Early morning in Valkenswaard, Holland, and the first opportunity to see show jumping’s elite riders as they build up to tomorrow’s VDL Groep Grand Prix.
USA rider Lauren Hough set off at a cracking pace on Ohlala round the beautiful main grass arena and held onto her clear round lead in a time of 60.55. Lauren, from New York, is currently in 17th place in the GCT 2012 ranking. She had no trouble with the course designed by Uliano Vezzani and jumped a smooth clear round avoiding trouble at the early double combination which caught out a number of riders.
Lauren Hough at GCT Valkenswaard on Ohlala (Sportfot/GCT)
Highly experienced Dutch rider Eric van der Vleuten made it look easy jumping clear into second place in 61.15. Eric, father of Maikel van der Vleuten who was part of the Netherlands team silver at the Olympic Games in London, gave a polished performance on VDL Groep Cannelina. German rider Marco Kutscher was third on Cash in 62.10.
The course was full of smooth, sweeping turns but many of the top riders incurred time penalties including Ludger Beerbaum, Michael Whitaker, Rolf-Goran Bengtsson, Kamal Bahamdan and Sheikh Ali Al Thani.
Classes are being live broadcast on http://www.globalchampionstour.com/gct-live/
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