Valkenswaard, The Netherlands – July 31, 2022 – Besides the four–star grand prix, the closing day of thrilling action on Super Sunday also featured €26,200 Grand Prix of Valkenswaard CSI 2* at Tops International ArenaIt was an incredibly exciting jump-off in the 2* Grand Prix where all the riders risked everything.
The challenging but fair course made use of the entire grass arena and required a lot of galloping power and speed. The first round saw 55 combinations of which 16 qualified for the jump-off. The battle for victory was fierce. Nicolas Pizarro (MEX) had the difficult task of starting first. He stayed clear with Oak Grove’s Enkidu (SF, Ensor VDH Pleville x Quidam de Revel) in a great time of 40.01 seconds.
But that was not enough when the Irishman Jeremy Sweetnam (IRL) took over the lead with Brown Star Z (Big Star Jr KZ x Numero Uno). He stopped the clock at 39.75. Belgian rider Alexander Housen is having a very successful season so far at Tops International Arena and expectations were high. Housen set a high pace and took all the risks. With that, he took over the lead from Sweetnam.
Alexander Housen (BEL) and the Irish Sport Horse mare Rockwell RC (by Kannan) crossed the finish line in 39.66 seconds. His hopes of victory were dashed when Karina Johannpeter (BRA) put in an amazing ride that brought the time even closer. The 38-year-old Brazilian rode a controlled and super fast round of 39.04 seconds with the La Silla stallion Lucero LS La Silla (Tlaloc M x Accord II). The six combinations that came after her could not change a thing.
“I am very happy with this victory. Lucero is now 17 years old and I have been riding this stallion for 10 years. I am planning to retire him. I am very happy that he can retire in such good shape. He feels good and he could go on a bit longer, but I want to show my respect and gratitude in this way.”
Winner’s Circle – Karina Johannpeter (BRA)
Karina was already very happy with her clear first round:
“I almost had to cry for joy because he had jumped so well. A fortnight ago we had a fault on the last jump, so I decided to try again this weekend because I think he deserves to say goodbye with a clear round. When Karina saw that 16 were starting in the jump-off, she did not know what to do, so she asked her groom, “should I go for the victory or should I just ride a beautiful jump-off? I then decided to wait and see how he would feel, that’s important to me. And he felt good and then I decided to go for it. It was very emotional because I wanted him to win so much. I am so grateful to him.” Karina was already at Tops International Arena in 2016: “I love it here. I am very happy that the grass is back, I am a big fan of riding on grass. The horses feel comfortable on a grass surface of this quality.”
Final Results – €26,200 Grand Prix of Valkenswaard CSI 2*
1) Karina Johannpeter (BRA) & Lucero LS La Silla – 0 / 0 – 39.04
2) Alexander Housen (BEL) & Rockwell RC – 0 / 0 – 39.66
3) Jeremy Sweetnam (IRL) & Brown Star Z – 0 / 0 – 39.75
Source: Press Release (edited) from Tops International Arena
Photo: © Tops International Arena