Julien Epaillard won at Longines Tops International Arena

Julien Epaillard Tops International Arena

World number two turns back in winner’s circle

Fresh from his win last week in the €1.5million Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Monaco, Julien Epaillard is back on top spot with Dubai du Cedre at the Longines Tops International Arena. Winning the biggest class on the second day of the Summer Festival, Epaillard beat Dutchman Johnny Pals on Curiano van Maarle Z by nearly 3 seconds in the CSI4* 1.50m speed class.

The Longines Tops International Arena Summer Festival continued to captivate equestrian enthusiasts and families alike on its second day, offering a thrilling combination of world-class competition, vibrant entertainment, and an array of family-friendly activities. The festival showcased an abundance of entertainment options, including live music performances, engaging kids’ activities, and a perfect setting for a memorable family day out.

Italian rider Lorenzo de Luca demonstrated his exceptional speed aboard Don Vito, securing a commendable third-place finish. Jack Ryan’s flawless execution and expert navigation around the course earnt him fourth-place on BBS Mcgregor. With only 6 clear rounds in the field Janne Friederike Meyer-Zimmermann rounded off the top 5 with Cornela and local hero Kevin Jochems was the slowest clear round of the day on Christianus.

Although yesterday’s winning combination Denis Lynch and Hunter were faster than Epaillard an unlucky rail kept them down the order. World number one Henrik von Eckermann looked on track to leapfrog into the lead on Glamour Girl but one down meant he handed the win to Epaillard who sit’s just behind him on the world rankings.

As the sun began to set, the festivities continued with an enchanting atmosphere created by beautifully illuminated surroundings. The magical ambiance set the stage for an unforgettable evening, with special performances and entertainment for all to enjoy.

“The Longines Tops International Arena Summer Festival is committed to delivering an extraordinary experience for our attendees,” emphasized Event Director, Ellis Van Himbergen. “We aim to create a harmonious blend of world-class equestrian sport, thrilling entertainment, and an inviting atmosphere that makes it a truly special occasion for families. We invite everyone to join us in this celebration of sport, music, and family fun to create lasting memories.”
CSI2*: Dutch success in Grand Prix qualification

The second day of Summer Event I was opened by the 2* riders with a competition against the clock with obstacles up to 1.40m. Olympic and world champion Rodrigo Pessoa took the lead early on and did not relinquish it. The Brazilian, who runs a stable with his wife Alexa Weeks in North Salem, NY, USA, had a super fast time with his beautiful grey mare Chili: 65.34 seconds. 16-year-old American Sterling Malnik managed to come closest to Pessoa’s time. She rode a clear round in 67.72 seconds with the 12-year-old KWPN gelding Galliano VM. Ireland’s top rider Denis Lynch, who won the 4* speed class yesterday, was third with the nine-year-old SF gelding Mr Boombastic. Best Dutchman was Piet Raijmakers Jr, who finished in fourth place with Jaloubet.

On Saturday afternoon, riders competed for a place in tomorrow afternoon’s Grand Prix in a competition against the clock. As many as 62 riders came into the ring but in the end it was Dutch rider Sanne Thijssen who took victory with her mare Clarima 6. The 12-year-old Holsteiner went just a little faster, 59.01 seconds, than Van Schijndel’s Olaya Z, relegating Piet Raijmakers Jr to second place. The rider from Asten, near Valkenswaard, set a time of 60.21 seconds with the 11-year-old Zangersheide mare. Third place went to Britain’s Robert Murphy with Imbeer.

The final class for the 2* combinations was a competition (1.35m) where riders rode their jump-off immediately after their clear round. Of the 33, 19 managed to stay clear and of these, 14 remained without faults in the jump-off. The fastest ride was delivered by Brit Joseph Clayton with Kingsborough Kasper who was very successful in Young Horse competitions as a seven-year-old. Clayton, who runs Clayton Stables in Brentwood, England, steered the 10-year-old stallion over the finish line in 33.63 seconds. Dutchman Niels Kersten was second with Jewel followed by Mexican Enrique Gonzalez with H5 Hard to Get..

Young Horses

Yesterday Sanne Thijssen had to settle for third and fourth place, but today she was the fastest of all and no one could match her time. She rode a beautiful and smooth round with her seven-year-old Westphalian mare Chiara VDH. She was over 4.5 seconds faster, with a time of 63.22 seconds, than second-placed Frenchman Romain Potin, who also came second in this class yesterday with Quinta Zwartepannenhof. Potin achieved this result with his other seven-year-old, the BWP mare Quinta D. They stopped the clock at 67.70 seconds. Dutchman Harrie Wiering came third with his Oldenburg stallion Dutch Breitling. They crossed the finish line in 68.16 seconds.

The class for five-year-olds was won by Sweden’s Sofia Westborg and her mare Agalove AB Z. This mare has already achieved many good placings this year with Westborg, including in Lummen, Opglabbeek and Kronenberg. Dutchman Tom Schellekens came second with the AES mare Nala van de Zietfort. Poland’s Monika Dulczewska came third with Impala du Lozon.


Romain Potin is in good form and feels at home in Valkenswaard. The rider from northern France seems almost unbeatable and this morning he managed to win another class. In this competition with obstacles up to 1.25m and where riders rode their jump-off immediately after their clear round, he was again the fastest of the field of 31 combinations. And just like yesterday, he won with the 12-year-old SF mare Brooklynn. In their jump-off ride, they crossed the finish line in 35.16 seconds. A great result confirming this duo’s good form. Second place went to Britain’s Elizabeth Baker with, who won team bronze at the 2022 European Young Riders Championships. The 21-year-old rider rode Motief across the finish line in 36.23 seconds. Like yesterday, French former dressage rider Julie Kristoffersen came third with Diago de la Dhuys.

Youth has the future and this class proved that once again. The 16-year-old Campbell Brown repeated her victory of yesterday in the competition against the clock with obstacles up to 1.15m high. A great result for this young rider who controlled her horse Javenia through the course in a fast time of 60.92 seconds. Dutch rider Daniel Schepers came second with Arequipa van de Wolfsakker. The only 14-year-old Daniel crossed the finish line in 63.41 seconds. Third place went to 15-year-old Romy Orfait. The French rider finished in 65.61 seconds with her 12-year-old SF mare Byzance de Menge.

The main class of the CSI1* was a competition against the clock (1.35m) and was won by Faleh Suwead Al Ajami (QAT) with the 15-year-old SWB mare Steyburn. The Qatari who recently celebrated his 37th birthday has already achieved many successes including two silver medals (individual and with the team) at the 2017 Asian Games. In 2006, he represented Qatar at the Asian Games as an endurance rider. A versatile man. Dutchman Roel Holthuizen came second with Captain Cash 2. They stopped the clock at 64.51 seconds. Richard Gardner from New Zealand was third with Ippolito.


Press release Longines Tops International Arena | Photo Longines Tops International Arena

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