BRUSSELS – Dutchman Willem Greve had a textbook first jumping day at the Brussels Stephex Masters. The Olympic rider triumphed in the 1.50m class with Carambole and finished as the runner up in the 1.45m class with Highway TN. “Both stallions jumped amazing today, maybe I should just go home now, because I cannot see it getting much better than this”, the winner says about his results in the CSI5* classes.
In the top class of the day 30 horse-and-rider combinations took on the challenge of the 1.50m class against the clock designed by course builder Uliano Vezzani and his team. With four of the five highest ranked riders in the world in the mix the game was on.
Taking over the lead
As the fifth rider to go Lillie Keenan and her eager jumping stallion Agana van het Gerendal Z (by Aganix du Seigneur) set the time to beat in 61,59 seconds. The American top rider stayed in the lead for a while until it was Willem Greve’s turn. Making the task at hand seem easy with his seventeen-year-old stallion Carambole (by Cassini I) Greve took over the lead with over a second to spare scored the win.
“This was a super day with a perfect finish. For an opening 1.50m class this was a nice one in which the course designer left lots of decisions to the riders. Whether or not to turn tight or to leave a stride out made all the difference. With his experience it does not make sense to ride a nice schooling round with Carambole. I did not go crazy fast, but I did mean to be competitive and let my horse know that it is game time”, explains the winner.
‘He makes my life easy’
“Carambole is very clever, accelerates quickly, turns sharp and does not loose time over the obstacles by jumping meters too high. He makes my life easy, very easy indeed. And to add to an already fantastic day I am very much enjoying this show. Not just because of the good results, but the level of details, the atmosphere, the crowds give this event an extra dimension for sure.”
Eye on the prize
The only rider who came close to beating Greve’s time (+0,10) was Jérôme Guery. With Eras Ste Hermelle (by Vargas de Ste Hermelle) the Belgian Olympic bronze medalist had his eye on the prize but missed out by a fault in the double combination in the final line leaving, finishing in 13th place. With Keenan as the runner-up for the USA, Irish rider Bertram Allen took hold of the third place. Frenchman Edward Levy placed fourth and Belgiums Karel Cox ranked fifth.
Click here for all the results of visit www.stephexevents.com
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