Irish one-two in CSI5* 1.50 speed class as Coyle and Lynch go head to head at Tops International Arena

In a fantastic first day of great sport at Tops International Arena, Daniel Coyle took top honours with Oak Grove's Carlyle, beating fellow Irishman Denis Lynch on Rubens LS la Silla by just 0.09 of a second.

Irish one-two in CSI5* 1.50 speed class as Coyle and Lynch go head to head at Tops International Arena

Jos Verlooy was on flying form after winning the first CSI5* class of the weekend earlier in the day and also securing third place in the fast and furious 1.50m speed class built by world-class course designer Uliano Vezzani.

Some of show jumping’s brightest stars were early out of the starting blocks but the poles fell in the early rounds, demonstrating the high level of difficulty of this exciting class. Scott Brash couldn’t continue his good form from recent weeks having three fences down with Hello Shelby. Nayel Nassar followed shortly after and similarly found challenges around the course, dropping two poles for 8 faults.

There were 15 clears in total from some of the biggest names in the sport including Kevin Staut, Christian Ahlmann and Darragh Kenny but no one could match the lightning-fast time of Daniel Coyle today.

Riders now look ahead to tomorrow's action where all the action will be streamed on GCTV with expert commentary. Tickets for the final day of the thrilling competition are still available for just €10 via this link or can be bought at the venue on the day.

The start of Summer Event II at Tops International Arena could not have been better. Visitors enjoyed the great weather, brilliant atmosphere and fun entertainment. The young horses opened the day in the beautiful grass arena and German Tobias Meyer took an early lead on the six-year-old mare Con Sugar-H OLD (Solitair x Check In). The 44-year-old from Löningen had a clear round in 38.41 seconds. None of the remaining 29 combinations could improve on hi time until top Irish rider Darragh Kenny entered the ring. Riding hi seven-year-old mare Serendepety (Hann, Stolzenberg x Escudo I) the horse flew over the obstacles at breakneck speed. They were almost 4 seconds faster than Meyer in 34.58s continuing their great form from last weekend as well. Dutch rider Niels Kersten completed the top three with King's Dream (KWPN, Carinjo x Indorado).

59 combinations came to the start in the 2* Big Tour competition on Friday morning of which 23 were clear in both the first and second phase. Kristaps Neretnieks from Latvia was the fastest in the second phase with the beautiful dark stallion Ethos (Hann, Earl x Stakkato's Highlight). The 32-year-old Latvian was the first equestrian representative of Latvia to compete at an Olympic Games, this time in Tokyo last year. He was also the first Latvian to compete in a World Cup final (2013).

Belgian rider Alexander Housen came second with the stallion Warrior's Glory (AES, Warrior x Caretino Glory). Dutchman Henk van de Pol finished on a nice third place with Cayenne de Clarence (SF, Baloubet du Rouet x Alfa d'Elle). Last week they won the 1.40m class on the closing Sunday.

The Medium Tour (1.40m) was a battle between the Belgian Alexander Housen and the Turkish rider Ömer Karaevli. Alexander Housen was the third starter and first to go clear in a very fast time of 28.17 with Rockwell RC (ISH, Kannan). However, the time was soon bettered by Karaevli with Istinov (KWPN, Ustinov x Vegas) who stopped the clock at 28.10. At the end of the class Housen entered the ring with his second horse, the KWPN stallion Ikannan V G (Kannan), and managed to stay under 28 seconds with a nice tidy round. Ömer Karaevli also had a second horse, the 10-year-old KWPN mare Hayley (London x Balou du Rouet). A combination that had already proven that they are fast, they had already won once at the Summer Event I last weekend. Everyone held their breath and Karaevli delivered a great round and managed to win this competition in a time of 27.48 seconds.

The Small Tour was won by Italy's Marta Bottanelli with Vesthigo Z (Vigo d'Arsouilles x Farmer). The 35-year-old had a clear round in both phases and stopped the clock at 27.36. Second place was also for Italy: Edoardo Alain Dubois rode the Oldenburg mare Blue Ivy (by Balou du Rouet) over the finish line in 27.48 seconds. Third place went to the American Alexa Pessoa, partner of the famous Brazilian rider Rodrigo, with La Caramba (Holst, Carambole x Caretino 2).

The CSI1* combinations started with a 1.30/1.35m two phases competition which was won by Dutch rider Siebe Leemans with Plopsa Blue Z (Zang, Plot Blue x Calvados Z). Last year the 16-year-old won the individual bronze medal and a silver team medal at the European Championships for Ponies in Strzegom, Poland. The American Maisson McIntyre came second with only 0.03 difference with Billy Alps (AES, Cardento 933 x Animo). Belgian Lio Lamers finished, also with a difference of 0.03 seconds, in third place with the KWPN gelding Charming Edition (Namelus R x All Wins).

A thrilling 1.20m class became a Canadian family affair. Cassidy Rein was the fastest in this competition with the 11-year-old Oldenburger mare Escorial K (Chacco's Son x Epsom Gesmeray) and defeated her mother Tara Dow-Rein. It seems to be a match made in heaven. The 18-year-old rider has only been riding this horse since June 2022 and they made their debut at the Longines Global Champions Tour in Paris where they immediately scored a victory in the 1* competition on the last day.

"Eric Lamaze and my parents found her for me so that I could learn how to go fast and be competitive. She will also help teach me to do this with my other horses. She’s very talented and this was very easy for her. I’m very lucky to have the opportunity to ride such a winner and a horse with so much heart!" The whole family is involved in equestrian sports.

"It’s very special to be able to ride with your family and have that in common. It’s something we share and also it really nice to have them all rooting for you. I usually don’t compete against them, but today I showed against my mom she was great and came right behind me in second! Today I jumped smaller than I usually do as a warm up for the bigger 1* classes and 1* Grand Prix so I felt very confident. That being said, I never like to be over confident because this sport can be very humbling, and at all times there is more to learn at every level." It is Cassidy's first time competing in Valkenswaard and she is very excited. "This is hands down an incredible place to jump. The horses love it and the atmosphere here is great. I definitely would love to come back here in the future!"

Cassidy's mother came second with the KWPN mare Hokyra Fortuna (Zambesi TN x Canturano). Third place was for Ireland's Isabel O'Brien with HHS Javas Gucci (ISH, Luidam x Cruising).

Lastly the 1.10m competition was won by Miromon Tursunov for Uzbekistan with the Westphalian stallion Palladium KJV (Lancer III x Cornet Obolensky). The beautiful dark bay completed a great round in 24.63 seconds. Swiss Nicole Kramer came second with Condessa (Hann, Contendro I x Laptop). Dutch rider Aniek Diks came third with Kaatje SB (KWPN, by Emir R).