In the exclusive stable of equestrian Jan Tops, known for the Q500 horses, a world is waiting to be discovered as he aims to put it on the map with his traveling competition for luxury show jumping horses. Tops, who has secured Longines as a sponsor for an amount of 100 million euros, wants to make the equestrian sport globally recognized, comparable to Formula 1 and soccer. During a tour of his stable in Valkenswaard, he provides a glimpse into his five-star resort for quadrupeds, where he does nothing by halves.
Upon arrival at the Stal Tops premises in Valkenswaard, considered a sort of equestrian Waldorf Astoria, an imposing stable comes into view. The horses, gleaming with health, are enjoying the luxurious facilities. Tops, an Olympic gold medalist, compares his horse stable to a five-star resort and emphasizes the comparison with the prestigious Waldorf Astoria. In this location, also known as the Brabant horse boulevard, affluent riders from around the world stable their horses.
Tops, who, in addition to his own successes as a rider, organizes a prominent equestrian event, has grand plans for the equestrian sport. He wants to globally promote this sport, akin to Formula 1 and soccer, with Valkenswaard as its central hub, comparable to Zandvoort for Formula 1. Tops, with his Global Champions League & Tour launched in 2005, has created a sort of Champions League for equestrian sports. The event, with extravagant prize money and sponsorship from Longines amounting to 100 million euros until 2027, travels the world, visiting cities such as Saint-Tropez, Miami, and Valkenswaard.
Tops emphasizes that he does not do things halfway and aspires to global recognition for equestrian sports. He compares his event to Formula 1 and soccer, aiming to elevate the sport to the same level. In his stable, where the air is filled with the scent of fresh sawdust, leather, and a hint of anti-bite, everything exudes luxury. The horses, with names like Star, Tokyo du Soleil, Aslan 69, Uppercourt Cappuccino, and Bacardi VDL, are surrounded with care. Tops points out the stained-glass windows with horse heads that radiate classical beauty. The entire setup, including the sponsorship funds from Longines, contributes to Tops' mission to bring equestrian sports to a global level, with Valkenswaard at the center of this ambition.