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The 19 year old rider from Belgium gained a few more American fans at Washington on Friday night, happily signing autographs for young admirers who waited for him after the awards cereomny. This is his first time competing in the United States, during what has become a very successful North American tour for him this fall. In September he won the CN International Million Dollar Grand Prix at Spruce Meadows, and this latest victory made the WIHS even sweeter for him. This show is his second of four North American stops before he heads home to Europe in November.
“I think this is the biggest I’ve jumped,” Philippaerts noted. “This is the first time we jumped (the puissance). I had a feeling this could be a good horse to do it, he has lots of scope to try it.”
Philippaerts and Chicago make their maiden puissance once to remember.
Try it he did, and even though both Chicago VH Moleneind and his rider were green to a puissance class, the pair was the only one of the six entries to go all three rounds without dislodging the massive wall.
The puissance wall began at 5'9", grew to 6.3”, and finally saw its first victim in Benjamen Meredith and Kaskade at the Round 3 height of 6’9”.
Laura Kraut and Charlie Jayne next became causalties of the wall (safe causalties of course; their horses harmlessly knocked the top of the wall over.) Kraut’s student Jessica Springsteen made an admirable effort to finish in 3rd place in what was also her first puissance attempt, and finally, it came down to Philipparts and Aaron Vale aboard Wodka L.
Vale, of Ocala FL, is decidedly more experienced that Philippaerts, but despite his colorful, one handed landings off of the wall, he and his mount were eliminated at the final, 2.13m height.
A valiant attempt by Vale and Wodka L
Philippaerts then proceeded to clear it, and was clearly thrilled with the win. He's excited to close out his Washington week by jumping in this evening’s World Cup Qualifier Grand Prix.
With his twin brother Nicola, Philippaerts has been using his first-ever tour in the United States to gain experience and find better opportunity to pick up World Cup standing points.
Philippaerts noted that in Europe, the World Cup Qualifying League classes are very difficult to get into. A U.S. tour has given the brothers time to work with a new coach (they have previously been coached by their father, Belgian Olympian Ludo Philippaerts) and be off on their own for a few months.
However, Phillipaerts happily noted that his father, who flew into Washington from Europe late on Friday night, will be in attendance for the grand prix this evening.
Oh La La Stepping Up with Hough
Preceding the Puissance, Lauren Hough galloped fastest to win the $32,000 Open Jumper 1.50m speed. Hough is also looking forward to tonight’s $100,0000 President’s Cup World Cup Qualifier Grand Prix with Oh La La; it will mark the 8 year old mare’s first WCQ start.
Hough and Oh La La warm up well for Saturday night
Hough has had a good season with the mare, who she partnered with just under one year ago. While spending the summer season living and competing in Europe, Oh La La was named Best Young Horse in Aachen and in Hamburg.
“She’s quite advanced and is just taking that step up to the bigger classes,” said Hough. “At the end of her 8 year old year she’s quite advanced.”
With turns and inside options, Hough took advantage of the mare’s naturally fast pace to cross the timers in 46.82 seconds.
Nicola Philippaerts finished in a very close 2nd place with Diebrich DE Kalvarie, just .06 seconds off Hough’s pace. Kent Farrington and Zafira were just .02 seconds behind that to finish in 3rd.
The spectator-friendly WIHS continues to draw crowds for every night class. The $100,000 President's Cup Grand Prix, CSI 3*-W will be livestreamed on USEFNetwork.com, along with a full evening of events beginning at 7pmEST. Visit www.wihs.org for details and for full results of all classes.
Results - $25,000 Jumper Puissance
Rider | Horse | Owner | Score
- Olivier Philippaerts | Chicago VH Moleneind | Ludo Philippaerts | 2.130
- Aaron Vale | Wodka L | Thinks Like a Horse | 2.010
- Jessica Springsteen | Stone Hill Farm | Temmie | 1.900
- Laura Kraut | Belmont | Beverly Widdowson | 1.900
- Charlie Jayne | Balougris SL Z | Pony Lane Farm | 1.900
- Benjamin Meredith | Kaskade | Haley Schaufeld | 1.750
Top Ten - $35,000 Open Jumper 1.50m
Rider | Horse | Round 1 faults | Round 1 Time
- Lauren Hough | Oh La La | 0 | 46.82
- Nicola Philippaerts | Diebrich De Kalvarie | 0 | 46.88
- Kent Farrington | Zafira | 0 | 46.90
- Reed Kessler | Ligist | 4 | 46.95
- Nick Dello Joio | Zemilion | 0 | 51.51
- Beezie Madden | Vanilla | 0 | 51.79
- Katie Prudent | V | 4 | 49.32
- Charlie Jayne | Valeska | 4 | 49.72
- Matt Williams | Watch Me VD Mangelaar | 0 | 55.00
- Christine McCrea | Victor E | 4 | 52.80
All Photos ©ProEquest
Reed Kessler and Ligist were quick enough to place 4th with one rail down.
Hough and Oh La La
Kessler and Nick Dello Joio
And then, there were the terrier races.
Charlie Jayne and Balougris SL Z clear the first round height
And the wall goes higher...
Philippaerts celebrates upon landing
Lots of pats for a good horse