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 Omer Karaevli denies Kevin Jochems of home win in Tops International Arena CSI4* Grand Prix on thrilling final day showdown

Omer Karaevli and Cheston de la Pomme d'Or Z flew to the top of the leader board after an exciting10-rider jump-off in the spectacular grass arena at Tops International Arena beating local Dutch rider Kevin Jochems by just 0.10s.Last to go home hero Jochems galloped flat out to the final fence on the bouncy Cornetboy to stop the clock in 40.37 sec securing second place just ahead of Andres Azcarraga and Contendros who took third place on the podium today. Gregory Bodo built a testing but fair 1.55m track on the final day of the first event of the season at Tops International Arena with many top combinations taking part under the summer sun.After his win, Omer Karaevli explained: “ I am very happy to be able to ride here at the amazing venue of Tops International Arena which has perfect footing, stables and organization.”Earlier in the week world class French rider Penelope Leprevost declared the show: “In my opinion this is one of the best shows in the world. The grass arena is just amazing.”The action at Tops International Arena doesn’t stop there as next week's CSI5* kicks off from 15 - 17 July limited tickets are still available - please follow the link below.It was a busy final day of top spot as the young horses kicked off with the final for six and seven-year-old horses. The audience saw 12 combinations return to the jump-off. The Brazilian Ricardo Correa Reinert was first in the ring and delivered a neat clear round with Chakiro PS (OS, Chacoon Blue x Stakkato) in a time of 36.67. However, France's Pénélope Leprevost directly bettered the time with Vanquish Z (Zang, Vagabond de la Pomme x Calypso III) and set the time at 35.74.Belgian rider Wilm Vermeir took all the risk and went full speed between fence four (double) and five, where he managed to win a lot of time with Eytuka of Two Notes Z (Emerald van 't Ruytershof x Chin Chin). The time to beat was now 33.99. Dutchman Kevin Jochems had clearly set his sights on victory and had a good pace. He took over the lead with Looks Good de Liebri Z (Lector van den Bisschop x Bently van de Heffinck). But that was not fast enough either, Abdel Säid went one step further with Bullseye 111 Z (Bamako de Muze x Dere Senaat 111) and stopped the clock at 33.81.The audience held its breath when Italian Emanuele Gaudiano entered the ring as the last starter. The Italian is known as a very fast rider and he did what he does best, crossing the finish line in 32.43 seconds with Cor VD Kattevennen Z (Cornet Obolensky x Heartbreaker). Gaudiano was very happy with the result: "My father bought Cor two years ago and I started riding him when he was six years old. He loves to win. We have won two classes here and last week we won all three in Italy," he said of his horse and continued, "He is a very nice stallion and I hope I can start riding him in big competitions. I have great expectations for the future for him." The 36-year-old rider, who lives in Germany, has been coming to Tops International Arena since 2016. "It's great that the young horses get the opportunity to jump on this super grass surface. They learn so much from it."Of the 46 competitors in the CSI2* Grand Prix, 14 returned in the jump-off. Mexican Andres Azcarraga set the tone with his clear round in a very fast time. He crossed the finish line with the OS mare Cloubette PS in 37.14 seconds. Many tried to beat this time, with Kevin Jochems and Pénélope Leprevost coming close. But then American Adrienne Sternlicht entered the arena and it was immediately clear that she was on a mission. From the start, she had a good pace with the Oldenburg Bennys Legacy (Lupicor x Voltaire) and flew through the course to stop the clock at 35.82. A beautiful ride that was good for the victory. A round that was good for first place. Azcarraga therefore finished second and Jochems was third with Shanroe Peeters (Dallas VDL x Condios)."I couldn't have been happier with my horse. He jumped fantastic, especially in the jump-off. I think he loved it here on the beautiful grass," said a proud Adrienne. "I have a strong partnership with my horse. I have been riding him for three years now and when he is in shape he is unbelievable to ride. Normally I ride him in bigger competitions so for him it is nice to run some smaller competitions, like this 2*, for once." Normally she lives in America between Connecticut and Florida, but now she has her horses in Germany with top Irish rider Bertram Allen.The CSI2* 1.35m (against the clock) was won by Italian Marta Bottanelli and her Donner IK (OS, Deauville by T L x Champs Elysees). "I am super happy with this victory," said an enthusiastic Marta. "I think it's super here and such a beautiful venue. I have been riding Donner for two years now and we have a really good bond. She is very competitive and has already achieved many good placings. I hope we can continue the upward trend." Second place was for Dutch Kim Jacobs and the KWPN mare Hatricia van Beek. Polish rider Msciwoj Kiecon repeated his result from yesterday and finished third with Cicero (OS, Cordess 2 x Capitol II).Following that the CSI2* 1.40m, in which the riders did their jump-off immediately after a clear round, became a little Dutch party. Only a few kilometres away from home Henk van de Pol managed to win the class. He rode two clear rounds with Cayenne de Clarence (SF, Baloubet du Rouet x Alfa d'Elle) in a time of 31.52 seconds. Second place was for Gert-Jan Bruggink with Vigalio Sho Z (BWP, Vigo d'Arsouilles x Come On) with a time of 32.81. The American Gigi Moynihan came third with Ovito van de Looise Heide (BWP, Hunters Scendro x Kashmir van Schuttershof).The list of participants of the CSI1* Grand Prix counted 30 combinations of which 15 stayed clear in the first round. In the jump off it was the Italian Manfredi Macchiarella who delivered the first clear round with Joverla (KWPN, Namelus R x Hors la Loi II) in 43.43 seconds. Dutchman Gert-Jan Bruggink was the next to go clear with Kasilias Eas Sho Z (Kannan x Kennedy), crossing the line faster in 40.53 seconds. However, it was the Belgian Tim Van Den Broeck who realised the fastest round with the beautiful BWP gelding Pepper van de Bucxtale (Chaman x Boris van het Kluizebos). His time, 39.88, was the best, even though Chilean Agustin Covarrubias made a serious attempt with Zelindia (MIPAAF, Cristo x Tenor de la Cour). This earned him a second place.Also in the CSI1* 1.25m (direct on time) the Belgian flag flew at the prize-giving. This time it was Kasper De Boeck who claimed victory with his KWPN mare Gerenia (Cantos). He was over 6 seconds faster than second-placed Adamus Bartosz (POL) with Dixon, a descendant of top horse Verdi TN from Maikel van der Vleuten. Third place was also for a Belgian rider: Tom Dhaeyere who had saddled Pyta van de Oude Heihoef (BWP, Diamant de Semilly x Casantos) for this competition.First on Friday, second on Saturday and now first again on the last day of Summer Event I. Swiss rider August Fuchs was by far the fastest in the jump-off of the CSI1* 1.15m class with Elegance III (KWPN, Whitesnake x Amethist). He also took third place with Darina V (Holst, Cardenio 2 x Corofino II). Germany's Katharina Josephine Bombis came second with Captain Caracho D (Westf, Colestus x Ferragamo).


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 yesterday, for Irish rider Darragh Kenny and his Hanoverian mare Serendepety (Stolzenberg x Escudo I).Yesterday Belgian rider Kasper De Boeck finished second in the 1.25m class, but today 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 of yesterday when he finished seventhto 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 yesterday.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 yesterday 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).Tune in to GCTV to watch all of tomorrow's action live.


Speed demon Guy Williams, Rodrigo Pessoa and Emanuele Gaudiano all winners as 2022 season at Tops International Arena kicks off


The first event of the 2022 season at Tops International Arena started in style. The grass was impeccable, the sun was shining brightly and the atmosphere was perfect - a great start to the busy season at the state-of-the-art facilities in Valkenswaard.

Guy Williams and his lightning-fast stallion Rouge de Ravel claimed the biggest win on the first day of action as the Tops International Arena season is officially declared open.Taking top honours in the CSI4* 1.50m speed class Williams shaved over two seconds off Emanuele Gaudiano’s time of 60.04s on Nikolaj de Music and Ireland’s Daniel Coyle secured third place with Ivory TCS. Three home riders finished in full force in the second 4* competition of the day with dutch riders Mel Thijssen, Kevin Jochems and Wout-Jan van der Schans securing 4th, 5th and 6th and legend Rodrigo Pessoa took home first place in the 1.40m CSI4* two-phase adding to the list of big-name winners today.  The first competition of the day on the beautiful grass was a young horse class. It was a showcase full of talent with the final winner was speedy Italian Emanuele Gaudiano and Cor VD Kattevennen Z. The 36-year-old Gaudiano completed the course almost a second faster (33.19) than the German Tobias Meyer, who was leading until then. The Italian, who lives in Germany, has had the 7-year-old stallion (ZANG, Cornet Obolensky x Heartbreaker) under his saddle for a year and in June this year, they won all three young horse classes in Gorla Minore, Italy."Cor VD Kattevennen Z jumped brilliantly. It is a fantastic start of the weekend. For the young horses, it is great that they can jump on such a good grass surface. They learn a lot from it and I am looking forward to the rest of the weekend," Gaudiano declared afterwards.Tobias Meyer had to settle for second place on the 6-year-old mare Con Sugar-H OLD (OLD, Solitair x Check In) with a clear round in 34.01. Meyer was very successful in Valkenswaard last year with Celebrity-H. Third place was for the top Irish rider Darragh Kenny and the Hanoverian mare Serendepety (Stolzenberg x Escudo I) who rode a super clear round in 35.90 seconds.

The CSI2* Big Tour competition (two phases 1.45m) was won by Mexican Andres Azcarraga and the stallion Al Capone (BAWÜ, Candillo 3 x Argentinus). The 29-year-old son of the four-time Olympic rider Jaime Azcarraga set the fastest time as the third starter and all 37 riders who followed could not match.Dutch rider Leopold van Asten made a good attempt but was almost 1 second slower with VDL Groep Iron Z (ZANG, Charisma Z x Mr. Blue) and German Jens Baackmann came third with the Westphalian mare Aglaia J (Arpeggio x Lancino de L).

44-year-old Ömer Karaevli managed to win the 1.40m for Turkey. He finished his round with the KWPN mare Hayley (London x Balou du Rouet) just a faster (28.52 seconds) than the Dutch Leopold van Asten who was in the lead at that time with a clear round in 28.75 seconds.“I didn’t expect to win today with Hayley but she is naturally fast and I am very happy about the result. I jumped her grandmother at my first senior Europeans in Windsor. It is great to be able to ride here in Tops International Arena. It is an amazing venue with perfect footing, stables and organization,” said Karaevli afterwards.Leopold had saddled VDL Groep Victoria, a KWPN mare by Do Spiritivo, for this class. Edoardo Alain Dubois claimed third place with Idem van der Hilst (SBS, V ter Hilst x Kannan).In the last class at the end of the afternoon, victory also went to Mexico: to Andres' father, Jaime Azcarraga. The 63-year-old veteran competed four times at the Olympics and three times at a World Cup final. In Valkenswaard Jaime had saddled the eight-year-old mare Elvanto PS and proved to be the fastest in 26.51 seconds. Italian Alessandro La Commare came second with Miss Washington (President x Joyrider) and third place was for Emma Augier De Moussac (CZE) and Hello HX (KWPN, Afellay x N-Aldato).

The CSI1* combinations had three competitions on this opening day: all two phases with obstacles up to 1.35m, 1.20m and 1.10m.Belgian Guido Hornesch won the first class (1.35m) with the nine-year-old BWP mare Nailah (Kannan x Darco). The 44-year-old rider from Hasselt, who is also a big soccer fan, rode a nice clear round in 31.47 seconds. His compatriot Tim Van Den Broeck came second with Pepper van de Bucxtale (BWP, Chaman x Boris van het Kluizebos). Brazilian Ricardo Correa Reinert finished in third place with the Westphalian stallion Cornet Phaeton Jmen (Cornet Obolensky x Contendro I).Venezuelan Sabischy Hassler Hermann won the 1.20m class with her BWP gelding Little Joe 'r'. The 40-year-old rider, who also took part in Valkenswaard in 2017, rode a fast clear round in 33.83 seconds. The only 15-year-old Kasper De Boeck from Belgium came second with the KWPN mare Gerenia (by Cantos). Kasper was made his international debut as an 11-year-old at the CSI Lier in June 2018. Dutch Sofie van den Broek completed the top three with the nine-year-old Zangersheide mare Cupcake Z (Chacco-Blue x Caretano Z).The final class in the CSI1* was the two-phase 1.10m. Swiss rider August Fuchs won and also came second. Fuchs is of course a well-known surname in the horse world, but August is not related to Martin, but to Alois, who also jumped internationally. The 64-year-old rider from Hitzkirch has been riding at regional level for a long time, but is also a successful entrepreneur and popular singer. The veteran rider won with the KWPN gelding Elegance III (Whitesnake x Amethist) and came second with Darina V (HOLST, Cardenio 2 x Corofino II). German Leticia Hirmer came third with Encore (KWPN, Nabab de Reve x Damiro B).

All of tomorrow’s action can be watched live on GCTV.



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