The Longines Global Future Champions comes to spectacular close after incredible day of top sport

Harrie Smolders su Darry Lou nel CSI2* Grand Prix 1.45m alla Longines Tops International Arena di Valkenswaard

With the bustling entertainment village not quietened by the rain, a fun filled day was had by all.

The Longines Global Future Champions Entertainment Schedule did not disappoint – with something on offer for the whole family including live music, children’s face painting to balloon artists, and DJ’s!

As the Summer Festival at the Longines Tops International Arena draws to a close, all eyes now look ahead to the Longines Global Champions Tour in just two weeks’ time, followed by the WFBSH Studbooks Jumping Global Champions Trophy, and Stal Tops Auction from 28 September – 1 October.

Young Riders

The Young Rider 1.50m Grand Prix did not disappoint, with an all-star lineup of emerging talents, top sport and intense rival took to the arena at the Longines Tops International Arena.

A tough track was set for the 17-strong lineup, with two riders qualifying for the Jump Off. Young-gun Aaron Tijskens [BEL] and Hurricaine went head-to-head with Emma Bocken and Kadessa Z, with Tijskens ultimately taking top spot after Bocken and Kadessa Z collected a couple of unfortunate rails.

Britt Schaper and Guidam Sohn the Second Z took third position after an unlucky rail in round one, with the international lineup rounded out by Ida Selin and Indian Gold. So it was Aaron Tijskens who collected the Longines watch proving to be one to watch for the future!


Sunday is Grand Prix day at Longines Tops International Arena and the 2* Grand Prix was first on the program. Of the 32 starters, eight remained clear and qualified for the jump-off. That jump-off proved a difficult task with the first seven unable to stay clear. Portuguese Rodrigo Giesteira Almeida, who was already very successful this weekend, also failed to cross the finish line without any faults. Kristina Klebanova looked to be the first clear with Ironie des Pres Sauvages, but things went wrong at the last obstacle. Britain’s Tabitha Kyle managed to set the fastest time with Desterly but at the cost of 8 penalty points. Then everything was in the hands of the last starter, Harrie Smolders, the world number 3. All he had to do was stay clear within the time allowed. And he did exactly that and with that, he took victory in this Grand Prix. He rode a super round with Darry Lou in 45.06 seconds. Darry Lou has been under Smolders’ saddle since February 2022. She was previously ridden by top riders such as Nayel Nassar, Jennifer Gates and Beezie Madden. Second place was ultimately for Rodrigo Giesteira Almeida and Pegasus Dawsons Flex followed by Dutch Britt Schaper and In The Air.

The 1.30m class was convincingly won by Rodrigo Giestiera Almeida and his beautiful eight-year-old grey mare Karonia L with whom he managed to win the same competition yesterday. As the sixth starter, he crossed the finish line in 57.14 seconds and this time proved to be the winning one. Mexican Ernesto Canseco managed to come closest to that time. He stopped the clock at 59.32 seconds with the Oldenburg mare Bel-Mia SP. Third place also went to Giesteira Almeida with Epure de B’Neville with whom he also managed to win a competition on Friday.

The jump-off of the 1.20m class had seven combinations and Marie Eder Ferrero was the fastest in it. The 15-year-old Ferrero, who competes for Monaco, crossed the finish line with Monseigneur in 32.50 seconds. A great result for this young talented rider. Dutch rider Madée Schuttenbeld finished in second place with Piccolo R followed by Teddy van de Rijt (NED) and Karone in third place.


In the Grand Prix for Juniors, 48 combinations competed, of which 10 stayed clear in the first round. Among them were 4 Belgian, 2 German, 2 Italian and 2 British riders. Germany’s Lisa Maria Funke was the first to stay clear and set a fast time of 41.31 seconds. She and her beautiful black Holstein stallion Limbarto had a good pace and the powerful Limbarto jumped the fences easily. There was now a time set and it was up to the following combinations to improve it. That proved impossible although Britain’s Olivia Banks came close. She stopped the clock in 41.66 seconds with Geodina HS to finish in second place. Italian Lorenzo Privitera was third with Mr Uno-K van ‘t Kattenheye with a clear round in 44.40 seconds. His compatriot Eleonora Sanna did not take too much risk and stayed clear in 45.73 seconds with Incanto VDL . It earned her fourth place and, judging by her reaction after her ride, she was extremely happy with that.


The Belgian competitors had the upper hand today in the Childrens Grand Prix. Of the nine who qualified, five combinations had Belgian nationality. The chances of victory going to the southern neighbours were fairly high. And so it did, the first five places were even taken by riders from Belgium. The saying ‘the last will be the first’ certainly applied at this Grand Prix. Chloé Hoste came last in the arena and went over the obstacles at a fast pace. She stopped the clock at 37.22 seconds with the SF mare Valeriane de Moyon. She thus relegated her compatriot Robin Vermeir to second place. The 12-year-old Vermeir crossed the finish line in 37.50 seconds with Copacabana of the Paddocks Z. Ella Bomeré came third with Iwatch van ‘t Ameldonk Z. In fourth and fifth place were Estelle van Tricht and Chanel de Roeck, respectively. Best Dutch rider was River Morssinkhof with Checkpoint Chacco in sixth place.
The 1.20m class against the clock was won by Belgium’s Estelle van Tricht, who had previously achieved a good fourth place in the Grand Prix. Van Tricht rode Ferra van den Bisschop across the finish line in 54.20 seconds. Her compatriot Chloé Hoste, winner of the Grand Prix, was now second with Perigrosso in a time of 60.07 seconds. Third place went to Dutch rider Lois Wilschut with Cosmo H.


In the pony Grand Prix, there was fierce competition for victory. Out of 18 combinations, five remained clear in the first round and thus qualified for the jump-off. First to gallop into the beautiful sand arena of Longines Tops International Arena was Italian Carolina Fenocchio with Bout’Chou de la Lande and she managed to stay clear. The target time was 44.68 seconds for the competitors who came after her. One of the favourites for victory, the reigning European champion Clémentine Lux, had some unlucky faults and lost her way in the course for a while, leaving her in fifth place. Britain’s Ruby Barrs got off to a fast start with her spirited pony Faith, but her hopes of victory went up in smoke when the pole fell at the last obstacle. Another favourite, Tabitha Kyle flew through the course with her super jumping pony Atomic du Bary and managed to stay clear. They dipped more than 5 seconds under Fenocchio’s time to take the lead. Dutch rider Noa Fransen made another very good attempt with Pjotr van de Groenheuvel but fell just a bit short of speed, finishing second behind Kyle.
The 1.15m class against the clock was won by Britain’s Tabitha Kyle with Gangnam Style II. They were convincingly the fastest, riding a clear round in 54.61 seconds. Dutch Renske van Middendorp was second with Dollar Boy II with a time of 57.27 seconds. Third place went to Sweden’s Emelie Kjellberg and Tiernisks Cruising Clover. They crossed the finish line in 57.34 seconds.
The 1.10m class was won by Britain’s Lauren Wilkins with her pony Robe Ruadh. She rode a nice and fast round in a time of 54.27 seconds. Second place was for Lauren’s compatriot Ruby Payne and Calimero who realised a time of 56.32 seconds. Germany’s Laura Hertz-Eichenrode finished in third place with Linda with a time of 63.42 seconds.

Press release Longines Tops International Arena | Photo Stefano Grasso (c)

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