Maikel and Eric van der Vleuten on training at home, star horses and their €3 million GCL victory
Show jumping’s top father and son duo Maikel and Eric van der Vleuten are the first guests on the new edition of The Insider @Home, telling fans about their lockdown training program, their star horses and reflecting on their incredible GCL Super Cup victory with Madrid In Motion.
In the first edition of the new series of The Insider @Home to be broadcast tomorrow (Wednesday 22 April), the van der Vleutens give an exclusive insight into how they are keeping their top equine athletes fit during the Coronavirus lockdown.
Although they benefit from having the space to keep their horses stabled in separate sections of their yard and from indoor and outdoor arenas, they keep much of their actual training program simple. Top trainer Eric said: “We are not complicated in our training, we try to keep it easy and to keep the horse loose in the body is very important.”
On The Insider @Home you can watch Maikel share the visual plan of some of the flatwork exercises they use to improve suppleness in the horses and also to get the right control for changing strides.
Speaking from their home base in The Netherlands they also reveal the optimum qualities they look for in a horse that can reach the top of the intensely competitive show jumping world. Eric said: “At the moment it is a bit different in this situation we try to keep the horses in shape. We have a big place with different arenas so we try a variation for the horses so they stay good in the mind. That is very important.”
At the first GCL Super Cup in 2018 at the GC Prague Playoffs they achieved an extraordinary victory when Madrid In Motion won the Final and record prize purse of almost €3 million. Eric said: “It was incredible, I remember when I was riding Grand Prix classes for 10,000 gilders (around €4,500 euros). If you see what is happening in the whole sport, the developments, it is fantastic for us all, it is great.”
Maikel added: “Of course, if you compare to the beginning of my career, the change in prize money is a big difference and that helps fo run the whole stable.”
Eric spoke of the growth of the GCL team series and said: “It it has really grown to be the main classes on the shows and all the best horses in the world go in the team competitions. Explosion and Clooney together in a team competition, you are speaking about the best horses and that means something and also how the riders, owners, team managers think about this formula.”
Madrid In Motion Team Owner Marta Ortega also supports Maikel with his horses including Dana Blue and both father and son paid tribute to her “great support”.
Eric said: “We are very proud to work together with her. It is very hard at this level but with her support it is great.”
Watch The Insider @Home to hear Eric and Maikel speak about Dana Blue and Beauville Z and how they are developing.
They also pay tribute on the program to their superstar stallion Verdi who is now retired from top competition and look at some fascinating statistics which prove Verdi is truly an all time great.
Click here to watch it all on GCTV on Wednesday 22 April at 18:00 BST/19:00 CET.