Wolvertem, Meise – Belgium – June 25, 2022 – Time flies when you’re having fun. After almost four days of top sport and unwinding by the seaside, the battle for the first two Grand Prix of 2022 Knokke Hippique was on already. A thrilling – €51,300 Grand Prix CSI 3*, presented by Henders & Hazel was the perfect first highlight of the three-week equestrian event.
As the evening fell over the Zoute Plage arena during the course walk, it immediately became clear the €51,300 Henders & Hazel Grand Prix CSI 3* would be a real challenge. In Thursday’s and Friday’s qualifiers, 43 riders had secured a shot at the Grand Prix win. They really had to come out punching today, as even the greatest Olympic legends did not manage to clear the course and many riders did not make the clock.
With just 4 clear rounds it was proving ultra-demanding tonight. Brazil’s Bernardo Alves (BRA) and Mosito van het Hellehof, who placed 4th in last night’s qualifier, were first to enter the ring for the big finale. Mosito angling away and clearing fence after fence left us wondering if anyone could improve on what he was delivering during this jump-off. After soaring through the massive Henders and Hazel double, the duo raced to the last vertical: clear!
Who would do it better? Maybe a fairly new pair: Olympic champion Laura Kraut (USA) and Calgary Tame? Sadly the American challengers had one vertical down quite early in the course and finished with 8 penalties in total.
Bernardo’s second challenger came from Germany. Kendra Claricia Brinkop (GER) and Do It Easy looked relaxed and ready walking into the arena. They started of strong but the jump-off course was ruthless: 8 penalties. The second American in the finale, Michael Hughes (USA) , was last to go with Kashmir Van d’Oude Pastory. They are known for being fierce competitors and proved just that again tonight. Impressing on every fence and in every turn they had the audience on the edges of their seats. One vertical to go. Clear! But oh no: 0.02 seconds too slow!
After giving Bernardo Alves (BRA) a real scare, the flying duo finished second in the Henders and Hazel Grand Prix. Victory was claimed by Brazil after a great performance by both rider and horse. But after the prize-giving, an overjoyed Bernardo Alves (BRA) wanted to talk mostly about the amazing Mosito. “I have never ridden a horse like Mosito van het Hellehof. We have competed in 7 Grands Prix. We have qualified 6 times and won 2 times. Unbelievable! I am really happy.” Bernardo Alves will be back in the third week of Knokke Hippique where he will compete for the Brazilian team in the long awaited Nations Cup.
Final Results – €51,300 Top Series Grand Prix CSI 3*, presented by Henders and Hazel (1.55m)
1) Bernardo Cardoso de Resende Alves (BRA) & Mosito van het Hellehof (Elvis Ter Putte x Nabab de Reve) – 0 / 0 – 40.31
2) Michael Hughes (USA) & Kashmir Van d’Oude Pastory (Thunder Vd Zuuthoeve x Sun Light van de Zuuthoeve) – 0 / 0 – 40.33
3) Kendra Claricia Brinkop (GER) & Do It Easy (Vigo Cece x Laeken) – 0 / 8 – 40.74
Source: Press Release from Knokke Hipique
Photos: © Sportfot