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Sapphire shines for Maikel van der Vleuten in Maastricht’s Longines Trophy

Sunday, 01 December 2013

Another great win for Maikel van der Vleuten who took home the Longines Trophy in Maastricht on Sapphire. Photo provided by Jumping Indoor Maastricht.The feature class at Jumping Indoor Maastricht went to the hosts’ own Maikel van der Vleuten and Sapphire (Mr. Blue x Grand Veneur). An armada of Dutch riders dominated the Grand Prix – and among the top six only one foreign rider managed to squeeze in; namely Simon Delestre on Napoli du Ry (Baloubet du Rouet x Silvio I) who ended second. Eleven out of the forty competitors made it to the jump-off after riding clear rounds, and for the rest it was mostly the gate at four, the triple combination at 5abc – or the final combination that caused problems in Louis Konickx track.

After three riders had jumped the shortened track against the clock, it quickly became clear that the home riders meant buisness as Jur Vrieling took the lead with a nice, quick and clear round on the lovely Zirocco Blue VDL (Mr. Blue x Voltaire). He was quickly overtaken by Willem Greve on the stunning stallion Carambole (Cassini I x Concerto II)  - and the same happened to Willem as Jeroen Dubbeldam was next in on Utascha SFN (Lux x Indoctro).

One rider later it was time for Maikel van der Vleuten and his 14 year old white mare to enter the beautiful ring in Maastricht. Making a very spectacular turn following the penultimate oxer to the last vertical, Maikel took the lead at 36.66 seconds and stayed there. “Beforehand I had discussed the turn to the right after the oxer with my father, but when I came into the arena it almost seemed too short. Fortune was on my side and everything fitted like a glove,” Maikel commented afterwards.

Simon Delestre tried to catch Maikel as next to go, but was over a second behind when he crossed the finish line. “I hadn’t seen Maikel’s jump-off, and even if I had, I still think I wouldn’t have tried it. I’m very happy with my second place, because it has only been 1,5 month that Napoli is back on this level after his injury,” Delestre said.

Last to go in the jump-off – Gert Jan Bruggink – finished third with Primeval Dejavu after a clear round that was almost one second slower than that of Simon. “I had discussed the turn with Rob Ehrens [red. Dutch Chef d’Equipe] and decided not to do it, because I didn’t think it was possible for my horse. But from this week on I will start practising it at home!”

The organisation looks back on a succesful return of the event on the international calendar and is already looking ahead to 2014. With almost 19.000 visitors, it is clear that also the visitors have found their way back to Maastricht.

Click here for full results.

Source: Press release from Jumping Indoor Maastricht

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