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Third CSI5* Grand Prix win in past six months for Philipp Weishaupt and Coby as they dominate at Tops International Arena

Philipp Weishaupt and the powerful bay gelding Coby made it the perfect finish to an exciting weekend of sport by winning the €300,000 Tops International Arena Grand Prix in blistering style. Lorenzo de Luca took second place on the super consistent mare Cash du Plessis and the third spot on the podium was clinched by America’s Lillie Keenan and Queensland E.It was an afternoon of world-class performances and the equine firepower on display was breathtaking with familiar star horses and future champions lighting up Tops International Arena and giving fans around the world watching GCTV an incredible treat.After his win, Philipp said: "A horse like Coby that it’s fast and a real proper Grand Prix horse makes life much easier and I also just caught the perfect rhythm during the whole class and the whole jump off so I’m extremely delighted today.  I saw Lorenzo jump,  he was quick so he put extra pressure on me and I have just thank god it worked out today. Coby is good in both indoor, outdoor, small sand arena, big grass arena, he’s won three 5* Grand Prix in the last 6 months which I don’t think there are too many horses that have done this so I’m so happy to have him he’s just such a great horse. I’ve been coming 20 years to Valkenswaard and never won the Grand Prix here so it’s great"

The build-up to the jump-off was a fascinating look at the form of both top riders and horses and the immaculate grass arena was the perfect stage for the world-class CSI5* Grand Prix with the 1.60m course proving a robust test of the best. A quarter way into the class was when clear rounds started coming thick and fast as 10 combinations out of the 45 starters made it through to the jump-off.Nisse Lüneburg came cantering back into the huge grass arena for the jump-off and showed his big bay the final fence. The pair set out around the course with determination but it finished with 4 faults. Mike Kawai featured in his first ever CSI5* jump-off but the third fence a tall skinny brown upright fell knocking his chances of a podium finish today.Queensland E easily excelled on the footing. Lillie Keenan rode her new partner with ease to finish clear and take the lead for now. But she didn't stay in the lead for long as Lorenzo de Luca and Cash du Plessis cut over a second and half off their time and proved one to beat.However, it was three back-to-back double clears and fast ones as Philipp Weishaupt and Coby took extreme risks that paid off to stop the clock in 38.61s - a time that looked unbeatable to the impressed public.Last week's Tops International Arena CSI4* Grand Prix winner Omer Karaevli had a surprise run out to the penultimate fence after his roll back to try and beat Philipp was just too tight. Marcus Ehning looked up on the pace of his fellow German rider with Stargold clearing everything by a mile until he knocked the second to last putting him off the radar for the win today.None of the last three competitors in the jump-off Jos Verlooy, Beat Mändli or Patrik Majher could touch Philipp and Coby handing them the win and their third CSI5* Grand Prix win in the last six months, an achievement not many horses have done.
The young horses rode their final on Sunday morning in the fantastic grass arena. Of the 34 combinations, 13 went clear in the first round and qualified for the jump-off. Dutchman Bas Moerings, riding the seven-year-old KWPN mare Kwik Tweet (For Pleasure x Twisther), was the second starter to set a super fast time that no one after him was able to improve. There were serious attempts by the Belgians Pieter Devos and Jos Verlooy and the Canadian Danielle Lambert, but they all lacked speed. The Irishman Darragh Kenny was one of the favourites and expectations were high when he entered the arena as the last starter. He flew over the fences at high speed with the Hanoverian mare Serendepety (Stolzenberg x Escudo I) and stopped the clock at 35.83 seconds. With that, he scored a hat-trick and relegated Moerings to second place. Third was Jos Verlooy with Parise van den Dael (BWP, I Am Moerhoeve's Star x For Passion d'Ive Z). Lambert finished in fourth place with Loraine S Z (Le Diamant Horta x Zapatero) followed by Pieter Devos with Casual DV Z ( Cornet Obolensky x Cicero Z) on a fifth place. Best six-year-old in this final was Con Sugar-H OLD (Solitair x Check In) of the German Tobias Meyer on an eighth place.
Young Irish rider Michael Pender was the fastest in the jump-off of the CSI2* Grand Prix on Sunday afternoon with the SF mare Elektra des Premices (Kannan x Carthago) in which 19 combinations were competing. The course was challenging with long lines where a good pace could be made. For some, especially obstacles 2 and 4 were tricky but Pender had no problem with this course and crossed the finish line in 40.58 seconds. Michael Pender, Mikey to his friends, has been performing well since he was on a pony. Back then he won a silver team medal at the European Championships in 2014 and 2015. In recent years he has also been very successful at World Championships for Young Horses. Pender was delighted with his victory and his horse: "I’m delighted with the way Elektra jumped and super pleased she won today’s 2* Grand Prix as she has been jumping fantastic all week. It was a very competitive jump-off but she is quick across the ground and took everything in her stride. I’m excited for her future and I think this huge grass arena at Tops International Arena with such fantastic footing is a brilliant opportunity for her to experience."

Second place was for Dutchman Kevin Jochems who needed 41.47 seconds with Christianus (Hann, Christian x El Bundy). Third place was also for a Dutchman, Niels Kersten who finished in a time of 41.56 seconds with Grieg S (KWPN, Indoctro x Kenwood).    
Belgian rider Alexander Housen was unbeatable in the CSI2* 1.35m class on this final day of Summer Event II at Tops International Arena. He was first and second in this competition against the clock. He rode his winning round with the mare Rockwell RC (ISH, by Kannan) who was previously ridden by both Kim Emmen and Darragh Kenny. With Ikannan V G, also a descendant of the stallion Kannan, he finished in second place. Italian Marta Bottanelli came third with Vesthigo Z (Zang, Vigo d'Arsouilles x Farmer) with who she won this class on Friday.
The British rider Olivia Sponer won the CSI2* 1.35m competition in which the combinations that stayed clear in the first round went directly to the jump-off. The only 15-year-old rider went clear in the jump-off with her Oldenburg mare Crazy Girl (Corlensky G x Ars Vivendi) in 28.51 seconds.  Ibrahim Hani Bisharat came second for Jordan with Astuce du Cellier La (SF, Ogano Sitte x Quick Sar). He also stayed clear and stopped the clock at 28.71 seconds. Dutch rider Siebe Leemans came third with Kobalt (KWPN, Harley x Labor's VDL Indorado).
The 1* Grand Prix had a beautiful and exciting jump-off in which Belgium’s Lio Lamers eventually put down the fastest clear round. The 21-year-old rode the KWPN gelding Charming Edition (Namelus R x All Wins) in a super fast round with very short turns over the finish line in 38.36 seconds. This meant that she displaced Dutch rider Gert-Jan Bruggink to second place with Kasilias Eas Sho Z (Kannan x Kennedy). Lamers was very happy with her victory: "I had a good week so far with 3rd place on Friday and 2nd place on Saturday, but I did not expect to win the 1* Grand Prix as there were some fast riders in the jump-off. But I am just super happy with the victory! Both the first round and the jump-off went as planned, and Charming Edition gave me a great feeling. It's always nice to win, but to win at Tops International Arena is just incredible!" She can only speak highly of her horse: "Charming Edition, or Charly as we call him, is absolutely the king of the stable. I have had him for 5 years now. He is a really careful horse with the best character, which makes him really unique.

He is always happy to go to a show and he will do anything for his rider and is just as excited about winning as I am. You can really see that he is proud of himself when he has won a test." She was already in Valkenswaard once in 2019 but she is still impressed: "Jumping here at Tops International Arena is just amazing! It's a beautiful venue, and the facilities are perfect, especially with the warm weather."

Alexander Housen made another very good attempt. His time, 37.15 seconds, was faster with Astrid's Lad (AES, Luidam Elite x Ascendant xx) but the high pace came at the cost of a fault on the very last fence. Canada's Sara Tindale finished third with Elco van Hof ter Naillen (SBS, Elvis ter Putte x Toulon).
The American Alexis Sokolov repeated her victory of yesterday and was again the fastest in the 1.15m competition. She was twice clear with a time of 33.55 seconds in the jump-off with the mare Scarface (CZEWB, 2997 Aristo Z x 5055 Landos). Uzbek Miromon Tursunov came second with the Hanoverian gelding Conlouba. On Friday he won this class with his other horse Palladium KJV. Third place went to Britain’s Isabella Beecroft-Luckett with the KWPN mare Dahar (Quasimodo van de Molendreef x Voltaire).
The last competition for the 1* combinations was a 1.25m class against the clock. The American Angela Swanson was the fastest clear in this class. The 45-year-old rider had saddled her SBS gelding Dis Moi Tout de Clairbois (Ugano Sitte x Versace van de Ruitershoeve) and finished in 60.95 seconds. Edoardo Alain Dubois came second for Italy with Kiara, a KWPN mare by Kannan. Belgian rider Alexander Housen came third with Jamaica (KWPN, Caretino Gold x Eldorado vd Zeshoek).

In two weeks' time, the third summer event at Tops International Arena takes place with an exciting calendar of CSI4*, CSI2*, CSI1* and Young Horse classes from 29 - 31 July. Tickets can be bought online here.


 Abdel Saïd en Arpege du Ru razen rond bij Tops International Arena en winnen CSI5* 1,50 mIn de perfecte opmaat voor de Grand Prix van morgen (€300.000) waren het Abdel Saïd en Arpege du Ru die Daniel Deusser met meer dan twee seconden versloegen in de 1.50m 5* ranking proef van vandaag.

Duitsland sloot de top drie af met Christian Ahlmann en Calvino die slechts een halve seconde langzamer waren dan Deusser en Kiana van het Herdershof in 66.67s. Het was een spannende proef met 38 top combinaties, waarbij enkele van de grootste namen in de sport werden verrast door het lastige parcours van Uliano Vezzani.

Na zijn overwinning glimlachte Abdel Said: "Arpege sprong fantastisch vandaag en ik ben blij met de overwinning. De bodem hier bij Tops International Arena is briljant en het was genieten van geweldige topsport."

12 combinaties wisten foutloos te blijven in de uitgestrekte 'Wimbledon' van de springarena’s gras arena. Denis Lynch zette al vroeg de toon met de 16-jarige Rubens LS la Silla en heel wat bekende combinaties werden telkens weer door pech onderuitgehaald waaronder Lillie Keenan en Queensland E, Lorenzo de Luca en Don Vito, Marcus Ehning en Calanda en 2019 LGCT Super Grand Prix deelnemers Shane Sweetnam en Alejandro.

Jos Verlooy, die zijn fantastische vorm van dit weekend voortzette, mikte vandaag op de dubbele 5*-overwinning met FTS Killossery Konfusion en leek het tempo hoog te houden tot een miscommunicatie aan de voorlaatste hindernis hun kansen op de tweede overwinning van de dag teniet deed.

Maar het was Abdel Saïd die alles op het spel zette om het leeuwendeel van de prijzenpot van vandaag op te strijken met zijn super constante Arpege du Ru voor aanvang van de laatste dag met spannende actie bij Tops International Arena's eerste CSI5* evenement van deze zomer.

Young Horses
De top drie in de rubriek voor de jonge paarden was nagenoeg hetzelfde als gisteren, alleen de nummer twee en drie wisselden van plaats. De wedstrijd werd overtuigend gewonnen door de Ier Darragh Kenny en zijn getalenteerde Hannoveraanse merrie Serendepety (Stolzenberg x Escudo I).  De 34 jarige topruiter die zijn eigen stal, Oakland Stables, met een vestiging in Wellington (USA) en Meijel (NED) runt, bleef foutloos en was de snelste in 57.94 seconden. Gisteren werd de Nederlander Niels Kersten derde maar vandaag was zijn foutloze ronde met King’s Dream (KWPN, Carinjo x Indorado) in 60.88 goed voor een mooie tweede plaats. Hij ruilde van plaats met de Duitser Tobias Meyer met Con Sugar-H OLD ((Solitair x Check In) die nu genoegen moest nemen met de derde plaats.
Na het winnen van de rubriek voor jonge paarden nam Kenny even later ook de overwinning in de Big Tour (1.45m direct op tijd) voor zijn rekening. De Zwitser en Olympisch ruiter Beat Mändli ging al snel aan de leiding  met Chartraine Pre Noir (SF, v. Kannan) maar de Ier nam met een hele mooie ronde de leiding over en gaf die niet meer af. Kenny reed de KWPN merrie Cicomein VDL (Chacco-Blue x Jus de Pomme) foutloos in 60.64 seconden over de finish. De Oezbeek Abdurakhmon Abdullaev deed nog een goede poging om de tijd van Kenny te verbeteren, maar had iets meer dan 1,5 seconde langer nodig. Hij verwees daarmee Mändli naar een derde plaats met Go Four It B (KWPN, O’Brien x Celano).
De Belgische jonge ruiter Alexander Housen voorkwam dat het podium van de 1.40m wedstrijd (direct op tijd) uit louter Amerikaanse dames bestond. Het 20-jarige talent wist het parcours meer dan 2 seconden sneller af te leggen dan de Amerikaanse Anna Dryden, die lange tijd aan de leiding ging. Hij reed in deze proef de AES hengst Warriors Glory (Warrior x Caretino Glory). Housen heeft al een mooie lijst van overwinningen op deze jonge leeftijd waaronder een gouden team medaille bij de Europese kampioenschappen voor Junioren (2018) en Young Riders (2021). De volgende plaatsen waren allemaal voor Amerikaanse combinaties: 2. Anna Dryden met Miss Milly Manou (OS, Mylord Carthago x Alexis Z),  3. Lillie Keenan met Cadeauminka (NRPS, Kannan x Jodokus), 4. Ailish Cunniffe met Olivia SCF (BWP, Cardento x Landino) en op de vijfde plaats Lillie Keenan met haar andere paard Opium JW an de Moerhoeve TN (BWP, Kannan x Nabab de Reve).
Bas Moerings zorgde voor de enige Nederlandse overwinning. Moerings had voor deze wedstrijd waarin de foutloze combinaties hun barrage direct na hun eerste ronde reden, de KWPN merrie Kivinia gezadeld en gingen in hun barragerit in 32.06 seconden over de finishlijn. De Italiaan Edoardo Alain Dubois eindigde wederom op de tweede plaats met Iberlina (KWPN, Vittorio x N-Aldato). De Amerikaanse Anna Dryden maakte de top drie in deze proef complete met Didi (Westf, Diarado x Ehrenwort 2).
De 1.25m wedstrijd werd gewonnen door de Poolse ruiter Lukasz Brzóska en de Holsteiner hengst Dark’ann (Darcodello x Casall). In deze rubriek reden de combinaties die foutloos bleven in hun eerste ronde direct hun barragerit. De 47-jarige ruiter uit Pniewy gooide als één na laatste starter alsnog roet in het eten voor de Italiaan Edoardo Alain Dubois en zijn Kiara (KWPN, Kannan x Heartbreaker) die lange tijd aan de leiding ging. De Pool begon, vergeleken met veel andere ruiters, laat met rijden, maar dat lijkt hem niet in de weg te zitten. Op zijn 17e kreeg hij zijn eerste twee paarden. De derde plaats was voor de Duitser Rene Bauman en zijn Hannoveraanse ruin Gin Tonic (Graf Top x Satisfaction FRH).
De Amerikaanse Alexis Sokolov maakt een succesvol debut bij Tops International Arena . De 21-jarige wist het 1.15m te winnen met de merrie Scarface (CZEWB, 2997 Aristo Z x 5055 Landos). Het is voor de amazone niet alleen haar debut bij TIA maar het is ook de eerste keer dat zij in Europa deelneemt aan wedstrijden. De Oezbeek Miromon Tursunov en zijn Westfaalse hengst Palladium KJV (Lancer III x Cornet Obolensky) moest na de overwinning van gisteren vandaag een stapje terug doen en eindigde als tweede. De Zwitserse Nicole Kramer werd derde met Condessa (Hann, Contendro I x Laptop).
De laatste 1* rubriek was een direct op tijd wedstrijd (1.35m). Daarin liet Cassidy Rein zien dat de overwinning van gisteren geen toevalstreffer was. Ook vandaag was zij de beste met haar mooie merrie Escorial K (Oldenb, Chacco’s Son x Epsom Gesmeray). Ze reed wederom een snelle en keurige foutloze ronde in 59.79 seconden. De Belgische Lio Lamers werd tweede met Charming Edition (KWPN, Namelus R x All Wins) en de derde plaats was voor de Nederlander Siebe Leemans met Plopsa Blue Z (Plot Blue x Calvados Z).


Irish one-two in CSI5* 1.50 speed class as Coyle and Lynch go head to head at Tops International ArenaIn a fantastic first day of great sport at Tops International Arena, Daniel Coyle took top honours with Oak Grove's Carlyle, beating fellow Irishman Denis Lynch on Rubens LS la Silla by just 0.09 of a second.Jos Verlooy was on flying form after winning the first CSI5* class of the weekend earlier in the day and also securing third place in the fast and furious 1.50m speed class built by world-class course designer Uliano Vezzani.Some of show jumping’s brightest stars were early out of the starting blocks but the poles fell in the early rounds, demonstrating the high level of difficulty of this exciting class. Scott Brash couldn’t continue his good form from recent weeks having three fences down with Hello Shelby. Nayel Nassar followed shortly after and similarly found challenges around the course, dropping two poles for 8 faults.There were 15 clears in total from some of the biggest names in the sport including Kevin Staut, Christian Ahlmann and Darragh Kenny but no one could match the lightning-fast time of Daniel Coyle today.Riders now look ahead to tomorrow's action where all the action will be streamed on GCTV with expert commentary. Tickets for the final day of the thrilling competition are still available for just €10 via this link or can be bought at the venue on the day.The start of Summer Event II at Tops International Arena could not have been better. Visitors enjoyed the great weather, brilliant atmosphere and fun entertainment. The young horses opened the day in the beautiful grass arena and German Tobias Meyer took an early lead on the six-year-old mare Con Sugar-H OLD (Solitair x Check In). The 44-year-old from Löningen had a clear round in 38.41 seconds. None of the remaining 29 combinations could improve on hi time until top Irish rider Darragh Kenny entered the ring. Riding hi seven-year-old mare Serendepety (Hann, Stolzenberg x Escudo I) the horse flew over the obstacles at breakneck speed. They were almost 4 seconds faster than Meyer in 34.58s continuing their great form from last weekend as well. Dutch rider Niels Kersten completed the top three with King's Dream (KWPN, Carinjo x Indorado).59 combinations came to the start in the 2* Big Tour competition on Friday morning of which 23 were clear in both the first and second phase. Kristaps Neretnieks from Latvia was the fastest in the second phase with the beautiful dark stallion Ethos (Hann, Earl x Stakkato's Highlight). The 32-year-old Latvian was the first equestrian representative of Latvia to compete at an Olympic Games, this time in Tokyo last year. He was also the first Latvian to compete in a World Cup final (2013).Belgian rider Alexander Housen came second with the stallion Warrior's Glory (AES, Warrior x Caretino Glory). Dutchman Henk van de Pol finished on a nice third place with Cayenne de Clarence (SF, Baloubet du Rouet x Alfa d'Elle). Last week they won the 1.40m class on the closing Sunday.The Medium Tour (1.40m) was a battle between the Belgian Alexander Housen and the Turkish rider Ömer Karaevli. Alexander Housen was the third starter and first to go clear in a very fast time of 28.17 with Rockwell RC (ISH, Kannan). However, the time was soon bettered by Karaevli with Istinov (KWPN, Ustinov x Vegas) who stopped the clock at 28.10. At the end of the class Housen entered the ring with his second horse, the KWPN stallion Ikannan V G (Kannan), and managed to stay under 28 seconds with a nice tidy round. Ömer Karaevli also had a second horse, the 10-year-old KWPN mare Hayley (London x Balou du Rouet). A combination that had already proven that they are fast, they had already won once at the Summer Event I last weekend. Everyone held their breath and Karaevli delivered a great round and managed to win this competition in a time of 27.48 seconds.The Small Tour was won by Italy's Marta Bottanelli with Vesthigo Z (Vigo d'Arsouilles x Farmer). The 35-year-old had a clear round in both phases and stopped the clock at 27.36. Second place was also for Italy: Edoardo Alain Dubois rode the Oldenburg mare Blue Ivy (by Balou du Rouet) over the finish line in 27.48 seconds. Third place went to the American Alexa Pessoa, partner of the famous Brazilian rider Rodrigo, with La Caramba (Holst, Carambole x Caretino 2).The CSI1* combinations started with a 1.30/1.35m two phases competition which was won by Dutch rider Siebe Leemans with Plopsa Blue Z (Zang, Plot Blue x Calvados Z). Last year the 16-year-old won the individual bronze medal and a silver team medal at the European Championships for Ponies in Strzegom, Poland. The American Maisson McIntyre came second with only 0.03 difference with Billy Alps (AES, Cardento 933 x Animo). Belgian Lio Lamers finished, also with a difference of 0.03 seconds, in third place with the KWPN gelding Charming Edition (Namelus R x All Wins).A thrilling 1.20m class became a Canadian family affair. Cassidy Rein was the fastest in this competition with the 11-year-old Oldenburger mare Escorial K (Chacco's Son x Epsom Gesmeray) and defeated her mother Tara Dow-Rein. It seems to be a match made in heaven. The 18-year-old rider has only been riding this horse since June 2022 and they made their debut at the Longines Global Champions Tour in Paris where they immediately scored a victory in the 1* competition on the last day."Eric Lamaze and my parents found her for me so that I could learn how to go fast and be competitive. She will also help teach me to do this with my other horses. She’s very talented and this was very easy for her. I’m very lucky to have the opportunity to ride such a winner and a horse with so much heart!" The whole family is involved in equestrian sports."It’s very special to be able to ride with your family and have that in common. It’s something we share and also it really nice to have them all rooting for you. I usually don’t compete against them, but today I showed against my mom she was great and came right behind me in second! Today I jumped smaller than I usually do as a warm up for the bigger 1* classes and 1* Grand Prix so I felt very confident. That being said, I never like to be over confident because this sport can be very humbling, and at all times there is more to learn at every level." It is Cassidy's first time competing in Valkenswaard and she is very excited. "This is hands down an incredible place to jump. The horses love it and the atmosphere here is great. I definitely would love to come back here in the future!"Cassidy's mother came second with the KWPN mare Hokyra Fortuna (Zambesi TN x Canturano). Third place was for Ireland's Isabel O'Brien with HHS Javas Gucci (ISH, Luidam x Cruising).Lastly the 1.10m competition was won by Miromon Tursunov for Uzbekistan with the Westphalian stallion Palladium KJV (Lancer III x Cornet Obolensky). The beautiful dark bay completed a great round in 24.63 seconds. Swiss Nicole Kramer came second with Condessa (Hann, Contendro I x Laptop). Dutch rider Aniek Diks came third with Kaatje SB (KWPN, by Emir R).

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