Some Belgian riders have returned home after a very good tour in the USA. The Philippaerts brothers are a good example and they are very happy about the way it has been. They gained a lot of points for the FEI World Cup because it’s a very important goal for them to ride the FEI World Cup final next year. Nicola has 33 points and Olivier 20. They just have to score a few more points in the Western-European league so they can go to the final which is in Stockholm, the home base of their sponsor H&M.
Nicola competed with H&M Forever d’Arco Ter Linden. This horse is quite special because when we were talking about his horses at Jumping Antwerpen in 2014 he told me he had great expectations about this horse. And it took some time but it looks like Nicola has found himself a trustworthy partner. ‘He has grown up‘, Nicola explains. ‘The results are better and more regular. He was 3rd in Washington, 4th in Toronto and 12th in Kentucky. I’m happy with what we achieved together.’ Also H&M Harley v/d Bisschop went to the USA with Nicola and had some fine results. He had a 5th place in the Grand Prix in Toronto and won the ‘Weston Canadian Open’ in Washington. Nicola confirmed that he will be taking H&M Forever d’Arco Ter Linden with him for the FEI World Cup in London and Mechelen. ‘I just need 1 more point in the seven competitions that will follow so my American results can count in the Western-European league. That shouldn’t be a problem.’
Olivier competed with H&M Legend of Love and H&M Challenge vd Begijnakker. H&M Legend of Love took some points in Washington with a victory in the ‘Brickenden Trophy’. Challenge had a third place in Kentucky which leaves Olivier with a positive feeling. ‘Our goal was to gain points for the FEI World Cup’, says Olivier. ‘Nicola and I succeeded and those 20 points that I have gained, give me confidence for our European tour. In December I will be competing in London and Mechelen. This weekend I’ll be riding H&M Armstrong vd Kapel in Stuttgart.’
Belgian rider Jos Verlooy did the same tour as the Philippaerts brothers together with his trainer and Eurohorse rider Harrie Smolders. At the Washington Horse Show Jos decided to compete at the Puissance with Sunshine. A first time for both Jos and Sunshine but what a great moment it was. After 4 thrilling rounds there were 3 combinations left and Jos and Sunshine were the only duo who jumped the 2.13m wall. Also Harrie had a great time in Washington. He and Emerald managed to win the President’s Cup. Jos ended at the 4th place with Sunshine. The young talent received 4 awards that night: best rider, best U25 rider, best owner (for Euro Horse) and best horse (Sunshine). The only 9-year old Sunshine has proven to be a perfect successor of Jos’ former tophorse Domino. At Lexington Sunshine had a 6th place in the World Cup Qualifier and a 4th place in the Grand Prix and the mare also jumped to a 4th place in the World Cup Qualifier of Las Vegas. Jos’ former horse Domino, who’s now under the saddle of Audrey Coulter, took the 2nd place. Jos also took Caddie R, who he bought in August this year from Linnea Ericsson, with him to the USA. The horse had 4 top ten placings during their USA tour and that didn’t went unnoticed. Caddie R was sold to Bill Gates who bought the horse for his daughter Jennifer.