Louise Whitaker lands the Stephex Masters 2* grand prix in Brussels
Louise Whitaker lifted the 2* 1.45m grand prix at the Brussels Stephex Masters with Di Lampard and Dietmar Ackermann’s home-bred Ruby VIII.
Thirty-nine initially tackled what proved to be a difficult, challenging track and only two found all the answers to go forward to the jump-off in an exciting head-to-head. It was tight but Louise held her own with the Balou Du Rouet 11-year-old to secure victory by just 0.21 sec over Brazil’s Joao Victor Castro on Sir Landal Joter.
Peter Moloney eased Crumley into second in the 3* 1.45m. Only two of the 43 starters provided first round clears but they were joined by the fast four-faulters to make 12 in round two. Fittingly, the two clears were again penalty-free to take the top two spots, Peter and the Cassus 10-year-old Crumley finishing 0.75 sec behind the winner, Belgium’s Dominique Hendrickx and Kannabis Van De Buckxtale.
And the result here was a major factor in Peter picking up the 3* leading rider award and took home a a brand new STX two-horse truck for a year after finishing 10 points ahead of Germany’s Katharina Offel.
David McPherson guided Koriano Van Klapscheut into seventh in the 3* 1.45m accumulator with two jokers more than seven sec behind the winner. Peter picked up 12th in the 42-strong class on D’Atlantique Royale after dropping seven points.
Jess Mendoza settled for second with Sam De Bacon in the 3* 1.50m. Eight of the 42 starters accessed the jump-off but only two could produce another clear, Jess opting for accuracy on the Kashmir Van Schuttershof 12-year-old to finish almost six sec behind the winner, Belgium’s Karel Cox on Evert.
Jack Whitaker claimed third in the 45-horse 2* 1.40m two-phase on Queen Elisabeth, the King Louie nine-year-old finishing 1.02 sec behind the pace.
Louise jumped a double clear with Brendon Stud’s home-bred Special Warrior to take ninth in the 2* 1.35m two-phase, the eight-year-old Warrior/Caretino Glory mare finishing more than three sec off the pace.
Photos © Jumping Around & courtesy Brussels Stephex Masters