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Nicola Philippaerts well on his way to another title...

12 / 09 / 2018
Forty combinations appeared at the start in the first round of the Belgian Championship for Seniors. This first qualification was a Speedy & Handiness class with 13 obstacles over 16 jumps designed by course designer Eugène Mathy. 

The fourth combination that entered the ring, Olivier Philippaerts and his 9-year old Berlin stallion H&M Extra, immediately set the time-to-beat in 71.60 seconds. A few combinations later Jeroen Appelen and Grappeloup van het Reenhof, a 12-year-old son of Larino, ended close to Olivier Philippaerts’ time in 71.64 seconds. Halfway the class it was Wouter Devos who, with the 15-year old Ogano Sitte son Tonik Hero, showed that the time of Philippaerts could be improved, but unfortunately the duo saw their speed resulting in one pole down on the penultimate jump. This resulted in their time being reviewed to 74.72 seconds, good for a seventh place. The next combination that managed to beat Olivier's time was none other than ... the current Belgian Champion Nicola Philippaerts. In the saddle of J'adore van het Schaek, a 9-year-old Darco-mare, the Limburger finished in 71.15 seconds and took over the lead from his brother.

Frederic Vernaet and Just A Gamble (Toulon) ended on fourth place in 72.15 seconds while Christophe Vanderhasselt completed the top five in 72.47 seconds with Identity Vitseroel (Air Jordan Z).

The fastest time of the day was set by Jérôme Guery. He brought Kel'Star du Vingt Ponts (Kannan) to the finish in 69.91 seconds but saw one pole falling out of the cups. Their reviewed time of 73.91 seconds resulted in a sixth place. Arnaud Doem and Egard de Prefontaine (Contact van de Heffinck) finished eighth in 74.79 seconds. For Lieven Devos and Gregory Wathelet there was a shared 9th place. Devos and Giovanni van het Scheefkasteel (Darco) jumped clear in 74.85 seconds while Wathelet and Qualido 3 (Quicksilber) saw their time reviewed from 70.85 seconds to 74.85 seconds with one down.

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