Dutch rider Maikel van der Vleuten displaced home rider Alberto Zorzi from taking top honors in the main event of CSI5* Jumping Verona. (Photo © Stefano Grasso)
The Dutch rider Maikel van der Vleuten took over the €180,000 Longines FEI World Jumping presented by BMW, liquidating the Italian Alberto Zorzi.
Marking a lead of 27 hundredths of a second against his closest rival, Maikel van der Vleuten scored 130 World Ranking Points with his perfect exhibition together with the 15-year-old stallion VDL Groep Verdi TN (Quidam de Revel x Landgraf I) owned by Stal vd Vleuten & Team Nijhof & CA, thus taking the first place in a full class of many emotions and course designed by Uliano Vezzani.
Completing Maikel van der Vleuten his strategy in a perfect way at jump-off, it would soon pay off when he stopped the clock in 35.91 seconds and finally surpassed the home rider Alberto Zorzi, being a real fight of titans between the world number 10 Maikel van der Vleuten and world number 13 Alberto Zorzi, presenting the Italian with the 12-year-old mare Fair Light van T Heike (Vigo d’Arsouilles x Darco) owned by Tops Horse Trading BV & Edwina Tops-Alexander.
While the crowd of the CSI5* Jumping Verona could not enjoy seeing the Italian rider entitled, there was no doubt that everyone returned home having enjoyed a very good show, completing the top five classified Pieter Devos of Belgium in third place with the 12-year-old gelding Apart (Larino x Burggraaf) in 37.03 seconds, fourth place world number 4 Lorenzo de Luca of Italy in time of 38.00 seconds with the 10-year-old stallion Halifax van het Kluizebos (Heartbreaker x Fetish Du Pas) and fifth place was Swiss rider Janika Sprunger with the 11-year-old stallion Bacardi VDL (Corland x Kannan) in 39.21 seconds.
Only Rene Lopez of Colombia participated by Latino Ranking, completing his route in 8 fouls with the 13-year-old gelding Con Dios III (Colman x Romino), being out of the points in the 22nd position.
Finished the third leg of a total of 13th in which the Wester European League is formed to qualify for the FEI World Cup Jumping Final, the Italian rider Alberto Zorzi leads with 25 points, followed by Kevin Staut of France with 24 points and Maikel van der Vleuten with 23 in third place, moving emotions to Lyon in France for the fourth leg of the League.