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Olivier Philippaerts and Chicago VH Moleneind Clear Seven Feet in $25,000 Washington International Horse Show Puissance Victory

October 27, 2012 By: janwest Category: General

Chicago VH Moleneind and Olivier Philippaerts clearing the seven-foot wall.
© Shawn McMillen Photography

Dello Joio, Hough, Andrade and Jacobs Top Jumper Classes;
Cunniffe Earns Grand Junior Hunter Championship; Donovan Wins Best Child Rider                       on a Horse

Washington, D.C – October 26, 2012 – The 54th annual Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) continued on Friday, October 26, with a full day of hunter, jumper and equitation competition at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. The $25,000 Open Jumper Puissance was the highlight class of the evening with a win for 19-year-old Belgian rider Olivier Philippaerts and Chicago VH Moleneind.

Nick Dello Joio and Lauren Hough each had wins in the Open Jumpers, Emanuel Andrade and Charlotte Jacobs triumphed in the Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers, and Michael Hughes took the early lead in the WIHS Equitation Classic Hunter Phase. Good Times and Ailish Cunniffe earned the Grand Junior Hunter Championship and Hasbrouck Donovan was Best Child Rider on a Horse for 2012.

WIHS continues through Sunday, October 28. The $100,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix, a FEI World Cup qualifier presented by Events DC, will be the highlight class on Saturday, October 27.

Anthony d’Ambrosio, of Red Hook, NY, is the course designer for the jumpers at WIHS this week. D’Ambrosio set the wall for the evening’s $25,000 Puissance at 5’9” (1.75m) in height for the first round and continued through four rounds up to seven feet (2.13m). The Armed Forces Cup, sponsored by The Boeing Company, was awarded to Olivier Philippaerts and Chicago VH Moleneind for clearing the seven-foot wall in the final round. Olivier also accepted The Congressman’s Challenge Trophy, donated by the Late Honorable Rogers C.B. Morton and the Late Honorable F. Robert Watkins, on behalf of his father, Ludo Philippaerts, as the owner of the winning horse.

Six entries began the class, all clearing the wall at 5’9” (1.75m) and continuing on to attempt 6’3” (1.90m) in height. Benjamin Meredith (AUS) brought the blocks down in round two riding Kaskade, owned by Haley Schaufeld, to finish in sixth place. The remaining five riders all continued on to a third round where the wall was built up to 6’9” (2.01m). In round three, Charlie Jayne (USA) and Pony Lane Farm’s Balougris SL Z, Laura Kraut (USA) and Beverly Widdowson’s Belmont, and Jessica Springsteen (USA) and Stone Hill Farm’s Temmie were all unable to clear the height and finished in a tie for third place. Philippaerts and Chicago, and Aaron Vale (USA) aboard Wodka L, owned by Thinks like a Horse, continued on to the fourth round to jump the wall at seven feet (2.13m). Chicago was the only horse to clear the imposing obstacle.

Chicago VH Moleneind is a ten-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding by Kashmir Van Schutterhof x Darco. After his win, Philippaerts explained that this was the first time that either horse or rider has jumped in a Puissance class, and 2.13m was their biggest height.

“This is the first time we’ve jumped the wall. I’ve never done it and the horse has never done it,” Philippaerts noted. “I had a feeling he could be a good horse for that. He has a lot of scope to jump it, so I thought I would give it a try and it worked out very well. All classes have their own difficulty. With the puissance you need a little bit of luck, but you also have to have the horse for it and I think this horse actually really likes it.”

“It looks like he loves to jump the wall because he is not afraid of it,” Philippaerts detailed. “He really wants to go to the wall, so I think that’s a great thing for a puissance horse.”