Top Series: Belgium best again with Nicola Philippaerts on top of the Grand Prix Qualifier presented by STX Finance
The Belgians are unstoppable on home soil at Knokke Hippique, and it was Nicola Philippaerts that brought home yet another victory for the hosts in Friday evening’s CSI3* 1.45m Grand Prix Qualifier presented by STX Finance – also counting for the World Ranking.
With 29 out of the 76 riders in the class qualified for the jump-off, it was nothing to do but to go for it from beginning to end. The shortened jump-off track opened with two long stretches that invited to full speed, then a short rollback-turn to a white delicate plank waited before the riders had to back up their horses for the airy combination that followed. Remaining was one tall upright on the short side by the VIP, and if you wanted to win you had to attack it.
As second to enter the ring, Nicola Philippaerts took all the risk required – with full gas from start to finish on the 11-year-old gelding Aikido Z (Accardi x Corrado I), stopping the clock at 35.98 seconds to wild cheers from the home crowds.
One rider after another tried to catch Philippaerts’ time, but did not succeed. Closest came Emma Stoker (GBR) on Townhead Tallulah V (Tabasco La Silla x Calvados), who clocked the time of 36.12 seconds after a lighting fast round. Stephex Stables’ own Daniel Deusser (GER) did his best to bring the victory home to the hosting team, but had to settle for third place despite a blistering fast round on Tobago Z (Tangelo Vd Zuuthoeve x Mr Blue) in this highly competitive class that saw no less than fifteen horse-and-rider combinations jumping double clears.
Earlier in the day, the CSI3* 1.35m class with immediate jump-off presented by Gintin saw Justine Tebbel (GER) on top – riding the 8-year-old gelding Special 10 (Stakkato Gold x Limes). The Belgians continued their good form with Karel Cox and Jaguar (Chopin van het Moleneind x Cicero Z) placing second, 0.57 behind Tebbel in the jump-off. Nayel Nassar (EGY) was again on the podium, taking the third place on Dee Jee (Viento Uno W x Charlie Z).
Results from all classes can be found via this link.
Picture © OneShot