Miami Beach, Fla. – April 18, 2019 – As the sun rose over the Atlantic Ocean on Miami Beach, The Longines Global Championship Tour (LGCT) prepared to begin its third leg of 2019 competition with the fifth year of international showjumping only a few feet away from the ocean tides. Sunny skies and an ocean breeze set the stage for the CSI5* 1.45m on Thursday afternoon where Kristen Vanderveen (USA) and Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili soared above the whitecapped waves to first place out of a total of 52 horse-and-athlete combinations.
The two-phase class consisted of a total of 13 obstacles arranged by Italian course designer Uliano Vezzani and Pier Francesco Bazzocchi. With a time allowed of 52 seconds over the first eight efforts, riders were challenged to lay down clear rides before being able to advance to the second phase of the course. The remaining five jumps restricted athletes to only 38 seconds to cross the timers. While the distracting atmosphere proved tricky for some, more than half of the riders continued on to the second phase, where 18 finished with completely fault-free trips.
Going later in the order, 30-year-old Vanderveen rode an incredibly quick track, securing a time of 25.32 seconds. She currently ranks 18 in the East Coast division of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League with 22 points. Based out of Wellington, Florida her winter season at the Winter Equestrian Festival was one of her best yet, collecting many 5* wins aboard a plethora of different horses. Vanderveen has owned Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili (Barlin x Darco) for five years now. The 14-year-old BWP stallion has racked up 28 FEI wins over his career, never losing his tendency to execute a quick and careful course.
Following behind Vanderveen was 38-year-old Harrie Smolders (NED) and the 15-year-old KWPN gelding Zinius (Nabab de Reve x Kannan) to take second place. Smolders’ time of 25.32 seconds beat out the previous leading score by 1.26 seconds as a later ride in the order of go. Owned by Axel Verlooy and Eurohorse BVBA, Zinius was Smolders’ partner in the 2018 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in Paris, France. The Dutch rider gained the ride on Zinius in 2016 and has since accumulated a whopping 2,821 points to rank fourth in the FEI Longines world rankings.
Sailing into third was Bassem Mohammed (QAT) and Argelith Squid. With a time of 26.58 seconds, Mohammed held the lead for the majority of the class but later lost it to Smolders. Qatar Equestrian Federation owns the 13-year-old gelding by Salito and out of Gibraltar. Thirty-two-year-old Mohammed is ranked fifth in the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ and has made a number of appearances on the Qatari Nations Cup team. The Olympic rider teamed up with the Hanoverian in 2016 and has since earned the team bronze medal at the Regional Asian Games in 2018 with Argelith Squid.
Thursday afternoon concluded with the first round of Global Championship League competition where Kent Farrington and Creedance captured the individual win with their clear and quick ride at 66.61 seconds. The St Tropez Pirates took the win as a team, represented by Athina Onassis and Pieter Devos, who delivered one of only four clear rides out of the 51 competitors. The second round of team competition will take place on Saturday at 2:15 p.m. where the overall team will take home the gold medal for this leg of the tour.
LGCT Miami Beach competition will continue on Friday morning with the CSI2* 1.30m class, later moving onto the CSI5* 1.50m at 4:45 p.m. Competition will run through Saturday afternoon where the long-awaited and highly anticipated Longines Global Championship Tour Grand Prix of Miami Beach will take place.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Kristen Vanderveen – LGCT Miami Beach 1.45m CSI5* winner
On her ride:
“I am over the moon right now! My course was great. It walked really nice and I was quite excited coming into this. You just never know if the cards are going to fall your way or not. The stallion was so fast, I kept my plan and tried not to get in his way. I just wanted to have fun and it was way better than expected. I’m excited to have him as my speed horse.”
On the course:
“I was a bit nervous about the vertical to the skinny in the speed phase. I thought I would have to be really careful while trying to be fast, but I just decided that I was just going to go fast and hope Frosty did his part and jumped clean.”
On Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili’s performance:
“He is feeling fantastic. I think he loves being here on the beach with different scenery. He is really feeling fresh and happy.”
LGCT Miami Beach 1.45m CSI5*
Place / Horse / Athlete / Country / Phase Two Faults / Time
1. Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili / Kristen Vanderveen / USA / 0 | 25.32
2. Zinius / Harrie Smolders / NED / 0 | 26.58
3. Argelith Squid / Bassem Mohammed / QAT / 0 | 26.67
4. Valmy de la Lande / Michael Whitaker / GBR / 0 | 27.49
5. Balguero / Anna Kellnerova / CZE / 0 | 27.75
6. Cornet / Daniel Deusser / GER / 0 | 27.86
7. Dolocia / Christian Ahlmann / GER / 0 | 28.07
8. RMF Chacco Top / William Whitaker / GBR / 0 | 28.17
9. Capital Colnardo / Jennifer Gates / USA / 0 | 28.29
10. Diablo VII / Rowan Willis / AUS / 0 | 28.71
11. Madame X / Ben Maher / GBR / 0 | 30.05
12. Gun Powder / Denis Lynch / IRL / 0 | 30.23