Photo: LGCT / Stefano Grasso
It was an all-Belgian podium as Pieter Devos stormed a stunning win with 12 year old bay gelding Espoir in the 1.50m Baker Tilly Roelfs Trophy CSI5* class. Nicola Philippaerts (BEL) with H&M Quenzo de la Roque took a strong second place, and compatriot Jerome Guery (BEL) with Grand Cru van de Rozenberg ensured the top three places went to Belgium after the 48 strong class took place.
Ahead of the Global Champions League of Hamburg, many of the world’s best riders took to the expansive grass arena this morning for the two-phase competition. A total of 30 riders progressed through to the second phase of their round after jumping clear, and went against the clock to work their way up the field and secure the fastest time. Pieter’s Espoir was another long striding horse, well suited to the longer distances, and was able to cover the ground effortlessly, with the 12 year old gelding looking comfortable in the wide grass arena. Smart, considered turns and a flowing rhythm meant the paring would cross the line in 32.39s.
Compatriot Nicola Philippaerts (BEL) rode a stunning round with H&M Quenzo de la Roque however were just shy of Pieter’s time, finishing only tenths of a second behind in 32.73s. Jerome Guery (BEL) and his stunning 10 year old chestnut gelding Grand Cru van de Rozenberg were 33.53s in the second phase, pushing them up to third overall. It was a good day for Belgium, as Nicola’s brother Olivier Philippaerts also finished well, with Gitania v.G placed in 6th.
Other impressive combinations who looked on form were the legendary Rolf-Göran Bengtsson with his stunning grey stallion Clarimo ASK, who finished fourth overall and just tenths away from a top three position. Bertram Allen (IRL) continued his run of form riding Belmonde superbly over the course, and Sergio Alvarez Moya (ESP) with Charmeur also put in a strong showing ahead of Germany’s highest place rider Holger Wulschner with BSC Cavity.