It was a successful day for Dutch riders when Leopold Van Asten led a trio of his countrymen to win the €375,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI3* on Sunday, March 12, 2017 at Indoor Brabant in the Netherlands.
The 1.60m class with jump off saw a field of 40 starters. But just seven would advance into the second round and eventually, just the top three of the class would finish on a double clear score. The course proved to be tough, seeing no less than six riders retire including top riders as Ludger Beerbaum, Jeroen Dubbeldam or Marcus Ehning among others.
“It was a tough course, technical, big but it had everything in it,” Van Asten said. “I changed my plan after walking the course, and my horse jumped really well. I could tell in the warm-up that he was in good shape and the first round went great. You have nothing to lose in a jump-off with seven riders, and it went well from the beginning, and I took a risk on the last and jumped it great, and that made me win today.”
This year marked the 50th anniversary of Indoor Brabant and along with that hallmark came a very big announcement. For the very first time, in 2018, Indoor Brabant will join the Rolex Grand Slam of show jumping alongside CHIO Aachen, CSIO Spruce Meadows “Masters” and CHI Geneva. Read more about that announcement here.
Van Asten and VDL Groep Zidane N.O.P. are in top form right now, and a Grand Prix win was a matter of time after they recently finished in 2nd place in the Longines FEI World Cup of Bordeaux and in third place in the Longines FEI World Cup of Gothenburg. The Dutch rider and his 13-year-old KWPN stallion (Heartbreaker X Calando I) finished in 1st on the day by being the only pair to break the time of 40 seconds in the jumpoff while keeping all the fences up. They stopped the timers in 39.29 seconds.
The runner-up spot was for his compatriot Wout-Jan van der Schans aboard the 14-year-old KWPN gelding Capetown (Oklund X Carlino) who stopped the timers in 40.51 seconds. Van der Schans and Capetown also finished in fourth place in the Audi Prize on Saturday.
Holland’s Marc Houtzager finished in 3rd place aboard the 10-year-old KWPN gelding Sterrehof’s Calimero (Quidam de Revel X Achill) in 41.11 seconds. Houtzager and Calimero also won the VDL Groep Prize on Friday.
Italy’s Lorenzo de Luca and the 13-year-old BWP gelding Ensor de Litrange XII (Nabab de Reve X Mr Blue) finished in 4th place as the fastest 4 faulter in 39.75 seconds. while 5th place went to France’s Kevin Staut and the 16-year-old SBS gelding Reveur de Hurtebise HDC (Kashmir van Schuttershof X Capricieux Des 6 Censes) with four faults in 39.95 seconds.
You can see the full results of this class here.