Top Series Grand Prix presented by BMW: Pieter Devos drives home in a BMW 1 Serie
Belgium’s own Pieter Devos brought home his second win at the 2017-edition of Knokke Hippique, when going to the top in Sunday’s CSI3* Top Series Grand Prix presented by BMW.
Riding the 11-year-old gelding Gin D (Clinton I x Skippy II), Devos topped a podium consisting of only Belgian riders – and was delivered the keys to a brand new BMW Serie 1 at the prize giving.
Ten of the 50 riders in the € 61.800 1.50m Grand Prix also counting for the World Ranking jumped clear over the thirteen fence first round track to move on to the jump-off. It was again a delicate course set by Uliano Vezzani (ITA), and the time allowed also played a big part in the outcome with several riders being forced into mistakes if rushing – or recording time penalties.
The first to produce a clear against the clock was the second rider to go, Koen Vereecke (BEL), who came straight from his Super Cup Grand Prix victory in the same ring. Vereecke again delivered a super quick round, this time aboard Glasgow MB (Toulon x Thunder van de Zuuthoeve) – to stop the clock at 39.18 seconds to wild cheers from the home crowd.
Three riders later it was time for Devos, who took all the risk needed on the big striding grey gelding using the many open stretches in the huge Zoute Plage ring to close in on Vereecke – crossing the finish line an incredible two seconds faster to take over the lead. One more rider into the starting order, Nicola Philippaerts entered the ring on Aikido Z (Accardi x Corrado I) – his winning partner from Friday’s Grand Prix qualifier. Philippaerts came agonisingly close, clocking the time of 37.24 seconds – only 0.06 behind Devos, pushing Vereecke down to third.
“Today I really wanted to try, I did one less from the first to the second fence. I wanted to keep Gin D in a good rhythm, so I did not have to turn too short,” said Devos after. “I did not watch the others too much, I knew Nicola Philippaerts was coming behind me – so I had to take all the risk and that is what I did. It was very close though, Nicola made me sweat a little bit!”
“Gin D is quite a new horse for me, my wife rode him before and I took him over about half-a-year ago,” detailed Devos. “First it was about getting the clear rounds, and now that I have the control I want with him in the ring the next step is to have him fast in the jump-off because he is not really a quick horse – you have to make him. It is improving, two weeks ago we won a class in Treffen and now here.”
“I am very happy with Gin D,” Devos continued. “Now I have another horse that can compete at the high level, and with all the shows we have now it is always important to have new horses coming up,” said the happy winner.
Earlier in the day. Patrick Mc Entee (AZE) and Alice Mury Marais Z (Air Jordan Z x Calvin Z) took a speedy victory in Sunday’s Top Series 1.35 class presented by Satisfactory – winning by 1.14 seconds with the time 27.58 in the immediate jump-off. 15 more riders had the opportunity to catch Mc Entee’s time and Britain’s Jessica Mendoza came closest to finish second aboard Wan Architect. Vincent Lambrecht followed in third place with S & L Through The Looking Glass (Arkan x Hairos) ahead of two very competitive riders to round of the top five, Katharina Offel and Laura Kraut, riding Amarit d’Amour (Ashby x Damiani) and Charming Fellow Z (Clinton x Cappucino V Berkenbroek) respectively.
For results from the class click in via this link.
Picture © Scoopdyga