It was the 24-year-old Belgian rider Olivier Philippaerts (BEL) who triumphed over 53 fellow competitors to take the $35,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round 6 in week six of the 12-week 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). Professional hunters finished competition today and ten championships were awarded.
FEI jumper competition in week six is being held at Equestrian Village, home to the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (13500 South Shore Blvd.) at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL. WEF 6 highlight events include the $132,000 Rushy Marsh Farm Grand Prix CSI 3* on Friday, February 16, at 7 p.m. in the Global International Arena at Equestrian Village and the $100,000 WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular for “Saturday Night Lights” on Saturday, February 17, at 6:30 p.m. in the WEF International Arena. The sixth week of WEF continues through Sunday, February 18, while WEF goes through April 1 and offers more than $9 million in prize money.
Aboard the 10-year-old gelding H&M Ikker — who is still owned by his breeder Roger Van Nuffelen — Philippaerts posted a blistering 37.61 seconds to take an unassailable lead. Second-placed Francisco Musa (BRA) and Catch Me Império Egípcio were almost two seconds adrift, with the only other clear in the jump-off coming from American rider Callan Solem (Davidson), who finished third. The course designer for CSI competition this week is Ana Catlina Harris of Mexico.
Philippaerts, who is 24 and competing at WEF for the first time, said: “I watched the first jump-off round, but decided to just go my own round and see where I ended up; luckily it was fast enough today. He turns very well in the jump-off, which is what makes him quite fast.”