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Nicola Philippaerts Belgian Champion 2017

Saturday, 23 September 2017
Belgian Championships 2017

Photo (c) Haide Westring The podium at the 2017 Belgian Championships. Photo (c) Haide Westring

Nicola Philippaerts and his 9-year-old stallion Chilli Willi (Casall x Lord) were crowned Belgian Champions on Saturday afternoon at Zangersheide, Lanaken. For the 24-year-old Nicola, who kept his cool and remained faultless on the final day, it was the first national senior titel. 

Before the two final rounds on Saturday, it was Jos Verlooy on the 9-year-old gelding Igor (Emerald van't Ruytershof x Nabab de Reve) that led the way, followed by Philippaerts and Gregory Wathelet on the 9-year-old stallion MJT Nevada S (Calvados Z x Romualdo). Both Philippaerts and Wathelet remained clear over the first round, while Verlooy had an unfortunate pole down at the final fence handing over the lead to Philippaerts who secured the title with another flawless perfomance over the final round. 

“This feels fantastic,” said Nicola Philippaerts after his win. “My father has won this title six times, and now I won it for the first time. I am very happy, and Chilli Willi jumped amazing. He already did a great job in Lausanne last week and continued that here in Zangersheide. He is so consistent, so good, so trustworthy – I am short of superlatives to thank him enough. Now he will have a rest until the indoor season begins. I am lucky that the weather is good today, since the champions will be thrown into the open water…” Philippaerts laughed. 

“Showjumping has evolved, there are so many good riders on such good horses – winning with such a strong field, you must be happy,” Ludo Philippaerts commented. “Chilli Willi has had great progress this year and is in the best form of his life. Last week he jumped four clear rounds in Lausanne. And a week later he has repeated that and became the Belgian Champion with Nicola. That is an exceptionally strong performance.” 

Jos Verlooy took the silver medal, while Gregory Wathelet secured himself the bronze. 


Text ©  World of Showjumping // Picture © Haide Westring

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