“Same horse, same show, same class and again victorious!” Belgium’s superstar Olivier Philippaerts smiled after his win in the CSI5* 1.55m Audi Prize at Indoor Brabant. Last year Philippaerts appeared unbeatable in the prestigious Audi Prize and this year again even world-class riders like Bertram Allen, Rolf-Göran Bengtsson and Scott Brash could not match the young Belgian rider.
Ten combinations cleared the tricky course built by course designer Louis Konickx. Dutch rider Ruben Romp and the coming star Audi’s Teavanta II C Z (Treasure x Ahorn) – closely related to Gerco Schröder’s first major Grand Prix mount Eurocommerce Geneve – jumped a fabulous clear round as second to go. Later on, Marc Houtzager and the talented Calimero (Quidam de Revel x Libero H) also made the 1.55m course look like a small tour competition.
Qatar’s Sheikh Ali Bin Khalid Al Thani riding Vienna Olympic, Ireland’s Bertram Allen and Quiet Easy 4 and Olivier Philippaerts aboard H&M Legend of Love (Landzauber x Corgraf) joined the two Dutch riders into the jump-off. Afterwards, many riders had unlucky rails and difficulties - especially on the second fence and in the triple combination. Dutch rider Leopold van Asten and his 12-year-old mare VDL Groep Quinthago Z kept another clean sheet and were soon followed by Ludger Beerbaum and Chaman, Rolf-Göran Bengtsson and Clarimo Ask, fresh world number one Simon Delestre and Qlassic Bois Margot and former world number one Scott Brash and Hello Guv’Nor. Simon Delestre decided to not jump the jump-off.
Ruben Romp immediately started off with a risky, but excellent jump-off aboard Audi’s Teavanta II C Z in the Audi Prize - made possible by his main sponsor and horse owner Eric Berkhof. They stopped the clock at 39.22 seconds. A great time, but Ireland’s Bertram Allen was determined to better it. Riding his highly successful mount Quiet Easy 4 (Quidam’s Rubin x Zapateado) he finished in an amazing time of 36.18 seconds, but unfortunately jumped down the back rail of the last oxer. Straight after Belgium’s Olivier Philippaerts rode an excellent jump-off aboard the 10-year-old mare H&M Legend of Love (Landzauber x Corgraf), stopping the clock at 37.10 seconds. “My plan was to jump H&M Legend of Love two days in the smaller classes and to focus on the Grand Prix, but we had to qualify for the Grand Prix and yesterday wasn’t the best day. I had to ride her today to be sure I qualified for tomorrow’s Grand Prix and she jumped super! In the jump-off she even jumped better,” Olivier said afterwards. “In a jump-off like this with all those great riders, you have to take all the risks!”
While Leopold van Asten and Ludger Beerbaum both had a bit of an unlucky jump-off, Rolf-Göran Bengtsson and Clarimo Ask (Clearway x Caletto II) jumped a great round in 38.36 seconds. “I changed the bridle today and Clarimo Ask jumped much better now,” Rolf-Göran smiled afterwards. The Swedish rider had to settle for third position, since former world number one Scott Brash gave it a great try aboard Hello Guv’Nor (Diamant de Semilly x Papillon Rouge). The British rider had to add one stride extra to the Audi-vertical and was just 0.17 seconds slower than Olivier Philippaerts, finishing second. “I have to say: I am delighted with my horse. He has had a break for quite a while and this was his first big class ever since. He jumped great!”
Romain Duguet wins Van Schijndel Bouwgroep Indoor Derby
The always spectacular 1.45m Van Schijndels Bouwgroep Indoor Derby was taken by Switzerland’s Romain Duguet aboard the quality jumping mare Cacharel (Coltaire Z x Libertino). Duguet was lucky though, since three riders could have bettered his time: Pius Schwizer had the last fence down, Maikel van der Vleuten had an unfortunate fault on the Van Schijndel Bouwgroep-wall, but Emanuele Gaudiano had the most unlucky scenario. The Italian rider started off his round 4.57 seconds too late, because he did not hear the bell ring. Aboard his only 7-year-old mare Carlotta (Chaccomo x Cento), Gaudiano finished only 2.08 seconds slower than Romain Duguet.
Text © World of Showjumping by Peter van der Waaij // Picture © Jenny Abrahamsson
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