Hughes and Tomlinson fly the flag in Dutch dominated Opglabbeek
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The multi-purpose Sentower Park in Belgium played host to the Opglabbeek CDI3* last weekend and the senior competition was dominated by riders from the Netherlands who were out in force to lay their claim to a place on the Dutch Olympic team for Tokyo. However, Gareth Hughes made sure they didn’t have it all their own way with his newest GP star.
Three horses and riders were selected to make the trip to Belgium for Britain. Both Laura Tomlinson and Gareth Hughes chose the show to debut their latest Grand Prix rides in Fallatjin and Sintano van Hof Olympia respectively. While Emile Faurie was due to ride Theodora Livanos’s Dono di Maggio who Emile is currently competing for they owner and bidding for an Olympic place.
Laura and Emile elected to travel their horses together using a transporter but there was a delay in Calais clearing the border when a clerical error made at Dover was discovered with Dono di Maggo’s paperwork. The French authorities refused entry for Dono and a mad dash was made by Emile’s lorry to recover the horse so Laura’s Finn could continue the journey.
Finn arrived safely after a slightly longer than planned journey to meet up with Gareth and Sintano, who he jointly owns with Judy Firmston-Williams.
Friday’s Grand Prix was dominated by the Glock stable. We never had the chance to see the legendary Totilas at an Olympic Games but in Edward Gal’s two exciting prospects by the stallion, we may well get the chance to see one of his progeny. He took the win with Glock’s Total US in the nine year old’s first international Grand Prix with 78.674%. Just 0.7% behind was his second ride, also on international debut, the ten year old Glock’s Toto Jr. Hans Peter Minderhoud completed the podium for the Glock stable with Glock’s Dream Boy with 75.065%.
Gareth and the 11 year old Sintano put up a fantastic performance in the Grand Prix to score 74.196% for fifth place in great company. Laura also expertly piloted her youngster for 69.978% from Fallatijn, who is jointly owned by Ursula Bechtolsheimer, which left them in 20th spot.
Both riders opted for the Special and Gareth and Sintano really pulled out all the stops. The test wasn’t without a few costly errors but a final score of 72.404% illustrates the potential this horse has for even higher scores as he gains strength and confidence. For Laura, noisy flapping flags produced a somewhat nervous Finn but she was still proud of the chestnut, likening him to ‘another ginger superstar I had’! Their score of 62.915% left them 14th but for Gareth and co-owner Judy, it was a well earned podium place in third. It was Edward and Hans Peter who took the top two placings. Edward opted to ride the older Glock’s Toto Jr in the Special and a 77.958% gave them a near four percent victory over Minderhoud with Glock’s Dream Boy on 74.149%.
In Sunday’s Freestyle it was a Dutch sweep of the top five with Edward Gal the runaway winner aboard Glock’s Total US with 83.735%.
Gareth said on the ‘Team Hughes’ Facebook page; “It was fantastic to be back out competing and we are very proud of Sintano who held his own amongst some of the world’s best combinations.”
While Laura praised her young charge; “Finn was brilliant in Opglabbeek. His first international show and coping with the smaller stables than he is used to, and all the excitement of the show bustle. Not the easiest journey there but he was so patient. He has an amazing future, lots learned by both of us, and a great experience.”
Top five results and British placings
1. Edward Gal and Glock’s Total US, 78.674% (NED)
2. Edward Gal and Glock’s Toto Jr., 77.978% (NED)
3. Hans Peter Minderhoud and Glock’s Dream Boy, 75.065% (NED)
4. Adelinde Cornelissen and Governor-STR, 74.978% (NED)
5. Gareth Hughes and Sintano van Hof Olympia, 74.196% (GBR)
20. Laura Tomlinson and Fallatijn, 69.978% (GBR)
Grand Prix Special
1. Edward Gal and Glock’s Toto Jr., 77.958% (NED)
2. Hans Peter Minderhoud and Glock’s Dream Boy, 74.149% (NED)
3. Gareth Hughes and Sinano van Hof Olympia, 72.404% (GBR)
4. Laurence Roos and Fil Rouge, 71.681% (BEL)
5. Vincent van Gasselt and Delacroix II, 71.000% (NED)
14. Laura Tomlinson and Fallatijn, 62.915% (GBR)
Grand Prix Freestyle
1. Edward Gal and Glock’s Total US, 83.735% (NED)
2. Adelinde Cornelissen and Aqiedo, 76.810% (NED)
3. Marlies van Baalen and Ben Johnson, 76.740% (NED)
4. Thamar Zweistra and Hexagon’s Double Dutch, 76.405% (NED)
5. Lynne Maas and Electra, 74.455% (NED)