Tag Archives: Maikel Van der Vleuten

Wins for AP McCoy and Maikel Van der Vleuten on Race Night at Olympia

Jockeys of a different kind stole the show on day four of Olympia, The London International Horse Show. Ten of the most renowned jockeys from the world of flat and National Hunt racing took to the Olympia Grand Hall for the Markel Champions Challenge in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund, with Sir AP McCoy’s team of ‘legends’ coming out on top.

The day kicked off with the Olympia Senior Showing Series Championships sponsored by Anthony D Evans Insurance. Jayne Harper and her 20-year-old black gelding, Crimewave II, triumphed in the ridden section and Alice Stratton and the 13-year-old Welsh Section B gelding Laithehill Pashsa won the in-hand final.

Three CSI5* Show Jumping competitions and a FEI World Cup Driving Leg provided top class international action from start to finish, with Maikel Van der Vleuten taking the pinnacle of the day’s Show Jumping, the 1.60m Longines Christmas Cracker. Meanwhile, showing his Dad how it is done, there was a win for Rocco Dettori in the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National.

Cool-headed Dutchman Maikel Van der Vleuten, who has so often set the Olympia arena alight, was victorious again, this time on the 12-year-old bay mare VDL Groep Arera C in The Longines Christmas Cracker when shaving 0.19 seconds off the time of one of the world’s best horsemen, German Olympian Marcus Ehning (Comme Il Faut).

It was an international affair with Frenchman Simon Delestre third on Teavanta ll and another Dutchman, quiet horseman Harrie Smolders fourth on Cas.

There was no home cheer until ninth place, filled by Ben Maher on Don Vito, but the London Olympic gold medallist is now lying third in the Leading Rider of Show table.

In earlier classes, Belgium’s Francois Mathy Jnr set an unbeatable target from an early draw in The Snowflake Stakes, a speed class. Riding Falco van de Clehoeve, he held off a challenge from Britain’s Cayenne Puissance winner Laura Renwick, this time riding MHS Washington.

“Because I was so early to go I was hoping for a finish in the top five, so I am happy about how it finished,” said Francois. “This is the type of class where Falco has been quite competitive. He’s a special horse with a special personality.”

Germany’s Daniel Deusser, winner of the 2014 FEI World Cup Final, triumphed in a nine-horse jump-off in The Keith Prowse Snowman Stakes on SX Hidalgo VG.

Florida-based Amanda Derbyshire was fourth and highest placed Brit on Luibanta BH. Amanda, who is trained by Nick Skelton, and used to compete Olympic champion Big Star as a youngster, admitted that her aim was to be talent-spotted for the British team.

“It’s much warmer in Florida and I did wonder whether I wanted to travel over, but then I thought maybe I’d never get another invitation!” she said. “I was really quite over-excited when I arrived but I’m a bit more relaxed now. It’s fantastic to be here at Olympia.”

A stellar team of legendary jump jockeys trounced the flat jockeys in a thrilling Markel Champions Challenge in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund.

The National Hunt jockeys, trained by Graham Fletcher and headed by the winning-most jockey of all time, Sir AP McCoy, joked that their ages added up to more than 300 years. Their best performance came from Ireland’s Charlie Swann, winner of three Champion Hurdles on Istabraq back in the 1990s, but former champions Peter Scudamore, Richard Dunwoody and John Francome, a former Junior European champion Show Jumper, showed they could still cut it.

The best performance from the flat jockeys, trained by Nick Skelton, came from captain Frankie Dettori, who said: “We gave it our best shot.”

Ijsbrand Chardon, the most experienced driver on the FEI World Cup circuit, treated the Olympia audience to a breath-taking display of rein-handling as he knocked favourite Boyd Exell into second place in the FEI World Cup Driving Leg presented by Dodson & Horrell.

First to go, Exell (AUS) set the bar high and the next four all picked up knockdown penalties. Penultimate to go, Benjamin Aillaud from France, who hasn’t competed in FEI World Cup competition for over a decade, posted a clear round, putting him second, but the Dutchman Chardon, twice a FEI World Cup champion, then took the course by storm, his horses responding to his every command. The win was his by 1.5 seconds, putting him in prime position for tomorrow’s final.

With a new mare in the lead, Chardon felt she was more settled. “Yesterday, she was a little over-awed by the atmosphere which is always so fantastic here. Today her concentration was better. Boyd had set such a standard, but today it all came together for me.”

GB’s representative, Daniel Naprous, whose day job is horsemaster to the display and stunt team The Devil’s Horsemen – recently taking the role of Darth Vader in Star Wars – put up a more assured performance, going clear until towards the end of obstacle two.

To find out more about Olympia, the London International Horse Show, visit www.olympiahorseshow.com.

For more information, please contact:
Olympia, The London International Horse Show:
Gayle Telford gayle@revolutionsports.co.uk 0203 176 0355

Maïkel Van der Vleuten Wins the Derby

Photo: PSV-Jean Morel.

This year, the riders discovered a brand new course in the Derby Region Pays de la Loire. The triple combination is no longer in front of the grandstand; the mound was to be jumped in the other way compared to previous years, just like the lake that was the second last fence.

First to go into the arena, Constant Van Paesschen (BEL) and Hamlet vd Donkhoeve did very well to start with a clear round and one time penalty point (147.29 seconds).

The German rider Janne-Friederike Meyer-Zimmermann and her mare Chloe did not have any rail down either, but scored two time penalty points (154.32).

The Dutch rider Maikel Van der Vleuten, team world champion, came into the arena with his bay VDL Groep Quatro. The pair flew over the difficulties and signed a faster time of 147.29 seconds. His performance allowed him to clinch victory and write his name on the prestigious record of the Derby Region Pays de la Loire.

Constant Van Paesschen and Hamlet vd Donkhoeve finish 2nd. Janne-Friederike Meyer and Chloe are 3rd.

The best French pair is formed by Mathieu Billot and Saphir des Chayottes. In spite of an excellent time of 135.02, a rail down on the very last fence place them in 4th place.

www.labaule-cheval.com

Véronique GAUTHIER / Agence Consulis
veronique-gauthier@club-internet.fr
mob: +33 672 770 600

Bruno OPPENHEIM / O.I.C
bruno.oppenheim@wanadoo.fr
mob: +33 614 422 795

Van der Vleuten Victorious in Thrilling Longines Leg at Olympia

The Netherlands’ Maikel van der Vleuten moved up to third place on the Western European League leaderboard when winning today’s thrilling Longines FEI World Cup Jumping 2013/2014 qualifier at Olympia, London (GBR) with VDL Groep Sapphire B.  Photo: FEI/Trevor Meeks.

Olympia, London (GBR) 21 December 2013 – Dutchman Maikel van der Vleuten followed in his father’s footsteps when winning this afternoon’s thrilling Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Western European League 2013/2014 qualifier at Olympia in London.  The hugely popular British fixture is always filled with Christmas cheer, and with host nation riders on an all-time high at the moment there were great expectations of home-side success.  But the spectators still exploded with delight when the 25-year-old from The Netherlands left the rest in his wake with a fabulous last-to-go run from VDL Groep Sapphire B in the 11-horse jump-off, to clinch maximum points and move up to third place on the league table.

Runner-up was Belgium’s Francois Mathy Jr with the mare Polinska des Isles from the Team Harmony string of FEI President, Princess Haya, while 23-year-old Daniel Neilson really put his name up in lights when best of the British contenders in third place with Varo M.  Penelope Leprevost steered Nice Stephanie into fourth for France ahead of German veteran, Lars Nieberg, in fifth with Leonie W.  And Longines No. 1 rider, Scott Brash, finished sixth ahead of fellow-Briton Michael Whitaker in a class that kept the audience on the edges of their seats right to the very end.

Maikel van der Vleuten’s father, Eric, won this same competition at Olympia four years ago riding Tomboy, so, for his son, today’s victory was all the more pleasing.  “For me it’s always been a dream to win a World Cup competition and this is my first win so I’m very happy for me and my horse.  I wasn’t here when my father won in 2009 but I saw it on television and we were so excited!” said the rider who was a member of the silver-medal-winning Dutch team at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Unerring attention

The 36-strong start-list was a star-studded affair, but course designer Bernardo Costa Cabral from Portugal presented a test that demanded unerring attention from the very best of them.  It was rapid-fire from beginning to end, with fences coming up in quick succession, and many jumped brilliantly only to kick out the planks four fences from home which proved a bit of a bogey on the day.

Key to a good round was the ability to maintain a rhythm and remain balanced while constantly changing direction, and the first clear came from the second of the German contingent, Max Kuhner, who steered the handsome 10-year-old gelding Clintop to a super-smooth tour of the 13-fence course.

The triple combination also proved influential, particularly for those a little onward-bound after the previous triple bar, while the oxer at fence nine hit the dirt on numerous occasions when the bending line and distance from the London Bus wall at eight didn’t come up right.

Replicated

Kuhner led the way against the clock, and his mistake at the penultimate vertical, formerly the first obstacle on the track, would be replicated by many others including London 2012 team gold medallist Peter Charles from Great Britain with Murka’s Odie de Frevent who was next to go.

Germany’s Lars Nieberg produced the first clear in 38.57 when fourth into the ring with Leonie W and was still out in front when Switzerland’s Beat Mandli and Louis hit the second-last and Austria’s Stefan Eder and Chilli van Dijk NRW collected eight faults.

It was Daniel Neilson who reset the target with a great round from the 11-year-old gelding Varo M. This is a young man who spent much of his teenage years in a boxing ring and who always comes out fighting.  Setting off at a cracking pace, he broke the beam in 37.19 seconds to go out in front, but his advantage was short-lived as Francois Mathy Jr and Polinska des Isles immediately squeezed him out when .07 seconds faster.

Until now the riders had all chosen to take the longer route, around the oxer at fence five which was the second fence on the new track, on the approach to the tricky penultimate vertical but Britain’s Michael Whitaker and Viking shaved full seconds off the target when jumping the previous vertical at an incredible angle.  However the top pole rolled for four faults in 35.29 leaving Mathy still out in front.

All but unbeatable

Longines No. 1 rider, Britain’s Scott Brash, has been all but unbeatable of late, but, third-last to go, he had to settle for a minor placing this time out when Ursula Xll hit the vertical second-last.  And although Penelope Leprevost and her lovely nine-year-old mare Nice Stephanie left the fences intact, the French pair’s chance to overtake the leader was hampered by a slip in front of the vertical three fences from the end of the course. Their time of 37.39 seconds would still be good enough for fourth place in the final analysis however.

Now only van der Vleuten stood between Mathy and those valuable maximum points, and the Dutchman didn’t crumble under pressure.  He has a long-established relationship with his 14-year-old grey mare who has her own unique style of jumping, and they looked comfortably confident as they set off together on a really determined run which brought them through the timers in 37.07 seconds – just .05 seconds quicker than the Belgian.

The winning rider punched the air with delight when he registered his result.  He described Sapphire B as “a naturally fast horse; you never have to overdo things with her; you never ride on a waiting distance; it’s always forward.  She tries every time to jump the fences clear!” he said with a big smile.

Sapphire B was competed by a friend until the horse was seven years old.  “She has always been careful and has a very good mind; just the scope didn’t look that good when she was six or seven.  Then she came to me and I started slowly in 1.35m and 1.40m classes and she kept developing the right way.  She has developed into a super horse,” van der Vleuten said.

Consistent performer

Runner-up, Francois Mathy Jr, was delighted with Princess Haya’s 10-year-old mare who has been a consistent performer this year.  “She jumped amazing and I’m really happy!” We’ve had a super season, going really well all year in Nations Cups and Grand Prix classes and showing good form in the World Cups.  I went to the US to do some there as well” explained the man who picked up qualifying points at both Lexington, USA and Toronto, Canada last month.  Today’s result has moved him into seventh spot in the Western European League and he now has the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final at Lyon, France next April in his sights. “I’ve never been to a World Cup Final and my short-term goal is to get to Lyon” he said today.  Less than ten points more will see him comfortably through, so he plans to compete at the next leg in Mechelen, Belgium on 30 December.  “I was second there last year, and I will give her (Polinska des Isles) some time off later in January,” he explained.

Third-placed Neilson was a real crowd-pleaser today and looks like a young man set for major stardom.  The son of a potash miner, he played semi-professional football in Scotland and boxed for his county before opting to devote the majority of his time to horses. “I have a good team of new horses now at my new base and I said at the start of the year that I was hoping to qualify to jump here (at Olympia). I always made a plan to aim the horse at this class for the week but I try not to have too many expectations.  I had a good feeling when I walked the course – fingers crossed and hoped for the best and he jumped super!” Neilson said.

FEI Jumping Director, John Roche, described the Olympia fixture as “one of the crown jewels in the Longines FEI World Cup series.”

Maikel van der Vleuten’s delightful grey mare, VDL Groep Sapphire B, is also something of a jewel. And today she really sparkled.

For more information on the fifth leg of the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Western European League 2013/2014 series at Stuttgart, Germany, visit www.olympiahorseshow.com or contact Press Officer Jo Peck, Email JoPeck@hpower.co.uk, Tel +44 1753 847 900.

The next leg will take place at Mechelen, Belgium on Monday 30 December. For all information on the Belgian fixture, go to www.jumping-mechelen.com or contact Press Officer Edith de Reys, Email edith.dereys@skynet.be Tel +32 475 659 281.

Full result here.

Full standings here.

Facts and Figures:

36 horse-and-rider combinations started in today’s fifth leg of the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping 2013/2014 Western European League series.

Today’s winning rider, 25-year-old Maikel van der Vleuten from The Netherlands, was following in the footsteps of his father, Eric van der Vleuten, who won the FEI World Cup Jumping qualifier at Olympia, London in 2009 riding Tomboy.

Course designer today was Portugal’s Bernardo Costa Cabral.

Competitors from 15 nations – Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, USA.

5 of the top six horses were mares.

Runner-up, Belgium’s Francois Mathy Jr, competed the 10-year-old mare Polinska des Isles which is part of the FEI President, Princess Haya’s, Team Harmony string.

Top British finisher was 23-year-old Daniel Neilson with Varo M who slotted into third place.

11 qualified for the second-round jump-off against the clock.

5 horse-and-rider combinations jumped double-clear.

Longines No. 1 rider, Great Britain’s Scott Brash, now heads the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping 2013/2014 Western European League table after finishing sixth in today’s qualifying round.

Brash has overtaken Olympic champion Steve Guerdat from Switzerland ahead of the next leg which will take place in Mechelen, Belgium on Monday 30 December 2013.

Quotes:

Winning rider Maikel van der Vleuten (NED), talking about the jump-off: “It was all a bit of a rush. There was only three minutes break before it started and I was second-last to go in the first round!  I thought about doing the same turn as Michael Whitaker did, but then didn’t take the risk.  I’m very proud of this (win)!”

Maikel van der Vleuten: “I won’t go to Mechelen; I will give the horses a three or four week rest and then start again in Basel.”

Daniel Neilson GBR talking about the experience of competing today: “It was unbelievable; there’s no better! Olympia – there’s not a crowd like it; when you come into the arena and they’re all cheering it makes the hairs on your neck stand up!  Great Britain has world number 1 and 2 (Scott Brash and Ben Maher) and it’s great for young riders like myself to see them. It makes you want to achieve what they’re doing!”

FEI Jumping Director, John Roche – “Congratulations to the top three… and to Simon Brooks-Ward and his team, and a special word of thanks from the FEI to H&M, and of course to Longines, without whom all this would not have been possible.”

Bernardo Costa Cabral, course designer – “I’m quite pleased with that course; every horse could cope with it. It’s all about details, a little short, little wide, faults were spread all over the course. I aimed for 10 clears and I got 11, it was amazing. The time wasn’t too long, that keeps a little pressure on the riders to keep pushing on the turn to the last line, and that’s why the planks went down. It’s always great for us when the last one in wins!”

Audio Links:

Daniel Neilson GB 3rd
http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/Neilson.MP3

Francois Mathy Jr Belgium 2nd
http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/Mathy.MP3

Maikel Van Der Vleuten, Winner Dutch audio
http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/VDL_dutch.MP3

Maikel Van Der Vleuten Winner English Audio
http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/VDL.MP3

FEI TV: don’t miss a hoofbeat – www.feitv.org.

Longines Live Timing Jumping application: available free for download from The App Store (iPhone) & Android Markets. Combining precision and performance, this is a detailed and exclusive application designed especially for Jumping fans – follow live results, see latest Longines Rankings, view competition schedules, obtain exclusive information and alerts on your favorite riders and get all the latest FEI news.

Rider biographies: view online and download from http://fei.org/fei/your-role/media/biographies.

Longines has been based at Saint-Imier (SUI) since 1832. Its watchmaking expertise reflects a strong devotion to tradition, elegance and performance. It has generations of experience as the official timekeeper at world championships and as a partner of international sports federations.

Longines’ passion for equestrian sports began in 1878, when it produced a chronograph engraved with a jockey and its mount. Over the years, the brand has built strong and long-lasting links with equestrian sports. In 1912, Longines was proud to partner with its first Jumping event, the Grande Concurso Hippico Internacional, in Portugal.

Today, Longines’ involvement in equestrianism includes Jumping, Endurance and flat racing.

Longines is a member of The Swatch Group S.A., the world’s leading manufacturer of horological products. With an excellent reputation for creating refined timepieces, the brand, whose emblem is the winged hourglass, has outlets in over 130 countries.

By Louise Parkes

Media Contacts:

At Olympia, London:

Jo Peck
Email: JoPeck@hpower.co.uk
Tel: +44 1753 847 900

At FEI:

Grania Willis
Director Media Relations
Grania.willis@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 42

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
ruth.grundy@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 45

Malina Gueorguiev
Manager Media Relations
Email: malina.gueorguiev@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 133

At Longines:

Longines International Public Relations
publicrelations@longines.com

Maikel Pulls Off a Gem of a Win at Olympia

Olympia, London 21 December 2013 – Maikel Van der Vleuten made history at Olympia, The London International Horse Show when he matched his father Eric’s achievement in 2009 by winning the Longines FEI World Cup qualifier presented by H & M.

The packed house was treated to a thrilling 11-horse jump-off which built to the dream finish – the very last rider into the arena pulling off victory. Riding VDL Groep Sapphire B for The Netherlands, Maikel beat Belgium’s Francois Mathy Jr on Polinska des Isles by the tiny margin of 5/100th of a second.

Britain’s Daniel Neilson, riding in Olympia’s international classes for the first time, produced an inspired performance on Varo M to take third place.

Penelope Leprevost (FRA) on Nice Stephanie and Lars Nieberg (GER) on Leonie W also produced double clears to finish fourth and fifth.

Scott Brash (Hello Ursula Xll, sixth), Michael Whitaker (Viking, seventh) and Peter Charles (Murka’s Odie de Frevent, 10th) kept home hopes alive by making it into the jump-off but they all faulted.

An enthralled audience had their hearts in their mouths as Michael made an audacious switch-back turn to the fifth fence, a move which gave him the fastest time of all, but the gallant Viking unfortunately hit the upright black-and-white Longines FEI World Cup fence.

It was a first Longines FEI World Cup win for Maikel, the fifth Dutch winner since 1979, and he and Eric are the first father-son combination to win this class at Olympia, described by the FEI’s World Cup Director John Roche as “one of the jewels in our crown”.

“It’s a super atmosphere here, a beautiful place to win,” he said afterwards. “Everything happened very fast in the class and I relied on my Dutch colleagues to tell me what to do in the jump-off.”

Of his 14-year-old grey mare by Mr Blue, he commented: “She is always brave yet careful. She keeps developing in the right way and she always wants to do a clear round.”

Daniel Neilson, 23, is one of Britain’s brightest young prospects and is now running his own business in Brentwood, Essex. “Riding at Olympia is something you aim for at the start of your year,” he said. “There isn’t a crowd like it anywhere else in the world.

“British show jumping is on a high and it’s great for young riders like myself as it makes you push forward. I had a good feeling when I walked the course here, as my horse is naturally fast and also very careful. I have saved him especially for it.”

Portuguese course-designer Bernardo Costa Cabral pronounced himself a happy man. “I am very pleased,” he said. “It was all about detail, and there was pressure on riders to make the time on that final turn which is why the planks [fence 11] was so influential.”

The Longines FEI World Cup series moves on to Mechelen (BEL) with Britain’s Scott Brash still heading the Western League rankings and Maikel Van der Vleuten now in third place at this halfway mark.
Audio Links

Please find a copyright free audio link with:

Maikel Van der Vleuten (NED) – http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/VDL.MP3

and in Dutch – http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/VDL_dutch.MP3

Final Placings

For details of the final placings in the Longines FEI World Cup Qualifier, please click: http://eventcontent.hippoonline.de/857/docs/WC_J_London.pdf.

For more information, please visit the website at www.olympiahorseshow.com.

Olympia, The London International Horse Show

Throughout the week of 16 December, the Olympia Exhibition Hall, located in West Kensington, London will play host to packed timetable of all things equestrian and boasts a total of over 80,000 visitors. The show mixes top class equestrian action including FEI World Cup Jumping, Dressage and Extreme Carriage Driving with family entertainment, such as The Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art display and the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National which raises money for Great Ormond Street Hospital. Olympia Horse Show celebrated its 100th Anniversary in 2007 and is regarded as one of Europe’s oldest equine competitions. Olympia Horse Show’s official charity for 2013 is veterinary charity, the Animal Health Trust, which works behind the scenes to monitor equine disease around the world and undertakes extensive on-going research to minimise the risk of injury to sport horses. The evening performance on Wednesday 18 December will be dedicated to the Animal Health Trust and 50p from every seat sold will go to the charity.

For more information, please contact Hannah Grissell, Revolution Sports + Entertainment
Email: hannah@revolutionsports.co.uk
Tel: +44 (0) 207 592 1207