Maikel van der Vleuten Sizzles in LGCT of London Final Salute in Champagne Piaff Trophy
Continuing his epic form Maikel van der Vleuten closed the Longines Global Champions Tour of London in style denying the crowd of a home win as he piloted the lightning-fast homebred Elwikke to victory and winning the Champagne Piaff Trophy on an edge-of-the-seat gallop to the last.
Escorted by the scarlet-coated Chelsea Pensioners, van der Vleuten stood proudly in front of the Royal Hospital Chelsea for the prize giving, taking the win ahead of young talent Lily Attwood with her LGCT Grand Prix of Paris silver medallist ride Cor-Leon v. Vlierbeek Z. Young talent Zoe Conter completed the podium with Dawa de Greenbay Z as the fasted four faults.
Maikel smiled: “It’s always a beautiful show to go, beautiful location, we saw some great sport and it was a good atmosphere every day so I think everybody has enjoyed the show.“ It was a weekend full of family fun as celebrities and VIPs from Sarah Cox, Made In Chelsea star Ollie Locke-Locke and England Rugby star Courtney Law enjoyed the exceptional hospitality while the kid’s village and ponies rides were busy throughout in the Summer sun.
It was a 5 rider jump-off after some of the biggest names in the sport were caught out by today testing 1.55m track. Maikel contemplated the course designer: “That’s the strong part of our course designer Uliano Vezzani, it was a very delicate class again. Towards the end of the class, there were a few riders clear so we had a good jump off but it was a tricky class again today.“
As the final day in London came to a close the tour now heads to its spiritual home in Valkenswaard at Tops International Arena. Local hero Miakel van der Vlueten will be competing and he explained: “I am looking forward to next weekend, it is a fantastic place and we are all looking forward to some great sport.“
It took a long time to come but the first clear round was produced by former world number one Daniel Deusser and the stunning grey Jasmien vd Bisschop. They risked it all in the jump-off as first to go with nothing to lose but the Longines oxer fell and the pair were out of contention for a win straight away.
Next up young gun Zoe Conter had been told by Eric Lamaze all the inside turns and strides to take out. She conducted her route effortlessly with Dawa de Greenbay Z to finish in a lightning-fast time in 39.91s but with one down meant she had to settle for third place overall.
The first clear round came from the eventual winner, Maikel van der Vleuten and superstar Elwikke who claimed the lion’s share of the prize purse for today’s 1.55m jump-off.
British hopes were in the hands of Lily Attwood and her on form Cor-Leon v. Vlierbeek Z they set off all guns blazing and looked on track to overtake the dutchman. Posting the only other double clear of the day Attwood finished less than half a second slower than Maikel leaving just Harry Charles left to go. The young brit had a standing ovation from the VIP Hospitality as the tension rose but it wasn’t to be today as Charles and Borsato finished with 8 faults to the round off the top 5 and close an epic show jumping showdown in London.
The next stop for the Championship race is Valkenswaard from 26 – 28 August.
Photo and Press Releease Longines Global Champions Tour / GCL (c)