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Lars Kersten and Hallilea win the CSI5*-W 1.50m KBC Bank & Verzekering at Jumping Mechelen 2022

Wednesday, 28 December 2022
CSI5*-W Jumping Mechelen 2022

Photo © Nanna Nieminen/WoSJ.
"We have bred Hallilea ourselves, so this win is a special one," Lars Kersten said after his victory in the CSI5*-W 1.50m KBC Bank & Verzekering at Jumping Mechelen 2022. Photo © Nanna Nieminen/WoSJ.


Text © World of Showjumping



Wednesday's highlight at Jumping Mechelen 2022 was the CSI5*-W 1.50m KBC Bank & Verzekering, where Lars Kersten and Hallilea took the win after an exciting jump-off. A total of 42 horse-and-rider-combinations were at start, and thirteen of them cleared the first-round track set by Eddy Geysemans (BEL) – which counted 13 obstacles and 16 efforts.

To the joy of the cheerful Belgian crowds, Thibeau Spits (BEL) and King van Essene (Calido I x Chacco-Blue) posted the first clear in round one, followed by Jos Verlooy (BEL) and Igor (Emerald x Nabab de Reve), Hans-Dieter Dreher (GER) and Cous Cous (Cachas x Lasino) and Erica Swartz (SWE) aboard Madonna (Flamenco de Semilly x Carabas vd Wateringhoeve). Przemyslaw Konopacki (POL) and Home-Run (Spartacus TN x Concorde) joined the jump-off as well, as did Willem Greve (NED) and Grandorado TN N.O.P. (Eldorado vd Zeshoek x Carolus II), Georgia Tame (GBR) and Curiano van Maarle Z (Canabis Z x Germus R), Pieter Devos (BEL) and Claire Z (Clearway x Coronado), Lars Kersten (NED) and Hallilea (VDL Zirocco Blue x Larome), Niels Bruynseels (BEL) and Matador (Emerald x Laredo), Gilles Thomas (BEL) and Luna van het Dennehof (Prince van de Wolfsakker x Quidam de Revel) and Nicola Philippaerts (BEL) aboard H&M Luna van'T Ruytershof Z (Levisto Z x For Pleasure). While Simon Delestre (FRA) and Dexter Fontenis Z (Diarado x Voltaire) also jumped clear, they opted not to take part in the jump-off. 

In the jump-off, Greve and Devos demonstrated immaculate riding: First, Greve took over the lead with a time of 35.82, only to be pushed down to second by Devos when the clock stopped on 35.67 – a performance that lifted the roof in the Nekkerhal. However, in the end, it was Kersten and the 10-year-old Hallilea that posted the winning round when crossing the finish line in 35.31 seconds, pushing Devos to the runner-up position and Greve to third, while Philippaerts finished fourth and Tame fifth. 

"We have bred Hallilea ourselves, so this win is a special one," Kersten told WoSJ after his victory. "She has been doing three- and four-star Grand Prix classes and has been going to a few five-star shows as the second horse. However, this weekend she had to step up as the first horse, and tonight she really rose to the occasion and jumped super."

"The jump-off was very tight, with so many fast horses and riders," Kersten continued. "I think that after the second oxer, in the roll-back to the Zangersheide-vertical, was where I left a stride out in comparison to the others – maybe that is where I won it. This is my first win in a major five-star class, but I have done my first Nations Cup this year, and the double clear in the World Cup in Oslo maybe ranks a bit higher than tonight as well – but this is definitely a nice win!" 

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