26 February '24

Thibeau Spits and Impress-K Van ‘t Kattenheye Z win the CSI2* GP of Ghent.

Impress-K Van 't Kattenheye Z - Thibeau Spits - ©Zahra De Meyer

© Zahra De Meyer

The halls of Flanders Horse Expo in Ghent provided the backdrop for a new edition of Flanders Horse Expo last weekend, a unique event featuring a fair for riders, drivers, and breeders, but above all, a showcase of national and international showjumping. The absolute highlight of the weekend was undoubtedly the CSI2* Grand Prix on Saturday evening, where we saw a Zangersheide horse top the leaderboard. It was Belgian rider Thibeau Spits who rode to victory with the 9-year-old black stallion Impress-K van ’t Kattenheye Z, a son of Indoktro-K van ’t Kattenheye and Vagabond de la Pomme, bred by Tony Raman and Mieke Strobbe.

Impress-K Van 't Kattenheye Z - Thibeau Spits - ©Zahra De Meyer (2)

Spits and Impress-K Van ’t Kattenheye Z have shown strong performances in recent weeks and once again confirm their excellent form in Ghent. In the CSI2* Grand Prix, they were one of only 4 combinations to produce clear rounds in the initial course, earning them a spot in the jump-off. Despite facing a jumping fault in the jump-off, their finishing time of 37.22 seconds proved sufficient to secure victory in this Grand Prix, as no other combination managed to go clear again.

Impress-K Van 't Kattenheye Z - Thibeau Spits - ©Zahra De Meyer (3)

In addition to Spits and Impress-K Van ‘t Kattenheye Z, compatriot Paris Vandousselaere also qualified for the jump-off with the 11-year-old gelding Saido vd Koutermolen Z, a son of Skill Z and Gottwald bred by Dorine Goegebeure. Vandousselaere and Saido Vd Koutermolen Z encountered 8 penalty points in the jump-off, ultimately securing them a 4th place in the standings, after a 7th place finish in the 1.40m class on Thursday.

In the 1.45m high Longines Ranking competition on Friday, victory also came in blue and yellow, courtesy of Dutch rider Piet Raijmakers Jr. with the 12-year-old mare Van Schijndel’s Olaya Z, a daughter of Ogano Sitte and Concorde bred in the Netherlands by F. van Och. Raijmakers Jr. and Van Schijndel’s Olaya Z were among the 8 combinations to qualify for the jump-off, where they outclassed the competition with a faultless round in 34.59 seconds.

Another triumph was secured by Belgian rider Anthony Wellens with the 9-year-old mare Da Silva van ’t Schaaphof Z, a daughter of Diamant de Semilly and Clinton bred by Maurice Van de Walle. Wellens and Da Silva Van ’t Schaaphof Z emerged victorious in the 1.40m class on Thursday, boasting a faultless second phase in 26.52 seconds, well ahead of the competition. The duo continued their success the following day with a 10th place finish in the 1.45m high Longines Ranking competition.

The competition also proved successful for young Belgian rider Jules Van Hoydonck with his 11-year-old chestnut mare Elize Z, bred by Kris Van Kerckhove combining the bloodlines of Elvis Ter Putte and Prince Royal. Van Hoydonck and Elize Z started their competition excellently with a win in the 1.35m class on Thursday and secured a 2nd place in another 1.35m class the following day.

Finally, Vic De Plecker also achieved two classifications with the 11-year-old grey gelding Corvette Van ’t Koningshof Z (Clarissimo Z x Stakkato – Breeder: Jan Jochems). They kept all the poles in place both during the 1.40m class on Thursday and the 1.35m class on Friday, earning them a 3rd place finish in the standings on both occasions.