Course architects Quintin Maertens and Louis Koninckx had done a sterling job building this 2024 edition of the World Cup race in Amsterdam. It was a long course where both obstacles and time played a major role. That high level of difficulty was necessary too because the field of competitors at this Amsterdam World Cup was of the very highest level with some of the best show jumpers in the world. There was no particular obstacle that caused the bulk of the faults as the faults were made from the first to the last obstacle, underlining the fact that it was a very fair and balanced course that the course builders had put in place. At 455 metres, it was a long course consisting of 14 obstacles and 17 jumps with a maximum height of 1m60.
The course of the competition immediately brought a party atmosphere to the sold-out stands when early on in the competition the Dutchmen Jur Vrieling with Griffin van de heffinck (by Castelino van de Helle) and Marc Houtzager with Sterrehof’s Dante (by Canturano) rode clear and secured a jump-off.
Almost Maikel van der Vleuten with O’Bailey vh Brouwershof (by Darco) could also report for that jump-off but a time overrun of only 0.01 seconds brought a penalty point on the board and thus put a line through a jump-off. It should be mentioned that the stallion and Maikel showed a great round which made it an extra pity that this was not rewarded with a place in the jump-off. In the end, the combination would finish eighth.
Angelica Augustsson Zanotelli with Kalinka van de Nachtegaele (s.Epleaser van ‘t Heike) and Julien Anquetin with Z Ice Cube Z (s.Zacharov) also left all the bars in the keepers but, like van der Vleuten, received a penalty point for passing the permitted time. Augustsson Zanotelli was 0.10 seconds too slow and Anquetin 0.16 seconds.
It would take quite some time for the next clear to be admired but then it seemed the competition had seen how it should be done and Pieter Clemens with Emmerton (by Silvio I), Gilles Thomas with Luna van het Dennehof (by. Prince van de Wolfsakker), Willem Greve with Highway TN (by Eldorado van Zeshoek), Daniel Coyle with Legacy (by Chippendale Z) and last but not least Denis Lynch with Vistogrand (by Fantaland) joined the two Dutchmen.
Seven combinations thus competed for the World Cup points and the 57,000 euros that the winner could receive. First of those seven, it was Jur Vrieling who opened the jump-off. His grey has been in good form for quite some time, so this place in the jump-off came as no surprise. With an almost perfect ride, Vrieling immediately set the tone by staying clear. But a hitch in a rollback to the second last fence cost some time. 40.40 seconds thus became the time to beat. Marc Houtzager would not be Marc Houtzager if he gave in beforehand. Unfortunately the short turn he made to the double jump did not quite work out, resulting in a fault and a lot of lost time. His time of 42.59 seconds took him to sixth place in the end.
After the Dutch, it was the turn of the Belgians, the first of whom was Pieter Clemens with Emmerton. We know this horse well in the Netherlands because until halfway through last year he caused a furore with Lars Kersten. Pieter Clemens also did not manage to stay clear and even if he had, he would have been more than a second slower than Vrieling. His compatriot Gilles Thomas was more successful as he also left all obstacles unscathed in the jump-off. However, his time of 41.84 seconds was not fast enough to threaten Vrieling.
Willem Greve is always a threat to everyone with Highway TN and this time was no different. With his great jumping stallion he started right away and
Halfway through his ride he was already a second ahead of the leader in the competition. When he then also got a smooth turn where vrieling had to take an extra canter jump, the difference was made and he took over the lead in 38.33 seconds. The crowd in Amsterdam went wild as Greve came through the finish line. It is that atmosphere that riders and audience talk about when they say that Jumping Amsterdam is a unique horse event.
But as wonderful as Greve’s ride was, he knew the win was far from in as after him came two Irishmen considered among the fastest in the world. Daniel Coyle was the first of them. With his horse Legacy, he has already won many main classes, including the Grand Prix of the CHIO in Rotterdam, and it was immediately clear that he was very keen to add Amsterdam’s. With a turn as sharp as a razor to the double jump, he had closed the gap with Greven and did not give it away for the rest of his course. By no less than three seconds, he edged Willem Greve’s time, setting the last starter a well-nigh impossible task. But the latter was none other than Denis Lynch, who has often done the impossible. Unfortunately for the Irishman, his hopes of winning soon went up in smoke when he made his first mistake and a high ranking evaporated when a second mistake was added.
Thus, another fantastic edition of Jumping Amsterdam came to an end with Daniel Coyle as winner of the World Cup competition and Willem Greve as the best rider of the show.