With a great jump ride, Maikel van der Vleuten and Elwikke (by Eldorado van Zeshoek) showed everyone his heels and won the Maastricht Grand Prix for the third time. Second place went to Hans-Dieter Dreher at Cous Cous 3 (by Cachas) and third prize to Olivier Philippaerts at H&M Miro (by Diamond de Semilly).
Of the 38 participants, 14 returned to participate in the jump to decide who could take the trophy home and 33,000 euros. The fact that there were so many obvious rides was not because of the track with 13 obstacles and 15 jumps at 1.55m height, but because of the quality of the riders and horses, which were simply too high. As a course designer you can’t decide everything, and if you’re dealing with many good combinations it is unavoidable to have many flawless combinations. On one hand, it makes the sections a bit boring but on the other hand it is a high quality feast. As a spectator, you have been served under your flight and have called you this week in Maastricht.
Bart Lips Hurricane DD (by Falaise de Muze) is in a very good streak with both horses. Successful in the Scandinavian Tour with two World Cups and continuing that good form in Maastricht this week. As we wrote before at Horses, Bart is coming in and going to report to A-frame. In the jump, he got a fourth hurdle error in 46.46 seconds. It looked like it could be a lot faster, so this wouldn’t be a high ranking order.
Kim Emmen made a mistake in the last one when he jumped well Edgar (by Warrant) but took the lead off the Lips with a time of 46.05sec.
Conor Drain and Imagine (by Cassini Gold) scored eight penalty points, and Pim Mulder with Memphis Z (by Mylord Carthago) received a foul after him, just as Kim Emmen did at 43.91 seconds. Fast enough to take the lead because after four sets there is still a clear run on the board.
This jump track was really good for Eric van der Vleuten, because he doesn’t want to lead a jump with Dreamland (by Sunday de Riverland), but produces a clear run with a horse that jumps well, writes Vleut sr. With a clear run in 48.48 seconds, he was the new leader in the race, even if only for a moment because right after him Hans-Dieter Dreherr with Cous Cous 3 (by Cachas) put 43.70 seconds on the board and this was a time that should have been seriously reckoned to be the winner .
Willem Greve can ride for such a time with the Grandorado TN NOP (by Eldorado van Zeshoek) and also seems to be on his way but in the double jump bad luck hits and the stallion stumbles, causing him to lose his balance for a while and jump off his tapping spoons. Whether he will make the time will always be a question, but the bad luck the couple had in the related double is an event that neither rider nor horse can do anything about. It happens very occasionally and you just have to hope it’s not in the most important section. Griff wasn’t very lucky today.
Niels Bruynseels made a good attempt with Delux van T & L (by Toulon) to improve Dreher’s time, but that didn’t work and a job fell into the sand.
Laura Kraut did so much with Baloutinue (by Baloubet du Rouet) that it made the trip too hectic to watch. First you see a space ahead, then give full throttle to get to the score after three jump hops were too big, then have to depress the brake all the way to get the jump jack. It comes at the expense of time and although it looked wild and fast, the finish time of 44.84 seconds was not and eventually led to a fifth place finish.
William Funnell drove really fast in the double jump with Equine America Billy Picador (by Billy Mexico) and got a jump error in a time of 46.22 seconds and finished 10th.
Shane Brin flattened his Z7 Ipswich (by Carimbar de Muze) on the last two obstacles until they both fell and ended up with eight penalty points. He achieved the time with 43.23 seconds, ie.
The tension was evident when Maikel van der Vleuten entered the ring with Elwikke (by Eldorado van Zeshoek). Michael won the main class on Friday with her and showed there that she is fast. But to beat Dreher’s time, she had to be pretty fast today, not so fast. It was a pleasure to see what Michael van der Vleuten is like when he’s at his best. The way he ensures that he is always one step ahead shows a unique talent and makes him one of the fastest in the world. This requires a very good response and an unmistakable eye for distance. In an insanely fast time of 42.10 seconds, he took the lead from Dreher and things exploded in the stands.
For Cedric Hurel with Fantasio Floreval Z (by Florian de la Vie), Maikel’s time simply wasn’t possible and he decided not to go for it and focus on staying clear. The one who succeeded with 44.48 seconds finished fourth.
Olivier Philiberts is known to be very fast, and if anyone in the field could improve Michael’s time, it was this Belgian who also owns a fast horse at H&M Miro (by Diamond de Semilly). But no matter how hard the Belgian tried, he couldn’t reach third place after 43.87 seconds
Although Manz Thijsen rode a lap with Hello (by Alano) without obstacle errors, he crossed the finish line 0.04sec behind and thus got a time error that kept him short of the jump. That doesn’t change the fact that the couple showed a perfect lap. The same goes for Mark Hotsager and Holly Molly (by Verdi TN), who also missed his jump due to a penalty.