Maikel van der Vleuten

Dutch showjumper Maikel van der Vleuten is one of the leading names on the international circuit, with three championship medals to his name. Maikel and his horse Beauville Z have been selected to represent the Netherlands in the Olympic showjumping at the Tokyo Games.

Born in Geldrop, the Netherlands, in 1988, Maikel van der Vleuten was always destined to a life in showjumping as his father Eric van der Vleuten is a very successful showjumper, representing his country at three world championships. Father and son rode on several Nations Cup and GCL teams together. “I can’t say I have exactly the same style as my father, but fathers and sons often ride with similar styles,” says Maikel. “Because I grew up in the same stable and we ride every day together, it is normal I pick up things from him.”

Maikel enjoyed a successful early career jumping on ponies and in 2005 he won team gold at the FEI junior European Championships. He went on to win a team silver and team bronze at the young rider Europeans.

Maikel van der Vleuten and Verdi in action at the 2015 European Championships in Aachen

Maikel made his senior championship debut in 2011 at the Europeans in Madrid where the team finished fourth. A year later, he was part of the Dutch team who won the silver medal at the London 2012 Olympics after a jump-off with Great Britain for gold. In 2014, Maikel won team gold at the World Equestrian Games in France and claimed a second team gold the following year at the 2015 European Championships.

Maikel van der Vleuten’s stables
Maikel is based in Someren in the Netherlands at the family stables with his wife Rachelle and their two daughters Liza (born 2017) and Sophie (born 2021). At the Tokyo Olympics, Maikel is riding his top horse Beauville Z, an 11-year-old bay gelding co-owned by Marta Ortega Perez from the Spanish Ortega family, owners of the Zara fashion chain. Maikel is perhaps best known for his long partnership with the great Verdi TN, his two-time Olympic partner and multi-grand prix winner, who was retired from the sport in 2020.

Maikel Van Der Vleuten of Netherlands riding Verdi TN competing at Spruce Meadows, Canada, in 2018

Maikel van der Vleuten’s greatest achievements

  • Team silver, 2012 Olympics in London
  • Team gold, 2014 World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France
  • Team gold, 2015 European Championships
  • Was part of the Dutch team that won the Nations Cup Final in Barcelona in 2014
  • Among Maikel’s list of five-star grand prix wins are Monte Carlo, Valkenswaard and Madrid.