Brussels, Belgium – August 26, 2022 – A somewhat different program on Friday at the Brussels Stephex Masters CSI 5*, 3* & 2*. Because we ended the day with the long-awaited auction Stephex Exclusive Breeding Collection, the main 5* class of the day was scheduled in the early evening. 44 competitors faced each other in the first 5* competition with jump-off. A challenge, as it turned out, because only 8 combinations made it through to the tiebreker.
First to go was Peder Fredricson (SWE) who with Catch Me Not S (Cardento 933 x Ramiro’s Son) immediately delivered a clear and superfast round, however the Olympic & World Team Champion would have to settle for second place due to their final time of 40.71 seconds.
Next up: Kendra Claricia Brinkop (GER) and Do It Easy (Vigo Cece). This duo was already amazing in the biggest classes of Knokke Hippique and they definitely did not disappoint on Friday. They sped around the grass arena but on the penultimate jump it nearly went wrong. A little tap against the Eurohorse vertical, but the pole stayed put: a clear round with a killer time, 40.28 seconds.
Five riders and three clears later, she was still in the lead. Would the winner of the Hickstead Grand Prix do better? Gilles Thomas (BEL) managed to keep his cool, but on the very last jump but it went wrong for him. Kendra Claricia Brinkop (GER) wins the competition.
Pieter Devos (BEL) and Claire Z (Clearway x Coronado) registered the third-fasted clean jump-off performance of the 1.55m challenge, completing the top three in 41.14 seconds.
A Motivational Speech from Jessica and a Perfect, Strategic Jump-off Plan
Overjoyed, Kendra told us all about her time so far at the Brussels Stephex Masters: “Before the start of the class, I was a bit irritated. I started here with a win, but then I got some unlucky fences down in my classes. Things were not going my way and that had to change tonight. Just before the competition I said to Jessica Springsteen ‘Jessy (USA), tonight is our night’, to which she replied that one was definitely going to win tonight. That motivation clearly helped.”
A clever strategy also contributed to her victory: “I was lucky to be riding after a great and super-fast Peder. I watched his distances and strides carefully, came up with a plan and it worked out, although I was holding my breath when I got that tap on the second to last obstacle.”
Her victory also got Kendra the perfect car: “Did you know that just a few months ago I bought the Audi A3 Sportback that Daniel Deusser (GER) won here last year? This is the same model, but a hybrid. It felt great speeding around the arena. For a moment I even thought I hadn’t started it properly because it hardly makes a sound. Definitely an upgrade. What a night!”
Final Results – €100,000 Audi Prize CSI 5*
1) Kendra Claricia Brinkop (GER) & Do lt Easy – 0 / 0 – 40.68
2) Peder Fredricson (SWE) & Catch Me Not S – 0 / 0 – 40.71
3) Pieter Devos (BEL) & Claire Z – 0 / 0 – 41.14
Source: Press Release from Brussels Stephex Masters
Photos: © Sportfot