Karel Cox and Evert (Amadeus x Indoctro) made it a home win in Sunday's CSI3* 1.50m Top Series Grand Prix Meise.
Eight out of the 44 horse-and-rider combinations managed to produce clear rounds in this Grand Prix class, moving on to the jump-off.
It was not until Cox and the 9-year-old gelding entered the ring as third last to go in the jump-off that another clear round came though, as the previous riders all had a rail down each. Setting off at a high pace, well aware of the fact that a clear round would give him the lead, Cox kept his cool to slot into pole position with a time of 34.59 seconds.
As last to go, Great Britain's Jessica Mendoza came the closest to Cox with the second clear round of the jump-off to take the runner-up position with Sam de Bacon (Kashmir Van Schuttershof x Vlan de Vergoignan) in a time of 40.50 seconds. Third place was tied between the two riders with the fastest four-fault jump-offs: Belgium's Nathan Budd on Cadix des Rosiers (Kashmir Van Schuttershof x Baloubet du Rouet) and Sweden's Stephanie Holmén on Flip's Little Sparrow (Cardento x Robin Z) – who both recorded the time of 33.92 seconds.
Normally seen in the five-star competitions at the Brussels Stephex Masters, Cox was jumping the Top Series this weekend as his wife Marit is riding his current top horse Dublis Van Overis as a possible last preparation for the World Equestrian Games in Tryon later this month. “Marit has a chance to go to the World Championships for Norway, it is a really good horse and he proved this over the summer,” explained Cox.
“It’s never easy to win though – whether you ride the five-star or the three-star,” Cox said. “There are so many fast riders, like Koen Vereecke and Dominique Hendrickx – this week they were not in the jump-off, last week Dominique won and I had one down with the fastest time. That’s also why I was really focused on jumping clear today. I know I have a fast horse in Evert, and everybody had one down so if I was clear I was in the top three. And this week, luck was on my side.”
Photo © Pierre Costabadie/Scoopdyga