Verona, Italy – November 05, 2021 – Belgium’s Olivier Philippaerts (BEL) stormed to victory in the €25,500 Banca Passadore Speed Challenge at Jumping Verona 2021 this afternoon. But only one-hundredth of a second separated him from runner-up Mark McAuley (IRL) from Ireland.
McAuley (IRL) set the early target with a super-fast time of 59.46 seconds with his nine-year-old chestnut mare O’Hara ELS when fourth to go of the 51 starters. But, eighteenth into the ring, Philippaerts (BEL) squeezed fractionally ahead when racing through the timers in 59.45 with the Belgian-bred chestnut gelding Miro. And despite their best efforts none of the rest could better that.
Jessica Springsteen, winner of the first class of the opening day with the mare Tiger Lily, produced by far the quickest time when racing through the finish in 57.13. But a very tight turn to the double at fence nine didn’t pay off, and when she crossed the line leaving two fences on the floor it wouldn’t be the American on the top step of the podium this time around.
Instead that honour went to 28-year-old Philippaerts who has become one of the most consistent younger riders on the international showjumping circuit in recent years. He was only 22 when a member of the winning Belgian team at the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Final in Barcelona, Spain in 2015, and he was back in the Belgian side that finished second at the Spanish fixture this year.
Philippaerts has twice finished fifth at the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final, in 2018 and 2019 with H&M Legend of Love, and will be one to watch out for in this Sunday’s World Cup qualifier in Verona.
Third place in today’s Banca Passadore Speed class went to Italy’s Ricardo Pisani (ITA) whose lovely rhythm and light hands brought the handsome 11-year-old grey stallion Charlemagne JT Z home in 60.83 seconds, while Ireland’s Denis Lynch (IRL) slotted into fourth with In the Air when stopping the clock on 61.85 seconds.
Final Results – €25,500 Banca Passadora presents CSI 5*-W
1) Olivier Philippaerts (BEL) & Miro – 0 / 59.45
2) Mark McAuley (IRL) & O’Hara ELS – 0 / 59.46
3) Riccardo Pisani (ITA) & Charlemagne JT Z – 0 / 60.83
Source: Press Release from Fieracavalli
Photos: © Jumping Verona / M. Proli