Future Stars Shine on World Class Stage at Longines Global Future Champions
The Longines Global Future Champions competition kicked off at Tops International Arena, Valkenswaard today and it was packed full of action, with 11 exciting classes showcasing young rider talent at the world-class facility.
The competition takes place over three days and gives U25 riders, young riders, juniors, children and pony riders the opportunity to compete in a world-leading environment, allowing them to develop at the top level and gain experience at this exceptional venue. Riders will compete around testing courses in the expansive grass and sand arenas, with competitors travelling from 21 different countries to take part.
Two exciting young rider classes took place on the first day of competition with up-and-coming talent in the spotlight. Ireland’s Micheal Pender clinched victory in the big class of the day, a 1.45m two-phase competition with HHS Catwalk. Speaking about his win and competing at this prestigious location, William said: “It is fantastic to ride here, it’s a phenomenal venue and the grass is spot on. HHS Catwalk felt in great form and I’m looking forward to the rest of the weekend. This show is a great stage for the next generation helping us all gain valuable experience!”
The first competition on the super grass footing was a 1.45m Two-Phase for the Young Riders. Belgian rider Bart Jay Vandecasteele clinched the win with the 9-year-old gelding Mac Jack Courtier (BWP, VDL Indoctro x Cartier van de Heffinck). The 16-year-old recently won the gold team medal at the European Championships for Juniors in Vilamoura, Portugal, with the same horse. It was then the young talent Madée Schuttenbeld who managed to claim victory in the 1.30/1.35m Two-Phases for Young Riders. The 19-year-old rider from Almelo stopped the clock at 27.99 with the Spanish bred Piccolo R (Centauer Z x Avontuur).
Dutch Hilde Veenstra set by far the fastest time in the 1.25m for Juniors: 26.50 seconds. The 15-year-old from Drachtstercompagnie rode the mare After Pleasure Toltien (KWPN, For Pleasure, Voltaire) with whom she won the silver medal at the 2019 Dutch Championships for Children. 16-year-old Belgian Rik Nauta came second with the BWP mare Monchhichi (Emerald x Cascadeur) with a time of 28.43 seconds. His compatriot Kasper De Boeck stopped the clock at 28.53 with Gerenia (KWPN, Cantos), good for third place.
Belgian rider Rik Nauta was first to go in the 1.35m Two Phases for Juniors and that was also his position at the prize-giving ceremony. The 16-year-old from Asse, just above Brussels, set a time that none of the 57 combinations after him managed to beat. A great achievement of this young talent and his BWP mare Kia Maria vd Potaarde (Numero Uno x Chatman). Only six riders managed to stay under 30 seconds including the British Megan Li with Ego (KWPN, Cathino Z x Concorde) and Rik’s compatriot Bart Jay Junior Vandecasteele with Esprit de l’Esprit Z (Zang, Elvis ter Putte x Quantum). They finished in second and third place respectively.
Talented German young rider Amy Helfrich, who won two pony classes last year in Valkenswaard, showcased her potential and won the Children The hotly contested 1.20m with the Holsteiner gelding PSS Can (Canstakko x Landgraf I). Marie Eder Ferrero came second with the BWP mare Jina van’t Athof (Vivaldi du Seigneur x Chellano Z). For the 13 year old rider, who rides for Monaco, it was her first start at Tops International Arena. Dutch rider Sanne Vermeulen came third with the gelding Icarus LH (KWPN, Etoulon x Voltaire).
The pony classes always guarantee a spectacle of courage and speed. There were three pony classes in total. The 12-year-old British Tilly Bamford, who made her debut at Tops International Arena and managed to win the 1.10m class. She delivered a nice and fast clear round with her mare Dizzy Rascal (by Builders Delight) in 27.41 seconds. In the 1.15m class, victory went to a British rider as well: Henry Squibb. The 14-year-old from Brentham stopped the clock at 26.14 with the mare Casino Royale which is a fantastic set up for the European Pony Championships in Strzegom, Poland, next week. After Henry Squibb won the 1.15m, he also took victory in the 1.25m with his EK partner Kilcurry Dawn. It is clear that they are ready for the challenge next week. Second place was for Ireland’s Martha Hughes-Bravo and HHS Mustang Sally. Third place was for Squibb’s compatriot Tabitha Kyle with Atomic du Bary.
All the action from Longines Global Future Champions will be live-streamed throughout the competition live on GCTV.