The biggest day in show jumping saw the youngest CN International winner in History in an exciting finale to the 2012 Spruce Meadows tournament season.
With $1,000,000 on the line in the CN International Grand Prix, 30 horse/rider combinations entered the International ring. Round one, designed by Leopoldo Palacios (VEN) saw only one clear round through the 17 jumping obstacles stretched over 580 meters of course. Round two began with the top twelve riders returning to the changed course, with 480 meters of track and 14 jumping obstacles.
History was made as 19 year old Olivier Philippaerts (BEL) completed the two tracks with a combined two faults aboard his 10 year old Warmblood gelding, Cabrio Van De Heffinck. Beezie Madden (USA) took second place riding Simon, and Philippaerts father, Ludo Philippaerts (BEL) was third on Challenge Van De Begijnakker.
“This was incredible” Philippaerts commented after the win. “My horse was amazing today, very fresh through each round. I feel like this is just the beginning, I can’t wait for next year.” Along with the combined paycheck of $438,000, it was a special moment for the Philippaerts family. “It’s a dream to ride with your two sons somewhere like Spruce Meadows.” Said Ludo Philippaerts. “ For one of them to win the biggest competition in the world? There are no words.”
The day began with a tribute to one of the greatest show jumping horses of all time; Hickstead. A statue made in Hickstead’s likeness was unveiled to a capacity crowd. In a touching ceremony, Eric Lamaze (CAN) was inducted into the Spruce Meadows Hall of Fame along with his famed mount who passed away in November 2011. The bronze, made by Mary Sand, will stay permanently at Spruce Meadows, as per Lamaze’s wishes.
With the Spruce Meadows FEI calendar done for the year, the International ring will soon be covered for another Calgary winter, but not before new turf is laid for the 2013 season. Spruce Meadows is open every day of the year with the indoor season beginning in October followed by the Spruce Meadows International Christmas Market in November.
For more information visit http://www.sprucemeadows.com/
CN International Grand Prix – Top 10
1 Olivier Philippaerts, BEL, Cabrio Van De Heffinck
2 Beezie Madden, USA, Simon
3 Ludo Philippaerts, BEL, Challenge VD Begijnakker
4 Leslie Howard, USA, Utah
5 Reed Kessler, USA, Cylana
6 Roger Yves-Bost, FRA, Nippon D Elle
7 Philipp Weishaupt, GER, Catoki
8 Jeroen Dubbeldam, NED, BMC Quality Time TN
9 Harrie Smolders, NED, Exquis Walnut De Muze
10 Francois Mathy, BEL, D Atlantique Royale
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