Top riders are anticipating a feast of competitions for future talent and the stars of show jumping at the “incredible” Tops International Arena over coming weeks.
From Friday to Sunday this week young riders will be centre stage at the world class venue in The Netherlands for Global Future Champions. It will be a golden opportunity for young talent to shine in competitions for U25, pony riders, juniors and children.
The series of shows will culminate in spectacular CSI5* competitions from 10 - 13 September featuring a battle of the GCL teams over two rounds and the Global Champions Grand Prix of Valkenswaard. Last week over 500 horses competed in the Dutch Championship of Dutch Young Horses, with riders from 22 countries represented.
Dutch equestrian champion and Madrid In Motion team stalwart Eric van der Vleuten said: "The facilities are really five star. The permanent boxes for the horses, the arenas, the space, the training facilities, it’s all unbelievable. It’s incredible what Jan Tops has created and I would say that Tops International Arena is one of, if not the best, venue in the world.”
Excitement is mounting for the first CSI5* in The Netherlands since the Covid-19 restrictions and a roster of the world’s best riders and horses will be participating. Eric said “We’re really looking forward to riding as a team again, we had a good season last year and of course 2018 was fantastic for us.”
Eric also spoke of the valuable experience for young riders and horses performing at the exceptional state-of-the-art venue: "It’s very useful for both young riders and young horses to get used to these facilities and this kind of big arena. I remember the first time I jumped in a big arena, the scale and environment came as a bit of a surprise. So I think the earlier the better for young riders so they are more prepared for the big shows.”
Prague Lions team rider Jur Vrieling competed at last week’s Dutch Championship of Dutch Young Horses, and said "It’s very important to us to have the show taking place at Tops International Arena, our young horses need to learn and develop and it’s fantastic to have the opportunity for them to learn in this beautiful arena, it’s an incredible place.
"The facilities are more than perfect, super footing and surfaces, and the arenas are huge which is perfect for the horses to learn in. The tribunes on the side too are important for their learning. The venue is beautiful, the way it has been dressed is incredible."
The full schedule of upcoming competitions is as follows:
Global Future Champions 28 - 30 August
A dedicated focus on the development of next generation talent in show jumping - a key mission for both Tops International Arena and the GCL where teams must have an U25 rider. Competitions will take place for children, juniors, pony riders and U25. More information can be found here.
CSI2* and CSIYH1* 4 - 6 September
Competitions will include two Longines Ranking classes within the Big, Medium and Small tour categories. There will also be competitions for six and seven-year-old horses each day to support future talent in the sport. More information can be found here.
CSI5* Including GCL and GC Grand Prix 10 - 13 September
The first CSI5* competitions in The Netherlands since the lockdown. The highlights will be the GCL of Valkenswaard and the Global Champions Grand Prix of Valkenswaard. CSI2* and CSIYH1* classes will also be featured at the state-of-the-art venue. The schedule can be found here.
It is mandatory for anyone visiting the venue to register in advance and safety will be the top priority for visitors, riders, grooms, officials and staff at the venue. A full list of safety rules can be found here. With safety the number one priority, Tops International Arena continues to work closely with the Dutch authorities and the FEI governing body to ensure the event follows strict health protocols.
All the CSI5* sporting action will be streamed live on GCTV with lively expert commentary and analysis. The other competitions in August and September will be streamed live on TIA TV at topsinternationalarena.com.
More information and the full schedule of competitions can be found here.