Denis Lynch and Hunter Triumph in CSI4* 1.50m Speed Class
The Longines Tops International Arena, launched its highly anticipated Summer Festival on Friday (7 July) with an action packed competition. With the spotlight firmly on Irish show jumper Denis Lynch and his phenomenal partner Hunter, who triumphed in the CSI4* 1.50m Speed Class, the opening day set the stage for an unforgettable summer of equestrian excellence.
Denis Lynch and Hunter showcased their exceptional skill, outperforming a fiercely competitive field to claim victory in the biggest class of the day. Their electrifying performance drew thunderous applause, leaving no doubt that they were a force to be reckoned with. Just over a quarter of a second slower Max Kühner and the flashy Eic Cooley Jump the Q had to settle for second while local favorite Harrie Wiering riding Harley rounded off the podium pushing Kevin Jochems into fourth on Flying Jackie.
Attendees enjoyed a wide array of entertainment options, including mesmerizing live music performances, captivating art installations, and thrilling carnival rides on the Longines Carousel. The festival’s gastronomic offerings are equally enticing, with a diverse selection of delectable food and drink options to satisfy every palate.
The 2* combinations were the first to start in the grass arena. They were presented with a two-phase course with obstacles up to 1.45m. This class was also a qualification for the Grand Prix to be ridden on Sunday. Italian Lorenzo de Luca led for a long time with the 14-year-old gelding Violino Il Palazetto but in the end it was Frenchman Pierre Potin who crossed the finish line in a faster time. The 28-year-old rider, who runs a stable with Marie Loiseau in Fiennes in northern France, had saddled the 11-year-old mare Cheyenne des Frotards for this competition and completed his round in a super fast time of 32.82 seconds. De Luca, who has been based at Poden Farms in Honeybourne, England, since October 2021, was thus relegated to second place with a time of 34.62 seconds. Germany’s Kendra Claricia Brinkop finished in third place with Nector vd Bisschop: 35.28 seconds.
Sweden’s Angelica Augustusson Zanotelli was supreme in the Two Phases (1.40m) with her 10-year-old SF mare Dyrka du Carry. The 36-year-old mother of two daughters and a son stayed clear in 29.62 seconds. The mare has been in the stables of the complex she runs with her husband, international Marlon Modolo Zanotelli, in Belgium since the beginning of this year. German Richard Vogel needed a little more time to clear the course and finished in second place with the eight-year-old mare Chacorewa PS. Dutchman Lars Kersten kept up the Dutch honour, finishing in third place with Hascombe Verona.
Young Horses: showcase for talent
The classes for young jumpers are always a showcase for the next generation. In addition, it is a unique opportunity for these horses to get used to a large and impressive arena such as LTIA’s grass arena. They can thus gain experience that they can put to good use for their future careers.
It looked like Frenchman Romain Potin was also going to win this first class (Two Phases Special, 1.30/1.35m) by setting a super fast time with six-year-old Hermoine des Ronchon. It took a while but it was Sanne Thijssen who showed that it was also doable under 30 seconds. She stopped the clock at 28.86 with the seven-year-old mare Chiara VDH. Shortly afterwards, Thijssen improved her own time with the seven-year-old gelding CSF Whipper Snapper. That it could be even faster showed Belgium’s Gudrun Pateet with her seven-year-old BWP mare Sea Coast Queen R van ‘t Paradijs. Romain Potin made another good attempt to improve this time but fell just short, finishing second with the also seven-year-old Quinta Zwartepannenhof.
This year, a class for five-year-olds was added to the program. This was won by Frenchman Pierre Potin and B Rockabilly Z.
Young Brazilian Isabella Vendramine Appelboom could call herself the winner of the very first class, a Two Phases (1.35m), of the competition season at Longines Tops International Arena. The 16-year-old, who lives in Utrecht, was the sixth starter and cleared both phases in the fastest time (28.39) with her 10-year-old mare Installera Balia RS. None of the 34 combinations that appeared in the arena after her could improve her time. Second place went to 2017 French Champion Romain Potin, who set a time of 28.61 with Cinderella. Pierre Potin finished in third place with the eight-year-old SF stallion Flash de l’Airou.
In the Two Phases 1.20m, Romain Potin clearly took revenge. He took first and second place in this class. Potin, who was on a pony for the first time at the age of three, won with the 12-year-old SF mare Brooklynn. The combination managed to complete the course in a fast time of 26.98 seconds. He came second with the 11-year-old stallion Cyrrus des Chaines with a time of 28.09 seconds. Julie Kristoffersen, who was active as an international dressage rider before 2013, completed the French party and came third with Diago de la Dhuys.
She is only 16 years old but Campbell Brown already has a gold team medal under her belt. The American won this medal at the FEI Jumping North American Youth Championships last year. She took victory in the Two Phases 1.10m with Javenia. The duo stayed clear in a time of 31.89 seconds. That age does not matter very much in equestrian sports was proved by 65-year-old Swiss August Fuchs, who came second with Darina V. Third place went to American Alexandra Crown with the still only six-year-old Ribero.
The Summer Festival at the Longines Tops International Arena promises to be a highlight of the equestrian calendar, attracting riders, spectators, and enthusiasts from around the globe for the summer extravaganza.
Full results are available on the Tops International Arena website here.