Third CSI5* Grand Prix win in past six months for Philipp Weishaupt and Coby as they dominate at Tops International Arena

Philipp Weishaupt and the powerful bay gelding Coby made it the perfect finish to an exciting weekend of sport by winning the €300,000 Tops International Arena Grand Prix in blistering style.

Third CSI5* Grand Prix win in past six months for Philipp Weishaupt and Coby as they dominate at Tops International Arena

Lorenzo de Luca took second place on the super consistent mare Cash du Plessis and the third spot on the podium was clinched by America’s Lillie Keenan and Queensland E.

It was an afternoon of world-class performances and the equine firepower on display was breathtaking with familiar star horses and future champions lighting up Tops International Arena and giving fans around the world watching GCTV an incredible treat.

After his win, Philipp said: "A horse like Coby that it’s fast and a real proper Grand Prix horse makes life much easier and I also just caught the perfect rhythm during the whole class and the whole jump off so I’m extremely delighted today.  I saw Lorenzo jump,  he was quick so he put extra pressure on me and I have just thank god it worked out today. Coby is good in both indoor, outdoor, small sand arena, big grass arena, he’s won three 5* Grand Prix in the last 6 months which I don’t think there are too many horses that have done this so I’m so happy to have him he’s just such a great horse. I’ve been coming 20 years to Valkenswaard and never won the Grand Prix here so it’s great"

The build-up to the jump-off was a fascinating look at the form of both top riders and horses and the immaculate grass arena was the perfect stage for the world-class CSI5* Grand Prix with the 1.60m course proving a robust test of the best. A quarter way into the class was when clear rounds started coming thick and fast as 10 combinations out of the 45 starters made it through to the jump-off.

Nisse Lüneburg came cantering back into the huge grass arena for the jump-off and showed his big bay the final fence. The pair set out around the course with determination but it finished with 4 faults. Mike Kawai featured in his first ever CSI5* jump-off but the third fence a tall skinny brown upright fell knocking his chances of a podium finish today.

Queensland E easily excelled on the footing. Lillie Keenan rode her new partner with ease to finish clear and take the lead for now. But she didn't stay in the lead for long as Lorenzo de Luca and Cash du Plessis cut over a second and half off their time and proved one to beat.

However, it was three back-to-back double clears and fast ones as Philipp Weishaupt and Coby took extreme risks that paid off to stop the clock in 38.61s - a time that looked unbeatable to the impressed public.

Last week's Tops International Arena CSI4* Grand Prix winner Omer Karaevli had a surprise run out to the penultimate fence after his roll back to try and beat Philipp was just too tight. Marcus Ehning looked up on the pace of his fellow German rider with Stargold clearing everything by a mile until he knocked the second to last putting him off the radar for the win today.

None of the last three competitors in the jump-off Jos Verlooy, Beat Mändli or Patrik Majher could touch Philipp and Coby handing them the win and their third CSI5* Grand Prix win in the last six months, an achievement not many horses have done.

The young horses rode their final on Sunday morning in the fantastic grass arena. Of the 34 combinations, 13 went clear in the first round and qualified for the jump-off. Dutchman Bas Moerings, riding the seven-year-old KWPN mare Kwik Tweet (For Pleasure x Twisther), was the second starter to set a super fast time that no one after him was able to improve. There were serious attempts by the Belgians Pieter Devos and Jos Verlooy and the Canadian Danielle Lambert, but they all lacked speed. The Irishman Darragh Kenny was one of the favourites and expectations were high when he entered the arena as the last starter. He flew over the fences at high speed with the Hanoverian mare Serendepety (Stolzenberg x Escudo I) and stopped the clock at 35.83 seconds. With that, he scored a hat-trick and relegated Moerings to second place. Third was Jos Verlooy with Parise van den Dael (BWP, I Am Moerhoeve's Star x For Passion d'Ive Z). Lambert finished in fourth place with Loraine S Z (Le Diamant Horta x Zapatero) followed by Pieter Devos with Casual DV Z ( Cornet Obolensky x Cicero Z) on a fifth place. Best six-year-old in this final was Con Sugar-H OLD (Solitair x Check In) of the German Tobias Meyer on an eighth place.
Young Irish rider Michael Pender was the fastest in the jump-off of the CSI2* Grand Prix on Sunday afternoon with the SF mare Elektra des Premices (Kannan x Carthago) in which 19 combinations were competing. The course was challenging with long lines where a good pace could be made. For some, especially obstacles 2 and 4 were tricky but Pender had no problem with this course and crossed the finish line in 40.58 seconds. Michael Pender, Mikey to his friends, has been performing well since he was on a pony. Back then he won a silver team medal at the European Championships in 2014 and 2015. In recent years he has also been very successful at World Championships for Young Horses. Pender was delighted with his victory and his horse: "I’m delighted with the way Elektra jumped and super pleased she won today’s 2* Grand Prix as she has been jumping fantastic all week. It was a very competitive jump-off but she is quick across the ground and took everything in her stride. I’m excited for her future and I think this huge grass arena at Tops International Arena with such fantastic footing is a brilliant opportunity for her to experience."

Second place was for Dutchman Kevin Jochems who needed 41.47 seconds with Christianus (Hann, Christian x El Bundy). Third place was also for a Dutchman, Niels Kersten who finished in a time of 41.56 seconds with Grieg S (KWPN, Indoctro x Kenwood).    
Belgian rider Alexander Housen was unbeatable in the CSI2* 1.35m class on this final day of Summer Event II at Tops International Arena. He was first and second in this competition against the clock. He rode his winning round with the mare Rockwell RC (ISH, by Kannan) who was previously ridden by both Kim Emmen and Darragh Kenny. With Ikannan V G, also a descendant of the stallion Kannan, he finished in second place. Italian Marta Bottanelli came third with Vesthigo Z (Zang, Vigo d'Arsouilles x Farmer) with who she won this class on Friday.
The British rider Olivia Sponer won the CSI2* 1.35m competition in which the combinations that stayed clear in the first round went directly to the jump-off. The only 15-year-old rider went clear in the jump-off with her Oldenburg mare Crazy Girl (Corlensky G x Ars Vivendi) in 28.51 seconds.  Ibrahim Hani Bisharat came second for Jordan with Astuce du Cellier La (SF, Ogano Sitte x Quick Sar). He also stayed clear and stopped the clock at 28.71 seconds. Dutch rider Siebe Leemans came third with Kobalt (KWPN, Harley x Labor's VDL Indorado).
The 1* Grand Prix had a beautiful and exciting jump-off in which Belgium’s Lio Lamers eventually put down the fastest clear round. The 21-year-old rode the KWPN gelding Charming Edition (Namelus R x All Wins) in a super fast round with very short turns over the finish line in 38.36 seconds. This meant that she displaced Dutch rider Gert-Jan Bruggink to second place with Kasilias Eas Sho Z (Kannan x Kennedy). Lamers was very happy with her victory: "I had a good week so far with 3rd place on Friday and 2nd place on Saturday, but I did not expect to win the 1* Grand Prix as there were some fast riders in the jump-off. But I am just super happy with the victory! Both the first round and the jump-off went as planned, and Charming Edition gave me a great feeling. It's always nice to win, but to win at Tops International Arena is just incredible!" She can only speak highly of her horse: "Charming Edition, or Charly as we call him, is absolutely the king of the stable. I have had him for 5 years now. He is a really careful horse with the best character, which makes him really unique.

He is always happy to go to a show and he will do anything for his rider and is just as excited about winning as I am. You can really see that he is proud of himself when he has won a test." She was already in Valkenswaard once in 2019 but she is still impressed: "Jumping here at Tops International Arena is just amazing! It's a beautiful venue, and the facilities are perfect, especially with the warm weather."

Alexander Housen made another very good attempt. His time, 37.15 seconds, was faster with Astrid's Lad (AES, Luidam Elite x Ascendant xx) but the high pace came at the cost of a fault on the very last fence. Canada's Sara Tindale finished third with Elco van Hof ter Naillen (SBS, Elvis ter Putte x Toulon).
The American Alexis Sokolov repeated her victory of yesterday and was again the fastest in the 1.15m competition. She was twice clear with a time of 33.55 seconds in the jump-off with the mare Scarface (CZEWB, 2997 Aristo Z x 5055 Landos). Uzbek Miromon Tursunov came second with the Hanoverian gelding Conlouba. On Friday he won this class with his other horse Palladium KJV. Third place went to Britain’s Isabella Beecroft-Luckett with the KWPN mare Dahar (Quasimodo van de Molendreef x Voltaire).
The last competition for the 1* combinations was a 1.25m class against the clock. The American Angela Swanson was the fastest clear in this class. The 45-year-old rider had saddled her SBS gelding Dis Moi Tout de Clairbois (Ugano Sitte x Versace van de Ruitershoeve) and finished in 60.95 seconds. Edoardo Alain Dubois came second for Italy with Kiara, a KWPN mare by Kannan. Belgian rider Alexander Housen came third with Jamaica (KWPN, Caretino Gold x Eldorado vd Zeshoek).


In two weeks' time, the third summer event at Tops International Arena takes place with an exciting calendar of CSI4*, CSI2*, CSI1* and Young Horse classes from 29 - 31 July. Tickets can be bought online here.