Some of world's best riders competed against each other in Friday night's thrilling CSI5* 1.50m Top Sport Flandres Prize worth 62 000 Euro. Home rider Niels Bruynseels turned out as the winner aboard his Belgian bred mare Gancia de Muze in front of an extremely enthusiastic home crowd. “To win here in Brussels tonight at one of world's leading equestrian events is fantastic! Winning never bores anyone,” Bruynseels smiled from cheek to cheek after his victory.
The 1.50m Top Sport Flandres Prize was held over two rounds with 25 percent of the best combinations from the first round going into the second round against the clock, carrying any penalties with them. Only eight pairs managed to keep a fully clean sheet in the first round, and four combinations finished on just a time penalty to all qualify for the second round. Among the qualified riders were world-class riders such as Billy Twomey (IRL), Piergiorgio Bucci (ITA), Steve Guerdat (SUI), Tiffany Foster (CAN) and Laura Kraut (USA). But eventually, it was Belgium's superstar Niels Bruynseels who kept the victory on home soil.
With a time of 42.61 seconds, taking all the risk aboard his striking mare Gancia de Muze (Malito de Rêves x Nimmerdor), Bruynseels left the runner-up position to Tiffany Foster aboard Brighton (Contendro II x Quick Star) and third place to Steve Guerdat riding Bianca (Balou du Rouet x Cardento). “All my horses are in great form at the moment, and I am very lucky to currently have an exceptional string of horses,” Bruynseels stated afterwards. “Gancia has been jumping fantastic lately, but except for our victory in the Grand Prix of Bonheiden, we finish second or third each time. To win here, beating some of world's best and with the crowd behind you, that is just wonderful!”
Niels Bruynseels also took his current top mount Cas de Liberté Z to the Stephex Masters and hopes to pull off some more strong results this weekend. “It gives you a lot of confidence to start off an event like this with the support of the crowd. I hope my horses will stay in the right shape and that I will grow into the event this week,” Niels said also emphasizing the importance of the Stephex Masters for Belgium as an equestrian country: “This event means a lot for Belgium. The true top riders and horses are competing here and today there were many, many people to witness the sport. I think this is of great importance for equestrianism in Belgium!”
Source: Press release from Brussels Stephex Masters // Picture © Scoopdyga
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