The PonyWorld Weekly

June 18, 2018

Quote of the Week


“He did so much for me. He made me the rider I am today.”


—British dressage rider Alice Oppenheimer bidding farewell to her Grand Prix partner of more than 13 years, Wurlizer, who was put down this week at the age of 18.


#TeamBelgium Storms the Weekend in Sopot and Cascais

Nicola Philippaerts & H&M Harley (c) Stefano Grasso/LGCT

What happened?

Belgian riders took home the top spots in not one, but four of the biggest classes of the weekend: the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Poland and the Memoriał Pułkownika Witolda Pileckiego CSIO5* in Sopot, and the GCL Final and LGCT Grand Prix of Cascais, Estoril in Portugal.


Tell Me More

On Saturday, Belgian riders dominated the Memoriał Pułkownika Witolda Pileckiego CSIO5*, taking all three podium spots: Pieter Devos & Haloubet Hichcock in first, Gudrun Patteet & Sea Coast Pebbles Z in second, and Jerome Guery & Celvin in third. On Sunday, Devos and Guery were back in action as part of the winning Belgian team in the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Poland, dropping just one rail a piece alongside teammates Niels Bruynseels and Olivier Philippaerts.


Over in Cascais, Olivier’s brother, Nicola Philippaerts, rode to victory in the LGCT Grand Prix of Cascais on H&M Harley vd Bisschop. Philippaerts finished just a second ahead of his countryman, Gregory Wathelet (on Mjt Navados S), who was also an instrumental part of the winning Paris Panthers team in both rounds of the GCL of Cascais. What’s more: Wathelet & Qualido also won the Class 4, 1.50m CSI5* competition on Friday at LGCT Cascais. How’s that for consistency?

Gregory Wathelet & Qualido (c) Stefano Grasso/LGCT

PonyWorld Take

Belgian dominance at the top of the sport is nothing new, though interestingly, there’s not a single Belgian rider currently listed among the top 10 in the world in the Longines Rankings (Devos is highest at #14). Meanwhile, things are bound to get exciting this year during the remainder of the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ series, where a showdown looks to be brewing between Belgium and current European Division 1 leader, Switzerland. Thanks to Belgium’s win in Sopot, the two teams are now separated by just 10 points at the season’s halfway point. Belgium and Switzerland will face-off one more time in Division 1 Nations Cup competition at CSIO Rotterdam this weekend before the series final in Barcelona, Spain. Somebody grab the popcorn!


If You Can Only Watch One Round…


Watch highlights from the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Poland.

It was an impressive win for the Belgian team during the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Poland in Sopot, winning ahead of anchor rider Niels Bruynseels' final turn on a score of 13. France finished second on 16; the USA (anchored by Margie Goldstein-Engle and Royce) finished third on 21. Recap all the drama below.


This Just In…


Jonelle Price earns a back-to-back CCI4* win at Luhmühlen.

New Zealand's Jonelle Price is on a roll! Less than a year after giving birth, Price maintained her composure to jump another clear show jumping round earning her a second CCI4* win of the year—this time at Luhmühlen aboard Faerie Dianimo! Price rode to victory at Badminton in May on Classic Moet, taking the first four-star win of her career. “If you’d asked me in January…if I’d be sat here at the end of June with two four-star wins under my belt, I would have said you were completely mad,” Price said.


**Watch This Space**

Emerald & Harrie Smolders (c) World of Showjumping

Emerald & kids show plenty of sparkle.

You know when world #1 Harrie Smolders trots into the arena on Emerald, things are about to get interesting. The 14-year-old chestnut BWB stallion is not only a regular winner at the CSI5* level at locations like Bordeaux and Chantilly, he’s also been Smolders’ go-to for major competitions such as the 2016 Rio Olympics and two World Cup Jumping Finals (they finished second in 2016). But Emerald’s offspring are also moving their way up the ranks under a number of top riders, including Italy's Lorenzo de Luca, Belgium's Jos Verlooy, and even Smolders, himself. “I am pretty sure that Emerald will be one of those stallions really adding something to his next generation,” Smolders says.


Pony Social


That’s one way to stick a landing!

There are may ways to save face when things go wrong on course, and if you have to bail out, by all means, try to land on your feet (especially if you’re wearing whites)! But as French rider Lisa Chaussenot discovered at a recent horse show near Dijon, sometimes there’s an even more impressive alternative. Bet you didn’t see this one coming…