KNOKKE- HEIST: It was Grand Prix day today at Knokke Hippique! The best six and seven year olds were decided, as well as the CSI1* and CSI3* winners crowned.
The action began in the Zoute Plage under the warm morning sun, as the CSIYH 7Y Final presented by Zangersheide kicked off the day. The 1.40m course was technical and challenging and gave the up-and-coming superstars great experience for their careers ahead. 12 riders made it through to the jump-off, including the winner of last week’s CSIYH 7Y Final, Nicola Philippaerts (BEL). However, try as he may he could not match the time set by his father Ludo Philippaerts (BEL). Nor could the rest of the field. The win this week went to Ludo and Dhalida Diamant Vd Krekebeke Z, followed by Kendra Claricia Brinkop (GER) and Origi Horta who has celebrated many wins and placings during Knokke Hippique so far. The third place went to Belgian’s own Olympian, Niels Bruynseels.
The final class of the day promised to be action-packed with an incredible lineup of riders qualified for the CSI3* Grand Prix presented by Henders & Hazel. Out of the 59 starters, yet again only 12 made it through to the jump-off to fight for the win. It was truly a battle between nations, and between Stephex riders – with Michael Hughes (USA), Zoe Conter (BEL) and Petronella Andersson (SWE) all in the lineup.
Antonio Mariñas Soto (ESP) was first to start, followed by Emma Stoker (GBR) and Kontador Vdm who rode a fantastic clear round and set the bar high for the pairs to come.
However, then Michael Hughes (USA) entered the ring on the 11 year old BWP gelding Kashmir Van d’Oude Pastory. Hughes joined Stephex as one of their main show riders at the end of 2020. At this time his bay gelding was ridden by Kendra Claricia Brinkop and Hughes received the ride at the beginning of 2021.
Hughes and Kashmir took off in the jump-off course with pace and intent. His eyes were on the prize and Kashmir was focused on every aid from his rider flying over the 1.55m GP course, making it look effortless. They crossed the finish line in a spectacular 30.17s, stealing the lead from Matias Albarracin (ARG) and Cannavaro 9. Guillaume Foutrier (FRA) and Clin Doeil du Paradis rode beautifully, but could not catch number one and two, ending up in third place.
“I’m so happy with Kashmir! He jumped amazing and the course really suited us today. It’s great to win at a Stephex show! I can’t thank Stephan and my team enough who make days like this all possible!”
Stephex’s Petronella Andersson (SWE) and Halita O, as well as Zoe Conter (BEL) and Dawa de Greenbay Z both sadly had a fault each, but could still place well in the CSI3* GP.
View the full results of the day: Here
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