The KWPN gelding, Earley, made another piece of Jumping history today when becoming only the third-ever horse to record back-to-back wins when taking the 6-Year-Old title at the FEI World Breeding Jumping Championships for Young Horses 2015 at Lanaken in Belgium. Horses in the 6 and 7-Year-Old category were ranked in each of the two qualifying competitions, and the top-40 earned a place in today’s Finals in which the KWPN, Earley (Harley VDL/Indorado), wrote his name into the Young Horse history books when clinching 6-Year-Old gold.
With 17 into the jump-off it was always going to take a quick horse to win it, but Earley is a massive 1.77cms tall with a ground-eating stride to match, and just as he did when taking the 2014 5-Year-Old title, the big bay galloped through the timers quicker than all the rest. His rider, Maikel van Mierlo, knows the horse well. Maikel’s father bought the horse as a 3-year-old, and sold him on to owners H.M. van Raaij-Evertse who sent him off to be broken before returning him to Van Mierlo to ride.
Since winning his gold medal as a 5-Year-Old, Earley has been lightly competed, lining out at a few international shows and at the Dutch Championships where he finished seventh this year. “I don’t jump him a lot at home” Van Mierlo explained after taking his second successive title with the horse today. “He only jumped a 1.20m class as preparation for this show and to be honest the pressure coming to this year’s Championships was not special”, he said. The 24-year-old Dutchman’s philosophy is an uncomplicated one. “You have to stay motivated, and to just try your best every day” he said.
Talking about his winning round he continued, “the course was not too difficult and the time was long enough, but with 17 in the jump off you know you have to go full speed! When I came out I knew that I was fast but I didn't know it was fast enough to win. I think I won it on the last line. He's not spooky and he has a very good character - he is top careful, and has a lot of scope” said the rider who operates from the south of Holland, between Eindhoven and Venlo.
Six-Year-Old Final: GOLD - Earley (Maikel van Mierlo) NED 0/0 36.62
SILVER - Ellavar (Marlon Modolo Zanotelli) BRA 0/0 37.10
BRONZE - Take a Chance on Me Z (Christian Ahlmann) GER 0/0 37.49.
Full results at www.hippodata.de