World of Showjumping
World of ShowjumpingWorld of Showjumping

Young star Michael Pender stuns with first 5* Grand Prix win at Longines Global Champions Tour of Valkenswaard

Sunday, 28 August 2022
CSI5* LGCT Valkenswaard 2022

Photo © Longines Global Champions Tour Michael Pender and HHS Calais, winners of the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Valkenswaard. Photo © Longines Global Champions Tour.


Edited press release from Longines Global Champions Tour



In a thrilling afternoon of elite-level showjumping, Michael Pender of Ireland secured the top podium position in the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Valkenswaard aboard HHS Calais (Cavalier Royale x Obos Quality 004). The 22-year-old pulled off an extraordinary win against phenomenal odds and claimed it as ‘A dream come true.’

The local crowd were on their feet cheering during his lap of honour at Tops International Arena as he sealed a place in the GC Playoffs in Prague which left the Irishman speechless. It was to be one of the most entertaining jump-offs of the turbo-charged season with nine top combinations in it at a pivotal stage in the championship series, so the atmosphere was tense and the challenge was immense.

The third youngest LGCT Grand Prix winner Michael Pender explained: "It’s my first 5* Grand Prix win so I am absolutely over the moon. My horse has been so close, so many times, so he definitely deserves it - he loves these big grass arenas and the footing here at Tops International Arena is incredible."

German favourite Philipp Weishaupt had to settle for second place, aboard his spectacular Coby (Contagio x Escudo 1), while the podium and the only other double clear of the class was rounded off by Bliss Heers of the United States of America and Antidote de Mars (Diamant de Semilly x Jarnac).

A gutted Phillipp explained: “I have probably the fastest horse, but I wasn’t the fastest rider today. I am super happy for Michael Pender, he deserved it – unbelievable rider, he was fighting like a lion today with a slip and still clearing the second last jump.”

A speechless Bliss said: "Pretty surreal actually, unbelievable experience just be able to come to Valkenswaard and to be able to jump in the LGCT, and to be able to compete against the top in the world, and then to be on the podium is amazing – very unbelievable."

Christian Ahlmann has managed to extend his lead in the LGCT season championship with 236 points while Pieter Devos jumped up to second on 198 points. Ben Maher has dropped to third on 195 points and two-time LGCT champion Edwina Tops-Alexander slided into fourth with 183.5 points. 

With the 12th starter for the Super Grand Prix in Prague, the Czech capital, now confirmed in Michael Pender, all eyes will look forward to the remaining three opportunities to qualify for the much-anticipated face-off. 

The Longines Global Champions Tour race moves to Rome, Italy into the spectacular Circus Maximus for the thirteenth leg of the ever-exciting season in 2022 next week. 

This photo has been added to your cart !

Your shopping cart »
This website is using cookies for statistics, site optimization and retargeting purposes. You consent to our cookies if you continue to use this website. Read more here.