The 2021 edition of Knokke Hippique is well underway and has celebrated the first victories in the CSI2* Super Cup and CSI1* Prestige League. With a first time right for the winner of the Grand Prix-qualification class presented by MAX Equestrian Productions. British rider Matthew Sampson was in it to win it with his first ever performance on the coast of Knokke-Heist.
In the feature class of the day, the two-star Grand Prix-qualification class, home-rider Axel Vandoorne set the time to beat very early in the 1.40m class with twelve-year-old Jacarta (Larina x Lord Z). The Belgian rider sped through the finish line of the competition against the clock in 60.08 seconds. The only rider that came near his time was Felix Hassmann. With Sig Captain America (by Captain Fire x Collin) the German rider clocked a time of 60,70 seconds placing third.
Vandoorne seemed on the home stretch to a well-deserved victory but then Matthew Sampson entered the arena of the Albert Plage. With his mind set on a winning round the Dutch-based rider used every inch and turn of the course, built by German course builder Peter Schumacher, to his advantage. With nine-year old Harley D (Spartacus x Grandilot) he stopped the clock in an amazingly fast time of 59.84 seconds.
“I am very lucky to score a win on my first time competing here. And, to ride a horse with the quality that Harley D has. He is a very competitive horse and the course suited him well. The venue is very impressive but luckily, he doesn’t mind. I think I am more impressed than he is to be honest. It looks amazing and it is so big I admit I got lost yesterday on my way home.”
“With a start like this I feel even more motivated for the rest of the show”, Sampson continues. The winner, who runs a showjumping stable in Valkenswaard (NED) with his Canadian partner and Olympic rider Kara Chad, is competing three weeks in a row in Knokke. “We will bring more horses for the upcoming two weeks as well. Knokke Hippique will be our vacation home for all this time, and I am sure we will enjoy every minute of it.”
The first week of Knokke Hippique concludes on Sunday 27 June with the grand finale of the Rolex Grand Prix worth a staggering 500.000 euro. After this highlight there are another two weeks of showjumping set with the Summer Circuit week 1 and week 2 from 30 June till 11 July.
Full results from Wednesday’s Super Cup presented by MAX Equestrian Productions can be found via this link.
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