Maikel van der Vleuten and Arera C Bring Home Win for The Netherlands in the CSI5* 1.50m at LGCT Miami Beach

Maikel van der Vleuten and Arera C led the victory gallop in Friday's featured 1.50m CSI5* class at LGCT Miami Beach.
Maikel van der Vleuten and Arera C led the victory gallop in Friday’s featured 1.50m CSI5* class at LGCT Miami Beach.

Miami, Fla. – April 6, 2018 – CSI5* competition continued on day two of the Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT) held at the one-of-a-kind beachside venue in Miami Beach, Florida. Friday afternoon’s star-studded CSI5* 1.50m competition saw 58 first round competitors who tried their hand at Italian course-designer, Uliano Vezzani’s technical track. Maikel van der Vleuten and J.J.A.C. Cop’s Arera C bested their peers during the short course with a fast time of 33.09 seconds to take home the win.

Van der Vleuten has ridden the 13-year-old KWPN mare since she was 7-year-old, competing at LGCT Miami Beach since its inaugural year. He mentioned the mare is a strong competitor and virtually the same in every venue, whether it be grass or sand. While he has another horse he uses for the championship classes, he admires that Arera C always fights for the win with her unique style.   

Maikel van der Vleuten and Arera C
Maikel van der Vleuten and Arera C

Eleven athletes and their mounts qualified for the jump-off, but only nine elected to return, saving their horses for another day. Van der Vleuten knew he had to take a shot over the short track to put him above leader Nicola Philippaerts. In the first line, he did five-strides where most did six-strides, then took a shot at the last fence will a full gallop.

Alberto Zorzi and Fair Light Van T Heike
Alberto Zorzi and Fair Light Van T Heike

Last to go in the jump-off phase, Alberto Zorzi (ITA) aboard Stal Tops’ Fair Light va T Heike, stopped the clock at 33.25 seconds to secure their second place position. Britain’s Ben Maher and Don Vito, owned by Poden Farms, flew to a time of 33.70 for third place.

Ben Maher and Don Vito
Ben Maher and Don Vito

Qatar’s Bassem Mohammad and Argelith Squid were the first CSI5* winners of the day, taking home top honors in the 1.45m competition. Thirty horse-and-rider combinations went against the clock in this one round speed event, but the quick duo beat the field of top ranked athletes in a time of 55.91 seconds.  

LGCT Miami Beach CSI5* competition continues Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. with the second round of the Global Champions League team event, followed by the LGCT Grand Prix of Miami Beach.


Maikel van der Vleuten – LGCT Miami Beach 1.50m CSI5* winner

On where he made up time in the jump-off:
“In the first line, I did five strides, where most everyone else did six. To the last fence, I took a bit of a risk. I saw the forward distance, and I knew Nicola [Philippaerts] was quite quick, so I went for it. In the end, it made the difference.”

On Arera C:
“I know her already quite well. I’ve ridden her since she was 7 years old. She has a bit of a funny way of jumping — she twists a bit — but she always fights for me. She’s very careful in her own way. I just leave her alone and try to support her when she needs to be helped. For me, it’s important to have horses who fight for me — that they try to jump a clear round. I don’t like horses who can do it very easy but they don’t try. She might not have the easiest way of going, but she always tries. She’s not very different, whether we’re on sand or grass. She’s quite similar everywhere. It’s already her third year here, so she knows the place a little bit.”

On preparing for the upcoming FEI World Equestrian Games™:
“[Arera C] is a very good championship horse. During the year, she wins a lot of classes and she’s competitive, which is important these days because there are so many shows. I can just put her on the truck and she is how she is. For the championships, I also have the other horse (Idi Utopia), who I have here. She’s a 10-year-old — still young — but I think she has the right talent hopefully for the WEG. We’ll have to see.”


LGCT Miami Beach 1.50m CSI5*:
Place / Horse / Athlete / Country / Owner / R1 Faults / R2 Faults / Time
1. Arera C / Maikel van der Vleuten / NED / J.J.A.C. Cop / 0 / 0 / 33.09
2. Fair Light Van T Heike / Alberto Zorzi / ITA / Stal Tops / 0 / 0 / 33.25
3. Don Vito / Ben Maher / GBR / Poden Farms / 0 / 0 / 33.70
4. H&M Harley VD Bisschop / Nicola Philippaerts / BEL / Ben Beevers and Ludo Philippaerts / 0 / 0 / 33.77
5. Alicante / Piergiorgio Bucci / ITA / Tal Milstein Stables and Ilan Ferders / 0 / 0 / 35.71
6. Cassini Bay / Daniel Duesser / GER / Stephex Stables / 0 / 0 / 37.25
7. Limestone Grey / Lorenzo de Luca / ITA / Stephex Stables / 0 / 4 / 35.96
8. Agatha D Ecaussinnes / Lauren Hough / USA / Weslands Farms / 0 / 4 / 36.86
9. Castello 194 / Evelina Tovek / SWE / Susanne Tovek / 0 / 8 / 37.35
10. RMF Echo / Deni Lynch / IRL / Rushy Marsh Farm LLC / 0 / NS
10. Ipswich van de Wolfsakker / Shane Breen / IRL / Breen Equestrian / 0 / NS
12. Sirocco / Sheikh Ali Al Thani / QAT / Alan Burnell / 1

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