BRUSSELS – On the opening day of the Brussel Stephex Masters the riders in the CSI3* Top Series took centre stage. With excellent results for the home riders with Zoe Conter scoring the win in the 1.35m and stable rider Kendra Claricia Brinkop finishing as the runner-up. In the final class of the day German rider Josh Löhden defended his teams honor by triumphing in the 1.40m.
The grounds of the Stephex Stables are the home of champions this week and on the first day everyone got to enjoy the phenomenal setting that gleamed in the sunshine. With three-, two-, and one-star classes on the schedule there was great sport to be seen and winners a plenty.
Home team win
With Zoe Conter and Ma Belle (by Ugano Sitte) noting the first victory for the home team in the 1.35m. In the class which was ridden directly on time CSI3* course builder Eddy Geysemans saw only three riders finish in a time under 66 seconds with the top three being just hundredths of a second apart.
Conter and her nine-year-old mare Ma Belle stopped the clock in 65,55 seconds. For Germany Brinkop and Ultachic de Charmois (by Quaprice Bois Margot) were hot on their heels with just three hundredths of a second extra. Virginie Thonon (BEL) added just four hundredths of a second with High Tech Vy de Septon completing the top three.
With the sun setting the two-phase 1.40m class saw one rider go exceptionally fast. Near the end it was Josch Löhden’s turn, and he beat the time of Charlotte Bettendorf (LUX) by more than two seconds. Bettendorf and het mount Murakami Gp Z (by Mylord Carthago) had been in the lead for most of the class but had to settle for second place instead.
‘Always have a good shot’
Löhden was full of praise about his very eager ten-year-old gelding Van Moor (by Van Helsing). “It is a great opportunity for me that I can compete at a top show like this. We jumped a nice, not too technical opening class that allowed the horses to go with a nice rhythm and that suited my horse well. He is really quick, super careful and has a big heart. He is not my Grand Prix horse, but in the 1.40/1.45m I know I always have a good shot at a decent placing.”
“Today my wife and my students did not have much luck in the rankings, so when it was my turn, I said I will do my best and it was good enough”, the winner smiles happily. “I have been riding my Grand Prix horse Ultimus since the beginning of this year and we are making nice progress at 1.50m level and I hope that in a few years we can compete here in the five-star Rolex Grand Prix”.
Tomorrow is the first day the riders for the CSI5* will come into action as well as the young horses. All the showjumping can be followed live on ClipMyHorse.tv and the organization is also happy that they are allowed to welcome visitors.