There were smiles all round as the second day of sport tookcentrer stage at Tops International Arena. But it wasn’t just show jumping at the Longines Future Global Champions event that left the crowd cheering as the jam packed entertainment schedule filled the Place de Concours with fun.
The next generation spoke of the platform this show gives the young riders. Today’s Junior 1.30m winner Sergio Nieto Rullann smiled: “Winning in Valkenswaard is one of the best feeling I have ever had because it is a beautiful place with a beautiful arena and galloping through the arena made me feel very proud of myself. Any opportunity as a young rider to compete at a show like this is a wonderful experience because it is one of the best shows in the world and I look forward to coming back to Tops International Arena in the future. The facilities here are perfect and I love it. It is a very special place with lots of history and it is my first time showing in Europe so it is amazing to win in Valkenswaard.”
In the last class of the day the U25 1.50m on the spectacular grass arena it was a home win for Teddy van de Rijt and Gino denying Valkenswaard United U25 rider Gilles Thomas his third win of the weekend as he took second place on Mystic C van T Heyveld by a fraction of a second. Mathieu Bourdeaud’Hui finished in third as one of only five other double clears with Napoli van ‘t Klavertje Vier. It was a perfect set up for tomorrow’s Grand Prix where all eyes will be on the future stars of show jumping.
CSI2* Belgian rider Gilles Thomas confirmed the good form of him and his BWP mare Miu Miu van Overis (Inshallah de Muze x Darco) by winning the 1.40m class (against the clock) today as well. The 24-year-old Thomas rides for Stal Nieuwenhof, owned by his uncle, Marc Van Dijck. He was also very successful as a Junior and Young Rider. In 2016 he won a gold medal both individually and with the team at the European Junior Championships in Millstreet, Ireland. In the same year he was also named Talent of the Year in Belgium. The Mexican Cristobal Collado came second with Princeton Z (Zang, President x Indoctro). Third place was for the Dutch Teddy van de Rijt with Herma (KWPN, Ukato x Oklund). Izac Ketteridge came, saw and conquered, just like yesterday, in the 1.30m class. For a long time the Belgian Rik Nauta was in the lead, but eventually it was Ketteridge who realized the fastest time with the AES stallion Galerius (Diamant de Semilly x Sandro Boy). The stallion is available at European Sports Horses Ltd in Welford-on-Avon (Warwickshire) and has many victories to his name. Nauta had to settle for second place with Limestone Grey (ISH, by Try-Time). Irish rider Shane Dwan finished third, just like yesterday, with Coupon (Hann, Coupe de Coeur 2 x Stakkato). Young Riders The top three of the 1.35m class was almost the same as yesterday. Only the numbers 2 and 3 changed places. Nicole Lockhead Anderson from Great Britain was again very powerful this Saturday with her Chilli (Brand, Colestus x Colorit). She managed to make the shortest turns and stopped the clock at 55.90 seconds. Germany’s Charlotte Höing had to settle for second place. She finished in 61.88 seconds with Caboom (Casper x Balou du Rouet). Second yesterday and third today were Max Paschertz and Captain Jack (Oldenb, Clinton x Landor S) for Germany.
Dutch rider Nikita Cheung got a very nice belated birthday present in the 1.45m class. The Brabant rider from Zundert celebrated her 19th birthday yesterday in Valkenswaard and today she received the first prize for her performance. She rode her Zangersheide mare Noberlina vd Laarseheide Z (Nabab de Reve x Chin Chin) in 62.89 seconds over the finish line. In this competition the difference between number 1 and 2 was also quite big. The Dutchman Vincent Dings needed 5.60 seconds more to complete the course with Cream Couleur Z (Zang, Cream on Top x Vanoverbeek). Yesterday this combination also finished in second place. Germany’s Ann-Sophie Seidl completed the top 3 with DSP Taquadriga (Bavar, Quadrigus M x Cariograf B). They stopped the clock at 68.69 seconds. Juniors Swedish junior Robin Carey finished third in this 1.20m class yesterday, but today he went flat out for first place. With an incredible fast ride he claimed victory with the ISH mare Luicruz (Luidam x Puissance). With this daring ride he was almost 5 seconds faster than the Belgian Kasper De Boeck and Gerenia (KWPN, by Cantos) who were leading until Carey entered the arena. Third place was for Germany’s Elena Grussendorf with Captain Karacho (Charming Irco x Masetta XX). Mexican Sergio Nieto Rullan won the 1.35m competition (direct on time) with Clapton, a Holsteiner gelding by Caretino 2. On Friday they also won the 1.20m class. A great result for this young rider who is competing in Europe for the first time. They rode a super round and stopped the clock at 57.95 seconds. The Swede Robin Carey, who just before won the 1.35m class and yesterday also won this class, now came second with Carrera Denfer (SCSL, Connor x For Pleasure). German rider Paula Pahl finished in third place with Easy Kolibra Mo (Rhld, Espatako x Kolobri).
Children The top three in the Children’s class (1.20m against the clock) was fully occupied by young German talents. This competition also saw the same rider leading the prize giving as yesterday. The 14-year-old Amy Helfrich trains very hard to become as good as possible and that clearly pays off. PSS Can (Holst, Canstakko x Landgraf I) delivered another perfect round in 57.85 seconds. Hennes Mühlenbeck took second and third place. With Lord Jaegerkrug M he realised a great time of 58.33 seconds and his 12-year-old SWB mare Saint Tropez Soul (Click and Cash x Cagliostro) stopped the clock at 59.46 seconds.
The main event for the pony riders was the 1.30m class (against the clock) in the early morning of the second day of the Longines Global Future Champions. Britain’s Ruby Barrs flew over the fences with her pony Faith (KWPN, Q.Breitling LS x Ekstein), setting an unimaginably fast time of 70.86 seconds. “It was such a special experience to win so far from home on such an impressive course. I couldn’t be more grateful for this opportunity and I just didn’t want to make a mistake during this unique experience,” said the 15-year-old rider. “To take part in such phenomenal events as a young rider is always a surreal and unforgettable experience. To have the opportunity to ride in the same arena as the best of the best is very special and I am incredibly grateful. The facilities at Tops International Arena are beyond amazing and the event is a personal favourite of mine. From the cool arenas to the homely stables, the whole showground is immaculate. I hope to return here soon!” Ruby has been riding her pony Faith for almost two years now and enjoys every moment: “Faith is a fun and bubbly pony with a lot of quirks and a unique personality. She is one of the most genuine, careful and forgiving ponies I have ever ridden.”
Belgian 16-year-old Jonas Van Dijck won the 1.25m section with Santa Maria Optima (BWP, Goliath van de Groenweg). He also won convincingly with a super fast round in 61.59 seconds. Of the 28 combinations, 9 were allowed to come back in the jump-off of the 1.15m competition. German Franziska Bockhorn was the fastest with Neo L (Rhld, Nibelungenheld x Orchid’s Cestanli).