03 seconds. Best six-year-old was the Hanoverian gelding Sooper Trooper (Diamant de Semilly x Stakkato). He finished in 6th place with Brazilian Thiago Ribas Da Costa.


The main class of the 1* was a 1.35m class directly on time. In total 42 combinations came to the start of which 16 horses managed to stay clear. The fastest time was set by Dutch Yoni van Santvoort with the beautiful dark bay Esprit (KWPN, Sir Scandic x Dunhill Sun). The only 14-year-old rider from Nuenen in Brabant stopped the clock at 65.44 seconds. The Israeli Yali Kass came second with Imagination (KWPN, Karandash x Furore). They crossed the finish line in 65.67 seconds. Third place was for Sabrina van Rijswijk (NED) and Quinci vd Bisschop (BWP, Harley VDL x Bamako de Muze) with a time of 66.41 seconds.

The 1.20m class, Two Phases Special, was won by Dutchman Daniel Schepers. The 14-year-old rider from Esbeek stopped the clock in the second phase at 34.79 seconds. A great result for this combination. His horse Arequipa van de Wolfsakker (Zang, Atomic Z x Tolano van 't Riethof) is still young, seven years old, and a great career lies ahead for them together. Italian Stefano Nogara came second in a time of 35.09 seconds with Mister Rossi (KWPN, Zapatero VDL x Douglas). A successful achievement for this combination, it is only their second international competition together. Britain's Keira Stoute came third with K.I Festival du Banney (SF, Crown Z x Olisco).

Victory in the 1.10m also remained in the Netherlands. Hilde Veenstra beat the entire field of competitors with her eight-year-old After Pleasure Toltien (KWPN, For Pleasure x Voltaire). Veenstra is on a roll, recently she also performed very well in Zuidwolde and Rotterdam. Poland's Monika Dulczewska came second with the AES mare Light Ivory (Basquiat du Lozon x Baloubet du Rouet) followed by Daniel Schepers, who earlier managed to win the 1.20m. In this class, he rode the eight-year-old AES stallion Killroy van de Wolfsakker (by Casago)

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