Valkenswaard, The Netherlands – September 28, 2023 – The inaugural edition of the WBFSH Studbooks Jumping Global Champions Trophy kicked off in thrilling fashion today at the renowned Longines Tops International Arena. With a spectacular combination of athleticism, precision, and excitement, the event introduced an exciting new element to the world of team Studbooks competition, setting a promising precedent for the future.
The first day of the competition featured three electrifying classes that showcased the exceptional talent of young horses. The audience at the Longines Tops International Arena witnessed a perfect blend of skilled horses from around Europe take to the arena. Over ten World Breeding Federation for Sports Horses (WBFSH) studbooks went head-to-head including the home nation’s own KWPN, Belgium’s BWP & Zangersheide, Denmark’s Danish Warmblood, Selle Francais from France, Germany’s Hanoverian & Oldenburg, the Irish Sport Horse from Ireland, Spain’s ANCADES, as well as the AES from the UK.
In the 1.45m 8-year-old class, Commandant Geoff Curran (IRL) exhibited sheer brilliance aboard the magnificent DHF Alliance. Their seamless round set the bar high for the rest of the field as Irish Sports Horses took first and second in the first class of the day with Jonathan Gordon (IRL) and CBI Karhari finishing just less than a second slower. Erika Lickhammer- Van Helmond (SWE) and Koberlina TN sliding into a close third place.
The 6-year-old class saw the sensational pairing of Dieter Smitz (GER) and Diabolo 588 steal the show. Dieter Smitz‘s flawless round and Diabolo 588‘s impeccable form captured the hearts of spectators surrounding the grass arena. With 20 clears round the 1.35m track, it all came down to time as Tereza Vesela riding Mark HDH secured second place in exactly 27 seconds. Belgium’s Thomas Mertens (BEL) took home third place today on Cosimo de Leau Z.
In the 5-year-old section, Lola de Braekeleer (BEL) took the spotlight, demonstrating remarkable finesse with Toulouse ter Doorn Z. Just under half the field of 5-year-olds produced clear rounds, a testament to the class of horsepower at the Longines Tops International Arena this weekend.
“The WBFSH Studbooks Jumping Global Champions Trophy has truly set the stage for a new era of equestrian competition,” remarked Ellis van Himbergen, from the organization. “With today’s thrilling performances from all the Studbooks, we have witnessed the birth of an event that promises to be a mainstay in the world of equestrian sports.”
With a total prize fund of €170,000 over the weekend, the innovative WBFSH Studbooks Jumping Global Champions Trophy will see classes for 5-Year-Olds, 6-Year-Olds, 7-Year-Olds and 8-Year-Olds. The event location offers these young horses a unique opportunity to compete in the Longines Tops International Arena, home of the Valkenswaard Longines Global Champions Tour. Who knows what future Longines Global Champions Grand Prix winners and competitors will be among this year’s young horse entries?
In addition to providing an educational and promotional opportunity for these talented young horses, the WBFSH Studbooks Jumping Global Champions Trophy creates an event for WBFSH member studbooks to showcase their associations and breeding programs. It is an opportunity to bring breeding and sport closer together and to recognise the breeding successes of breeders from around the world. For those looking to invest in exciting prospects for future top sport, the event will also see the first Tops International Auction taking place on Saturday, the 30th of September.
Final Results – WBFSH Studbooks Jumping Global Champions Trophy 8-Year-Olds – 1.45m
1) Geoff Curran (IRL) & DHF Alliance – 0 / 0 – 26.73
2) Jonathan Gordon (IRL) & CBI Karhari – 0 / 0 – 27.55
3) Ericka Lickhammer (SWE) & Koberlina TN – 0 / 0 – 27.75
Source: Press Release from Longines Tops International Arena
Photo: © Longines Tops International Arena / Stefano Grasso