On Saturday afternoon, Pieter Devos finally secured the title Belgian Champion at Zangersheide after finishing with the silver medal two years in a row. Riding Espoir, Devos kept a clean sheet all the way throughout the championship after winning the Table C against the clock on Wednesday. Young talent Pieter Clemens climbed up the ranks to win the silver medal with Horizon de Regor, while Fabienne Daigneux Lange finished in the bronze position.
The first round of the final of the Belgian Championships was a tough one. The course was big, but delicate as well and included some related distances. As the eighth rider Pieter Clemens on Horizon de Regor (Obourg x Cento) was the first to deliver a clear round over the tough track, showing off the pair's huge potential for the highest level. Former Belgian Champion Karel Cox could not keep up with his 9-year-old mare Nicole and also medal contenders like Gregory Wathelet and Gudrun Patteet did not get the result they hoped for.
As leading rider in the standings, Pieter Devos was last to go and produced a magnificent clear round aboard the 12-year-old Espoir (Surcouf de Revel x Laudanum xx). Fabienne Daigneux Lange only knocked down the second part of the penultimate combination, finishing in the third position on the standings with Venue d'Fees des Hazalles (President x Alcatraz). The podium did not change in the second round, after Daigneux Lange, Clemens and Devos managed to finish on a zero score.
With his fist up in the air, Devos rode through the finish line as the Belgian Champion 2016. “I still missed this title on my record. After two silver medals in a row, I cannot be happier with this gold medal. I think my horse really deserved it as well, since he has grown into the championship and perhaps his last round was even his best round of the week. It is an emotional victory for me and it still has to sink in a little bit,” Pieter said afterwards.
Text © World of Showjumping by Peter van der Waaij // Picture © Jenny Abrahamsson
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