Competition continued in Treffen, Austria on Saturday at the Glock’s Horses and Stars CSI5*, with the show jumpers filling each day with sport, and the nights featuring headline concerts that make the event unlike any other horse show in the world.
After winning Friday’s €25,000 Glock’s Perfection Tour CSI5*, Belgium’s Olivier Philippaerts enjoyed a second victory in the €75,000 Gaston Glock’s Championat CSI5*, this time with H&M Legend of Love, an up and coming mare that Philippaerts lauded for her special talent.
Philippaerts rode in an undesirable second-to-go position in the eight-horse jumpoff, but the time he laid down aboard the 9-year-old KWPN mare (Landzauber x Corgraf) held throughout the remainder of the competition. Finishing notably in 2nd place was Thomas Frühmann, who at 64-years-old is a fan favorite when he rides in his native Austria. Gert Jan Bruggink placed 3rd for The Netherlands.
“I knew when I got [H&M Legend of Love] that she was very special,” Philippaerts said of his winning mount. I really took my time with her, keeping her in the small shows. Now we’ve done a few bigger shows, and I think she’s going to be a very big horse.”
Twenty-two-year old Philippaerts works alongside his twin brother Nicola and father Ludo near Genk, Belgium, and it was Ludo who matched Olivier with Legend of Love over one year ago.
“My father has a pretty good idea which horse fits which rider,” Philippaerts explained. “For the moment we each have two very good horses, and it’s thanks to him that we have these horses.”
Philippaerts, who represented Belgium at 2014’s FEI World Equestrian Games, expressed some disappointment over last week’s results at the European Championships in Aachen, Germany, which shut out Belgium for a chance to compete as a team at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Philippaerts was not selected to ride in Aachen, and admitted that Team Belgium’s failure to place high enough to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics marked a sad day for the nation. Two individuals will be chosen to ride for Belgium at the Olympics, but Philippaerts is well aware that being chosen will be no simple matter.
“We will just have to see,” he said. “It’s a bit a shame that the selection goes on one event. Everything goes on two rounds in Aachen, but it’s the same like that for everybody.”
Philippaerts now has his sights set on Sunday afternoon’s Glock Grand Prix CSI5*. As leader of the two grand prix qualifying classes, he’s earned the high-pressure last to go position in the order. Philippaerts plans on riding the more experienced H&M Armstrong in Sunday’s grand prix, and hopes that his week continues to hold for another high-ranked finish.
Full results of the Glock’s Perfection Tour 1.55m are at this link.