Leopold Van Asten, with ‘VDL Groep Falco’ wins the Small Grand Prix sponsored by Frans Wijlaars
This Olympic Dutch rider adds today’s victory to his win yesterday in the Longines Ranking class with ‘VDL Groep Urane de Talma’
Leopold Van Asten is a very well regarded Dutch rider who was part of the 2004 Olympic games in Athens and has competed in numerous World Cups and World Championships and also took part in the Finals of the Nations Cup team in 2018, in Barcelona. He is currently ranked 100th in the FEI Longines Rankings. He had an impressive win here today in the very demanding Small GP that was kindly sponsored by Frans Wijlaars.
Leopold was riding the 12yr old KWPN, grey gelding who he has had for a very long time, ‘VDL Groep Falco’ (by ‘Clearway', dam sire ‘Jalisco B’). Their established partnership was clear even in the first round of this very demanding class. ‘The course wasn’t particularly big or difficult but it needed a horse that really didn’t want to touch a pole.’ With a cracking clear in the first round, he was one of the favourites to win the class.
The public stands were full today and the atmosphere was very exciting as he entered the arena in the jump off. At that moment, the Spanish rider Iván Serrano Sáez was in the lead in with a time of 34.51s but the Dutch rider was faster in the 180 turn back into the double and took no pulls into the last fence, in the end he stopped the clock in just 34.11s and no-one after him, could match that time. Leopold Van Asten received his trophy from the sponsor of this class, Frans Wijlaars, which was very fitting as the two are good friends and it was clear that they were very happy with the results! Frans Wijlaars is the owner of the Dutch company that builds and conditions equestrian arenas and who was vital in the development of the grass arenas 16 and 17, here at the Andalucía Sunshine Tour. Leopold has had a great second week here as he won the Medium Tour 1.45m Longines Ranking class just yesterday with ‘VDL Groep Urane de Talma’ and also was third with ‘VDL Groep Nino de Roton’ in the Big Tour 1.45m.
This meant that the Spanish rider, Iván Serrano Sáez took a very well deserved second place with the lovely ‘Rain Man’ (by ‘Chacco-Blue’, dam sire ‘Pilot’). Third in 34.70s was Swiss rider, Thibaut Keller with ‘Arley de Vayrie’ (‘Padock du Plessis’, ‘Quite Easy’); fourth French rider Pierre Alain Mortier with ‘Just Do It R’ (‘Action-Breaker’, ‘Baloubet de Rouet’ and in fifth place was Jeremy Sweetnam (IRl) with ‘Brown Star Z’ (‘Big Star JR K Z’, ‘Numero Uno’).
In the Big Tour 1.35m class the Indian rider Maryk Sahney was our winner with ‘Flyer B’; second was Swedish rider, Ottilia Lundgren with ‘Melker AF Herred’; third was legendary French rider, Penélope Leprevost with ‘Deesse de Coquerie’.
In the Medium Tour 1.40m, there were two sections due to the large number of entries. First were Doron Kuipers (NED) with ‘Hollywood VK’ and Francesco Turturiello (ITA) with ‘Jack Sirikit’. Second places were taken by Maximilian Bremicker (GER) with ‘Clementinchen 2’ and Max Kühner (AUT) with ‘Milano’. Third places were taken by Olivier Perreau (FRA) with ‘Quantico 28’ and Julie Welles (USA) with ‘Greatfull’.
The 1.30m Medium Tour was won by Ashlee Harrison (GBR) with ‘Astrid’s Lad’ who was well ahead of the Spanish rider who took second, Ainhoa Manero with ‘Turquoise D’Ivraie’. Ainhoa also took fourth place with ‘Bellefleur PS Z’, but the very fast Italian rider, Alexa Larkin slotted in between and took a well deserved third place with ‘Lady Angeles’ and also doubled up, taking fifth with ‘Giorgino 4’.
The Japanese rider, Taizo Sugitani was our winner in the Small Tour de 1.45m with ‘Famous’ who is by ‘Numero Uno,’ dam sire ‘Jus de Pomme’. In this two phase class they stopped the clock in 27.35s beating the Irish rider, Dermott Lennon by a mere 0.10s. Dermot was riding ’L’Esprit Hero Z’. Bianca Babanitz (AUS) was third with‘Blair’.
Manuel Thiry (BEL) with ‘O’Special de Corlato’ was the winner of the Small Tour 1.35m class followed by german rider Elena Appendino with ‘Iceman’ and Spanish rider, Mario Villapalos with ‘Iroko VD Brouwershoeve’.
Dermott Lennon had a win in the 1.30m with ‘Anthem in My Heart’; second was British rider, Georgina Burchmore-Eames with ‘Kept Secret T’ and in third, was Thibault Vermeulen (BEL) with ‘Heart of Nabab’.
The winners of the 1* 1.30m class were; Jone Illi (FIN) with ‘Dolanda’. The 1.20m Molly Davies (GBR) with Bayard’ and in the 1.10m, Swiss rider, Stefania Perfetti with ‘Ensing’.
Competition continues tomorrow here at the Andalucía Sunshine Tour with 12 classes including the top class of the week the 1.55m Grand Prix that is set at 1.55m and held on grass in the main arena, David Broome. The Medium and Small Tour GPs will be held in the lovely grass Hickstead arena. These three classes are all Longines Ranking classes. The whole evento is kindly sponsored by the Consejería de Turismo, Regeneración, Justicia & Administración Local de la Junta de Andalucía (Turismo y Deporte de Andalucía).
, Press releases