Crowded grassy hills and a jam-packed program
After two warm days, we got a chance to cool down a bit today in Wolvertem. The weather gods are clearly in favour of the Brussels Stephex Masters. Against all predictions, not a drop of rain came down. They clearly granted our public and our participants a great time. With competitions in 5 different categories and an exclusive foal auction, we had a varied program in store for them.
A motivational speech from Jessica and a perfect, strategic jump-off plan
A somewhat different program today. Because we ended the day with the long-awaited auction Stephex Exclusive Breeding Collection, the main 5* class of the day was scheduled in the early evening. 44 competitors faced each other in the first 5* competition with jump-off. A challenge, as it turned out, because only 8 combinations made it through.
First to go was Peder Fredricson who with Catch Me Not S (Cardento 933 x Ramiro’s Son) immediately delivered a clear and superfast round. Next up: Kendra Claricia Brinkop and Do It Easy (Vigo Cece). This duo was already amazing in the biggest classes of Knokke Hippique and today they definitely did not disappoint. They sped around the grass arena but on the penultimate jump it nearly went wrong. A little tap against the Eurohorse vertical, but the pole stayed put: a clear round with a killer time.
Five riders and three clears later, she was still in the lead. Would the winner of the Hickstead Grand Prix do better? Gilles Thomas managed to keep his cool, but on the very last jump it went wrong for him. Kendra Claricia Brinkop wins the competition.
Overjoyed, Kendra told us all about her time so far at the Brussels Stephex Masters: “Before the start of the class, I was a bit irritated. I started here with a win, but then I got some unlucky fences down in my classes. Things were not going my way and that had to change tonight. Just before the competition I said to Jessica Springsteen ‘Jessy, tonight is our night’, to which she replied ‘Let’s do this, one of us is definitely going to win.’ That motivational speech clearly helped.”
A clever strategy also contributed to her victory: “I was lucky to be riding after a great and super-fast Peder. I watched his distances and strides carefully, came up with a plan and it worked out, although I was holding my breath when I got that tap on the second to last obstacle.”
Her victory also got Kendra the perfect car: “Did you know that just a few months ago I bought the Audi A3 Sportback that Daniel Deusser won here last year? This is the same model, but electric. It felt great speeding around the arena. For a moment I even thought I hadn’t started it properly because it hardly makes a sound. Definitely an upgrade. What a night!“