Home win for Mel Thijssen in 4* 1.50m speed class at Tops International Arena
The second-day action at Tops International Arena Summer Event 1 once again offered great sport, beautiful weather, and varied podiums with a mix of nationalities at the prize-giving ceremonies including familiar and new faces.
Rodrigo Pessoa secured the first CSI4* victory of Saturday onboard Chili but the biggest win of the day went to local Dutch rider Mel Thijssen after a rapid round on Florida Balia Nl. The super fast pair sped with ease round the huge grass arena claiming the lion’s share of the 1.50m €51.300 speed class just ahead of Abdel Said and Goldenstar. Third spot went to France’s Philippe Leoni and the talented bay mare Miss Marie van’t Winnenhof.
The CSI2* combinations started the day with a Table A against the clock on the sunny Saturday morning. 27 combinations started the fierce competition and Abdel Saïd who rides for Belgium flew into the lead early on setting a time of 70.40s on the Zangersheide gelding Clown of Picobello Z which seemed to be the winning time until Chilean Jorge Matte Capdevila managed to shave 5 seconds off his time to take the win. The 40-year-old from Santiago rode a super-fast round with the beautiful 12-year-old mare Belle Fayvinia Z (Baloubet du Rouet x Raphael) and stopped the clock at 65.26. The third place was secured by Polish rider Msciwoj Kiecon and Cicero.
Victory in the 1.45m section went to the top French rider Pénélope Leprevost and her SF mare Verite Une Prince (Number One d’Iso x Rosire). This combination could not have made a better comeback and they delivered a wonderfully fast round in 61.19 seconds, delegating Italian Emanuele Gaudiano and Vasco (MECKL, Vivant x Chacco-Blue) to second place.
I am very happy with this comeback in the competition ring. She came to Valkenswaard for this class and then we ended it with a win. I think this is one of the best competitions in the world here, the grass arena is great!”,
said Pénélope, who won, among other things, a gold team medal at the 2016 Olympics. Third place was for German Tobias Meyer and his OS mare Frieda (Stakkato Gold x Dunntroon).
The 1.35m was the last competition in the beautiful sand arena of Tops International Arena on Saturday. 18 combinations were clear in the first round and the jump-off was a fierce battle for victory. The win went to the Italian Marta Bottanelli with her gelding Vesthigo Z (Vigo d’Arsouilles x Farmer). The 35-year-old rider was double clear in a time of 30.38 seconds. Bottanelli who has represented Italy in 2004 at the European Championships for Juniors and in 2007 at the European Championships for Young Riders is sure one to watch. Kristaps Neretnieks from Latvia came second with the Hanoverian stallion Ethos (Earl x Stakkato’s Highlight). Abdurakhmon Abdullaev of Uzbekistan came in third with Caballone (Westf, Catoki x Contendro I).
The Chilean flag was also hoisted in the young horse class. The 39-year-old Agustin Covarrubias was the fastest in this class with the Selle Français stallion Full Option du Borget (Vigo d’Arsouilles x Numero Uno). For the rider from Santiago, Valkenswaard is almost a home game, as he has his home base in Bavel, the Netherlands and has achieved some great successes in the past including an individual silver medal at the South American Games in 2010. He said:
I am delighted with the win today on my stallion, he jumped super, especially on this amazing grass arena. It was a very competitive class and to win is brilliant. It’s fantastic to be able to get the young horses out to such top facilities like it is here at Tops International Arena.”
Second place was for Sweden’s Antonia Pettersson Häggström and the KWPN mare Komme Vous (Comme Il Faut x Vigo d’Arsouilles). Third place was, like Friday, for Irish rider Darragh Kenny and his Hanoverian mare Serendepety (Stolzenberg x Escudo I).
On Friday, Belgian rider Kasper De Boeck finished second in the 1.25m class, but on Saturday he was unbeatable. The young talent convincingly won the jump-off in which 11 combinations competed for the victory. De Boeck stayed double clear with Gerenia (KWPN, by Cantos) in a time of 33.14 seconds. His compatriot Tom Dhaeyere also improved his result on Friday when he finished seventh to claim second place with Pyta van de Oude Heihoef (BWP, Diamant de Semilly x Casantos). The Dutch Sofie van den Broek came third with Cupcake Z (Zang, Chacco-Blue x Caretano Z), the same result as Friday.
Swiss rider August Fuchs seemed unbeatable for a long time as he was in the lead in the 1.15m class, a table A against the clock, but it was the Venezuelan Sabischy Hassler Hermann who, as the last starter who showed that the time could be beaten. She was almost 3 seconds faster with her Little Joe ‘R’ and stopped the clock at 65.88. Fuchs had to settle for second place with Elegance III (KWPN, Whitesnake x Amethyst) with a time of 68.72. Dutch rider Marie Schalken came third with Giulietta G (KWPN, IPS Gigolo van de Padenborre x Lancelot).
The main class (1.35m) was won by Italian Edoardo Alain Dubois with Iberlina (KWPN, Vittorio x N-Aldato). The 28-year-old won the Grand Prix of Deurne with the same horse last week. The Belgian Tim Van Den Broeck finished in second place with Pepper van de Bucxtale (BWP, Chaman x Boris van het Kluizebos), just like Friday in this class and Brazilian Ricardo Correa Reinert also repeated his result of Friday and finished third with Cornet Phaeton Jmen (Westf, Cornet Obolensky x Contendro I).