Maikel Van der Vleuten was proclaimed, on Friday, the undisputed winner of the CSIO5* Longines Grand Prix of Twente that was held in the Dutch city of Geesteren. A magnificent jump off with his 11 yo mare “Dana Blue”, allowed the pair to be at the head of the 8 riders that came out to fight the title. Two seconds apart for the second left no doubt, the local rider and his mare were the protagonists of the day.
It could have been one more victory to add to the great record of the Dutch rider, but there was something more. 10 years ago, his father Eric Van der Vleuten raised the same title and in the same place
It was back in 2009 when Eric and his horse Tomboy, raised the trophy, with 70 pairs that took part of the Twente Grand Prix. After the prize giving ceremony, Eric commented “I have been very close to the victory over the past years, but this time I got it" It was a special victory, with three Dutch riders in the podium, celebrating in their own country. A decade later, we could hear the Dutch anthem once again with the Victory of a Van der Vleuten.
Eric and Maikel are not only father and son, they are also teacher and student, and confidents. The perfect cocktail to be a winning tandem.
Since Maikel started riding ponies, Eric has always been there to make his son the great rider he is today. They complement each other perfectly, as they have shown in Cannes, placing their team, Madrid in Motion, first in the Global Champions League. In Madrid, where also father and son, who were third representing the team, sponsored by Massimo Dutti and Marqués de Riscal. Team that currently stands third in the overall ranking of the League. In addition, Maikel is currently the twenty-first in the Longines FEI Ranking and 6th in the Longines Global Champions Tour Ranking.
Hard work has its reward, but the winning gene is carried in the blood and, in this family, there is no doubt that “it’s all about the genes”.