Nicola Philippaerts of Belgium was victorious in last night’s International Omaha Jumping Grand Prix at the FEI World Cup Finals™ in Omaha aboard H&M Harley vd.Bisschop. Italy’s Lorenzo de Luca was a close runner up and German legend Ludger Beerbaum finished third.
The first round of competition was host to 14 riders, the top 10 of which moved on to round 2 where speed was a factor. In round 1 there were just 4 clear over the Alan Wade-designed course, including the USA’s Karl Cook, Germany’s Ludger Beerbaum, Italy’s Lorenzo de Luca, and Belgium’s Nicola Philippaerts.
Of the 10 that returned for round 2, only Philippaerts and de Luca finished faultless, both Karl Cook and Ludger Beerbaum picking up 4 faults. As the penultimate rider in round 2, Philippaerts knew a clear round would have him in the top 2, but with the swift Italian on his heels, he sped around the course to finish in 38.17 seconds.
De Luca and his Limestone Grey put up a good fight but fell short to Philippaertes by 1.6 seconds, sealing a win for Belgium.
“There were a few really quick ones in the second round and I had to try to go as quick as possible because I saw Ludger had one down, but Lorenzo still had to jump and I knew he would go really fast,” said Philippaerts. “I thought it was a very nice class to win. Even though I didn’t get through the Final, I’m very happy with this win today.”
1. Nicola Philippaerts - H&M Harley vd Bisschop – 0 - 38.65
2. Lorenzo de Luca - Limestone Grey – 0 - 39.77
3. Ludger Beerbaum – Chiara – 4 - 38.17
4. Karl Cook – Tembla – 4 -38.95
5. Christian Heineking - NKH Calango – 4 - 41.16
6. Audrey Coulter – Alex – 8 - 38.70