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Brilliant victory for Belgium’s Vermeir in Selleria Equipe Small Grand Prix at Jumping Verona

Sunday, 07 November 2021
CSI5*-W Jumping Verona 2021

Photo © JV / Marco Proli Wilm Vermeir and Iq van het Steentje won the CSI5*-W 1.55m Selleria Equipe Small Grand Prix at Jumping Verona. Photo © JV / Marco Proli.


Press release from Jumping Verona



Belgium’s Wilm Vermeir gave an exhibition of jump-off riding to win Saturday night’s 1.55m Selleria Equipe Small Grand Prix at Jumping Verona 2021. First to go in the 14-horse second-round decider, and knowing that 13 more of the best riders in the world were about to come after him, he steered a superb course to clinch victory with the 13-year-old gelding Iq van het Steentje (Toulon x Kannan).

The rest tried their best, but Vermeir’s line was just too tight for them to catch him. As he said tonight, “when I was finished I thought I would be really close to winning because I had everywhere the first distance I was looking for, and I was really happy about my jump-off!”

Setting the target at clear in 34.01 seconds he had to sit back and watch his rivals pit themselves and their horses against that time. And it was Ireland’s Mark McAuley who slotted into runner-up spot when bringing the veteran Miebello (Flyinge Quite Easy x Cardento) through the finish in 34.39 while Vermeir’s compatriot, Pieter Devos, lined up in third with Kannabis van de Bucxtale (Contact van de Heffinck x Concorde), with the clock showing 34.42.

Vermeir is no attention-seeker, quietly producing some of the best horses in the sport from his base near Lummen in Belgium, but his reputation as rider is second to none and in Iq he has a horse that has given him opportunities he never had before. The 13-year-old Belgian-bred gelding belongs to his brother, Bert, so today’s win was very much a family affair.

“He jumped very good in the first round, normally he isn’t quick but he was fast already in the first round so I felt I would give it a good try and give it everything”, he said this evening. Not realising he needed to qualify for tomorrow’s Italian leg of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ series he mistakenly rode another horse in last night’s qualifying competition so he can’t compete in the feature class. “But it’s OK”, he said, “we won the Grand Prix tonight so it’s all good!”


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