Belgium’s young talent Jos Verlooy won the inaugural Longines Grand Prix at this week’s Los Angeles Masters. Taking the CSI5* Grand Prix title with his long-time and World Equestrian Games mount Domino, Verlooy proved once again why he stands as one of Belgium’s most exciting young stars. Forty-two combinations entered to compete for the inaugural Longines Grand Prix title, hosted in the vibrant city of Los Angeles. Despite plenty of talent in the star line up of over forty international combinations, the Longines Grand Prix of Los Angeles only saw six combinations jump clear in the first round. These included Lauren Hough and Reconnaissance, Cameron Hanley and Living the Dream as well as recent winner of the Central Park Grand Prix, Georgina Bloomberg and Juvina.
Verlooy’s win came at the debut edition of the Longines Los Angeles Masters, the latest stop on the Masters Grand Slam tour, a boutique indoor show jumping circuit with editions in Paris and Hong Kong. It’s also become the biggest show jumping competition on the West Coast of the United States since the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games, where Verlooy’s father, Axel Verlooy, represented Belgium at the tender age of 20 years old.
At only eighteen years old, Verlooy was one of the youngest riders on the 42-horse start list today as well as one of the youngest to compete at the Alltech World Equestrian Games only weeks ago. Verlooy beat out most of the riders in the top 10 of the Longines world rankings, along with a handful of medalists from the Games. Many top riders ran into problems through the first round of today’s Longines Grand Prix. Richard Spooner took a tumble off Cristallo, for the second time this week unfortunately. Recent second place finisher in the CN International Grand Prix at Spruce Meadows, Reed Kessler, unfortunately was eliminated aboard Cos I Can while France’s Phillipe Rozier retired on course with Rahotep de Toscane.
Six riders made it around Olaf Petersen Jr.’s track without penalty. First to go in the jump-off, Verlooy nailed a tight inside turn then galloped flat out to the last to set a leading time of 38.11 seconds. The young Verlooy had to watch the next five riders chase after him from the classic EEM throne-like chairs offered to the top three riders at the side of the arena. Georgina Bloomberg and Juvina, fresh off her win at the Central Park Grand Prix presented by Rolex, followed with a steady clear to finish an eventual third.
The next two combinations, Ireland’s Cameron Hanley and USA’s Lauren Hough both earned an unfortunate 4 fault score. Reigning Olympic gold medalist, Steve Guerdat attempted to catch Verlooy in the jump-off on his relatively new partner Albfuehren’s Paille, but finished just off the pace for second place, with a time of 38.98 seconds. As soon as Kevin Staut’s Estoy Aqui de Muze HDC had touched a rail for a four fault score, Switzerland’s Guerdat was the first to congratulate young Verlooy.
Verlooy described this as easily his biggest win to date, and he was extra excited to earn it on Domino; a horse that has grown with the talented Belgian jockey from the junior ranks to international stardom. Axel Verlooy bought the Belgian-bred gelding as a 7 year old to be his son’s first junior jumper and now the combination have represented Belgium at the most prestigious Nations Cup on the circuit, Aachen, as well as competed for Belgian at the 2014 Alltech World Equestrian Games.
LONGINES GRAND PRIX
Int. jumping competition with jump-off (1.60 m) FEI Art. 238.2.2 – CSI5* – Masters
|1.||92||Domino||Verlooy, Jos||BEL||156750.00 U||0 penalties 38.11 sec|
|bay 11y.G /Thunder van de Zuuthoeve/Azur Depaulstra/BWP/103AR37/ Verlooy Axel Eur||jump-off|
|2.||98||Albfuehren’s Paille||Guerdat, Steve||SUI||95000.00 US||0 penalties 38.98 sec|
|chest 11y.M /Kannan (kwpn)/SF/FRA45663/ Hofgut Albführen GmbH||jump-off|
|3.||8||Juvina||Bloomberg, Georgina||USA||71250.00 US||0 penalties 41.90 sec|
|grey 13y.M /Cassini I/Grannus/AUT40753/ Gotham Enterprizes,Llc||jump-off|
|4.||24||Estoy Aqui de Muze H D C||Staut, Kevin||FRA||47500.00 US||4 penalties 38.74 sec|
|chest 10y.M /Malito De Reves/Kashmir van Schuttershof/BWP/102NB32/ Haras Des Coud||jump-off|
|5.||22||Reconnaissance||Hough, Lauren||USA||28500.00 US||4 penalties 39.78 sec|
|grey 9y.G /Camaro M/Irco Mena/SWB/103GT11/ Laura & Meredith Mateo||jump-off|
|6.||27||Living The Dream||Hanley, Cameron||IRL||21375.00 US||4 penalties 42.72 sec|
|dbay 9y.G /Toulon/Flamenco Desemilly/BWP/103DA92/ Cameron Hanley Showjumpers & Qu||jump-off|
|7.||103||Carinjo Hdc||Delaveau, Patrice||FRA||14250.00 US||4 penalties 69.76 sec|
|bay 13y.S /Cascavelle/Landgraf I/HOLST/102ON79/ Haras Des Coudrettes||round 1|
|8.||71||Hello M’Lady||Brash, Scott||GBR||11875.00 US||4 penalties 70.90 sec|
|bay 8y.M /Indoctro/Baloubet du Rouet/BWP/103JN86/ Lady P. Kirkham||round 1|
|9.||118||Cornet’s Cristallo||Kutscher, Marco||GER||9500.00 USD||4 penalties 70.99 sec|
|bay 11y.G /Cornet Obolensky/Pilot/WESTF/102MH58/ Sudheimer Hof / Thomas Sagel||round 1|
|10.||16||Vindicat W||Springsteen, Jessica||USA||9500.00 USD||4 penalties 71.02 sec|
|bay 12y.G /Guidam/Libero H/KWPN/GBR42462/ Stone Hill Farm||round 1|
|11.||74||HH Carlos Z||Ward, McLain||USA||4750.00 USD||4 penalties 72.63 sec|
|bay 12y.G /Chellano Z/Voltaire/ZANG/BEL41129/ Double H Farm||round 1|
|12.||127||Simon||Madden, Elizabeth||USA||4750.00 USD||4 penalties 72.64 sec|
|bay 15y.G /Mr. Blue/Polydox/KWPN/NED07405/ Abigail Wexner||round 1|