The Belgian crowd was again treated with a home win in the Nekkerhal at Jumping Mechelen. This time Belgium’s young superstar Olivier Philippaerts turned out invincible in Tuesday’s CSI5* 1.50m Grand Prix presented by Topsport Vlaanderen. His 9-year-old mare H&M Legend of Love gave everything she had as first to go in the jump-off, and the time of 36.82 seconds proved to be unbeatable.
Olivier Philippaerts has been one of Belgium’s best riders for many years already, but still is only 22-years-old. The son of showjumping legend Ludo Philippaerts did not hesitate at all as first starter to go in the jump-off, and let H&M Legend of Love (Landzauber x Corgraf) gallop through the course. Their runs and fluent lines turned out to be unbeatable.
Again Belgium’s Jérôme Guery rode himself into runner-up position, this time on the 9-year-old superstar in the making Grand Cru van de Rozenberg (Malito de Rêves x Heartbreaker). The chestnut gelding jumped out of his skin, but a small hitch from fence 6B to 9 costed a few tenths of a second, finishing on 37.71 seconds. France’s Pénélope Leprévost and her 11-year-old mare Nice Stephanie (Cardento x Ralmé Z) were on great form and jumped to a third position in 38.53 seconds.
Harrie Smolders also took his chances with Don VHP Z (Diamant de Semilly x Voltaire), but could not be faster than 40.01 seconds – ending up fourth. Great Britain’s Joe Clee rode his 10-year-old Fento Chin S (Chin Chin x Carthago) to a fifth place.
Dutch rider Caroline Poels, married to Belgium’s Pieter Devos, took home the CSI5* 1.45m Open Queens Cup presented by Stephex Stables at Jumping Mechelen. Her Grand Prix star Apart (Larino x Burggraaf) jumped incredible in a thrilling jump-off, winning the class by less than half-a-second: 40.18. Switzerland’s Fiona Meier and F Olympic Mh (Nonstop x Caretano Z) chased Caroline Poels until the very end, but just could not beat her, finishing second in 40.53 seconds.
Belgium’s Yentl Baert and Fantast van het Indih (Toulon x Rubens du Ri d’Asse) came even closer to Meier, finishing third in 40.57 seconds. Fourth place fell into the hands of Belgium’s Kirsten Rombouts and Benji van het Goeteringenveld, while Norway’s Marit Skollerud took the fifth place with Barcelona (Mr. Blue x Voltaire).
One year after his spectacular victory with Zirocco Blue VDL in the Masters at Jumping Mechelen, Dutch rider Jur Vrieling jumped to an incredible win with VDL Glasgow van Merelsnest in the Six Bar in the Nekkerhal. Jur and Glasgow – a cousin to the legendary mare Sapphire – easily cleared the Six Bar at a height of no less than 2.00m.
For VDL Glasgow van Merelsnest (Nabab de Rêve x Darc) the victory was more or less a home win, being bred at the Belgian Stud Merelsnest of family Van Bunder. For years Jur Vrieling’s specialty has been competing in these kind of show classes and Glasgow’s enormous scope really helped to clear all the fences in the Six Bar, included the winning 2.00m fence.
Italy’s Luca Maria Moneta gave it a try with the 14-year-old Neptune Brecourt (Cumano x Kayack), but got a rail in his last try, finishing second. Moneta had to share the runner-up position with Austria’s Max Kühner, riding is top horse Coeur de Lion (Coriano x Cassini I).
Moneta and Kühner were not the only ones to ride their best horses in the Six Bar, also the Netherlands’ Leopold van Asten competed his number one horse VDL Groep Zidane (Heartbreaker x Calando I), finishing fourth. Germany’s Patrick Stühlmeyer ended up fifth, riding Lenitas (Limbus x Cheenook).
Text © World of Showjumping by Peter van der Waaij// Pictures © Dirk Caremans/www.hippofoto.be.
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