SPORTS REPORT: Longines Global Champions Tour of Valkenswaard Day 2

August 19, 2023


Big names were at the front of the prize-giving ceremony of the against the clock class for Big Tour combinations. Top British rider Scott Brash, winner of the gold team medal at the 2012 London Olympics and the 2013 European Championships, was in the lead for quite a while. He had ridden a super fast time of 62.28 seconds with Hello Vittoria (SF, Kannan x Olisco). Harrie Smolders, winner of the LGCT Grand Prix of Riesenbeck and currently in second place in the GCT Rankings, came close to Brash's time. He realised a time of 62.41 seconds with the 10-year-old mare Deesse de Kerglenn (Mylord Carthago x Crusador). But it was one of the last riders on the starting list who managed to dip below 62 seconds and claim first place for himself, Dutchman Leopold van Asten. The VDL rider, riding for Wim van der Leegte's Stoeterij Dusyselshof, crossed the finish line in 61.76 seconds with the bay mare VDL Groep Urane de Talma (SF, Argentinus x Landor S).

Victory in the 1.40m against the clock competition (Medium Tour) went to Canadian Cassidy Rein. Escorial K (Old, Chaccos' Son x Epsom Gesmeray) , affectionately called 'Cora' by her rider, had a clear round and crossed the finish line in the fast time of 63.84 seconds. Rein is a promising rider who managed to win the 2* Grand Prix at the Longines Global Champions Tour in Miami as recently as April. Omer Karaevli (TUR) came second with the 12-year-old BWP stallion Livingstone van het Peggershof (Ogano Sitte x Thunder van de Zuuthoeve). Yesterday he could call himself the winner of the Medium Tour with Istinov. Third place went to Khaled Almobty (KSA) with Soccero 2 (Holst, Singulord Joter x Casall).

There was a challenging course for the Small Tour class. The biggest challenge for some combinations was the time allowed in the first round. A total of nine riders managed to send their horses clear through the first round and they were able to ride their jump-off immediately. The saying 'the first will be the last' did not apply this time, as Marwin van den Nieuwenhuizen was the first to clear in a time that proved impossible for the other participants. The Dutchman crossed the finish line in 30.37 seconds with his 10-year-old KWPN mare Infinity (Eldorado vd Zeshoek x Heartbreaker). The only one who could come close was Portuguese Rodrigo Giesteira Almeida. The 30-year-old, who lives in the Netherlands, took all the risk but it was not enough. He and his SF mare Epure de B'Neville (Bisquet Balou C vd Mispel x Elan De La Cour) stopped the clock at 30.80 and came second. Frenchman Kevin Staut came third with Vida Loca Z in a time of 32.61 seconds.

Young Horses

The young horses' speed was tested this morning in a competition against the clock. Brazilian Thiago Ribas Da Costa took the lead as eighth starter and did not relinquish it. Yesterday he finished sixth with the spirited Sooper Trooper (Diamant de Semilly x Stakkato) and his gelding was thus the highest-placed six-year-old. Today they bested all other participating horses. The 40-year-old rider is based in the Netherlands and has a lot of experience riding young horses. He has competed many times at the World Championships for Young Horses in Lanaken where he won a bronze medal in 2018 with six-year-old Mano Negra van de Bucxtale. Belgium's Melanie Gelin came second with the six-year-old BWP stallion Reflex van 't Roosakker (Kassander van 't Roosakker x Vigo d'Arsouilles). A great performance considering she has only recently had the stallion under the saddle. Brazil's top rider Marlon Modolo Zanotelli, who finished second yesterday, was now third with seven-year-old Kristalline des Bergeries (SBS, Verdi TN x Untouchable).


The main class in the 1* event, an against the clock competition with obstacles up to 1.35m, was won by Dutch Sabrina van Rijswijk. The 44-year-old rider from Baarle-Nassau rode a super fast round in 55.01 seconds with the beautiful seven-year-old bay BWP mare Quinci vd Bisschop (Harley VDL x Bamako de Muze). The rider runs Stal Polderzicht with Ivan Okkerman where they breed, educate, train and sell show jumpers. She already won a Young Horses section in Kronenberg this year with this same horse. Yesterday they managed to win this section but today they had to settle for second place, Yoni van Santvoort and Esprit. They crossed the finish line in 57.50 seconds. Yali Kass (ISR) and Imagination (KWPN, Karandash x Furore) finished second yesterday but today they fell short of speed and third place was the highest they could achieve.

It was a good day for Brazilian Thiago Ribas Da Costa at Longines Tops International Arena. This morning he won the Young Horses class and this afternoon he was fastest in the 1.25m class. A great achievement because he was the first starter to enter the arena and therefore had to set a target time. And that worked out perfectly with the seven-year-old BWP gelding Quintessential (Quintender x Numero Uno). They stopped the clock after their clear round in 59.34 seconds. Britain's Keira Stoute came closest. The 18-year-old has shown before that she can be fast. Most recently, she won the 2* Grand Prix at the LGCT in Cannes. A great achievement considering she has not been competing at international level for very long. In this competition, she rode the eight-year-old SF stallion K.I Festival du Banney (Crown Z x Olisco), previously ridden by top Irish rider Cian O'Connor. Dutch honours were upheld by Marwin van den Nieuwenhuijzen with L-Dora van de Zietfort (KWPN, Eldorado van de Zeshoek TN x Lord Z).

Yesterday she had to settle for second place but today Poland's Monika Dulczewska left no doubt who was the best. She finished both first and second in the 1.15m class. She achieved the winning time with the mare Light Ivory (AES, Basquiat du Lozon x Baloubet du Rouet): 53.85 seconds. With Biscuit (AES, Basquiat du Lozon x Canabis Z), she stopped the clock at 55.16 seconds. Yesterday's winner was now third, Dutch rider Hilde Veenstra. She rode a clear round with After Pleasure Toltien (KWPN, For Pleasure x Voltaire) in 57.34 seconds.

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