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Belgium takes first-ever victory in the BMO Nations Cup at the Spruce Meadows 'Masters'

Sunday, 08 September 2019
CSIO5* Spruce Meadows 'Masters' 2019

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping. The winning team! Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.


Text © World of Showjumping



From the beginning to the end, Belgium dominated Saturday’s CSIO5* 1.60m BMO Nations Cup at the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ – taking their first-ever victory in its 44-year-long history. There were only two double clears in the competition, and both came from Belgian riders – Pieter Clemens with Quintini (Quintender 2 x Cassini II) and Olivier Philippaerts with H&M Extra (Berlin x Heartbreaker). 

As expected the course asked a lot of questions and it was mostly the combination at 5ab, as well as the triple combination as 11abc, that caused problems. Again and again poles fell on the last line with the triple combination followed by the widest oxer of the day. 

After the first round Belgium was in the lead with four faults ahead of Ireland with eight faults, Canada with nine faults and France with ten faults. The six best teams made it on to the second round, leaving Italy, USA, Netherlands and Germany on the bench. 

In the second round Belgium’s first three riders went clear, including Francois Mathy Jr. with Uno de La Roque (Numero Uno x Kannan) that went from four faults in the first round to a clear in the second round – leaving their fourth pair Yves Vanderhasselt and Jeunesse (Eldorado van de Zuuthoeve x Quasimodo) with the luxury of not having to jump. 

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.  Olivier Philippaerts and H&M Extra were one out of only two double clear pairs. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

“I think we are all very, very pleased. Belgium had a tremendous year all around. Then we come to Spruce Meadows with four different riders and four different horses and we win again after the Europeans. That is something special. Together with our Chef d’Equipe we have a good team and hopefully we can continue to win,” Olivier Philippaerts said after the victory. 

“Pieter and Olivier made it very easy for us today by delivering two double clears. When I went in, I knew that Yves was behind me and that he would make it if I didn’t so there were no problems today,” Mathy Jr. filled in. “It was really fantastic. They were the only double clears in the class, and when you have that kind of start it is really motivating for us that come later. We are very happy to be able to deliver that victory that we never had here.” 

Team Canada improved during the second round and finished on 14 faults, to take the second place. Ireland had a score of 19 faults to secure third. Sweden had to settle for fourth place, while fifth place went to Mexico and sixth place to France. 

“We have been close a couple of times and now we are very happy to be able to take the trophy home. I think it was a very well-deserved win today. We didn’t steal the win, we earned it. It is always nice to win like that!” Philippaerts concluded. 

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