Nicola Philippaerts Wins $50,000 Weston Canadian Open at 2015 Royal Horse Show®

TORONTO, Nov. 14, 2015 /CNW/ - Belgium's Nicola Philippaerts scored victory in the $50,000 Weston Canadian Open on Friday night, November 13, at the Royal Horse Show®, held as part of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in downtown Toronto, ON.

British course designer Richard Jeffery set a challenging speed track for the starting field of 21 entries.  With high speed came great risk, and only two riders managed to cross the finish line with all the rails still intact.  Philippaerts did it in the fastest time, coming home in 59.83 seconds riding H&M Harley vd Bisschop while U.S. veteran Leslie Howard opted for a more conservative approach, stopping the clock in 64.04 seconds riding Utah.  By comparison, fellow American Mclain Ward, winner of Wednesday night's $132,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Toronto, posted the evening's fastest time, a blistering 55.82 seconds riding HH Carlos Z, but at the expensive of a rail to finish third.

"The course was pretty big for a speed class," said Philippaerts, 22.  "There were only two clears and many were fast.  There were a few that were faster than me but had one down.  There were some difficulties, like the combination and the skinny vertical, but I was lucky enough to leave the rails up."

Fellow Belgian competitor Francois Mathy, Jr., was another rider who produced a faster round in 58.34 seconds riding Polinska des Isles but had four faults to place fourth.  American Charlie Jacobs was also faster than Philippaerts, clocking in at 59.58 seconds, but again failed to leave all the jumps in place to take fifth with Cassinja S.

"I didn't think I was fast enough," continued Philippaerts, who has been partnered with H&M Harley vd Bisschop, a grey Belgian Warmblood gelding, since last year.  "I was halfway through the class and my horse is quite fast naturally, but he's only eight and he doesn't have all the experience yet.  He did great today and I'm super happy with him.  I think it's a great horse.  I hope it's going to be one of my good horses in my future."

Philippaerts and his twin brother, Olivier, are both competing in the international division of the Royal Horse Show®.  Their father, Ludo, is a four-time Olympian for Belgium, and was ringside in Toronto to help the twins as they carry on the family name in the sport of show jumping.  He was not only the proud father of the winning rider, but also the proud owner of the winning horse, as he owns H&M Harley vd Bisschop in partnership with Ben Beevers.

"I think the Royal is fantastic!" said Nicola Philippaerts.  "There is so much culture and history at this show.  It's always nice to come here.  The crowd not only cheers for the Canadians, but for anyone who rides well."

Saturday's Royal Horse Show® features the crowd-friendly $15,000 Canine-Equine Challenge, presented by the Toronto Star, as the matinee performance.  The sold-out $75,000 Big Ben Challenge, presented by Hudson's Bay Company, will close out the international show jumping division on Saturday night.

For more information on the Royal Horse Show, the marquee event of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, please visit http://www.royalfair.org/horse-show. To purchase Royal Horse Show tickets, please visit Ticketmaster at http://www.ticketmaster.ca/venueartist/131553/986584.

Funding support for The Royal has been provided by the City of Toronto and the Government of Ontario.

 

$50,000 Weston Canadian Open – Friday, November 13









Rider

Hometown

Horse

Faults

Time


1.

Nicola Philippaerts       

Belgium                             

H&M Harley vd Bisschop             

0

59.83


2.

Leslie Howard

United States

Utah

0

64.04


3.

Mclain Ward

United States  

HH Carlos Z 

4

55.82


4.

Francois Mathy, Jr.

Belgium

Polinska des Isles

4

58.34


5.

Charlie Jacobs

United States

Cassinja S

4

59.58


6.

Dermott Lennon

United States

Loughview Lou Lou

4

59.93


7.

Conor Swail

Ireland

Martha Louise

4

60.55


8.

Roberto Teran

Colombia

Brilliant du Rouet

4

63.05


9.

Daniel Bluman

Colombia

Conconcreto Believe

4

63.10


10.

Sharn Wordley

New Zealand

Hickstead's Axel

4

68.83


11.

Beezie Madden

United States

Vanilla

8

58.50


12.

Reed Kessler

United States

Charity 33

8

60.96


About The Royal

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is the world's largest combined indoor agricultural and equestrian show.  This year, the 93rd Royal Agricultural Winter Fair runs November 6-15, 2015 at Exhibition Place, Toronto.  For competition schedules, live webcasting, results and to purchase tickets, please visit www.royalfair.org.

ATTACHED PHOTOGRAPHS

"Belgium's Nicola Philippaerts claimed victory riding H&M Harley vd Bisschop in the $50,000 Weston Canadian Open held Friday night, November 13, at the Royal Horse Show®."
Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography, www.benradvanyi.com

"Olympic team silver medalist Leslie Howard of the United States placed second riding Utah in the $50,000 Weston Canadian Open."
Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography, www.benradvanyi.com

"Two-time Olympic team gold medalist Mclain Ward produced the fastest four fault performance to take third riding HH Carlos Z in the $50,000 Weston Canadian Open."
Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography, www.benradvanyi.com

Photographs may be used only in relation to the above news item.

For high resolution photographs, please e-mail: jward@jumpmediallc.com.

SOURCE Royal Agricultural Winter Fair

Image with caption: "Belgium'’s Nicola Philippaerts claimed victory riding H&M Harley vd Bisschop in the $50,000 Weston Canadian Open held Friday night, November 13, at the Royal Horse Show®. (CNW Group/Royal Agricultural Winter Fair)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20151114_C7974_PHOTO_EN_545057.jpg

Image with caption: "Two-time Olympic team gold medalist Mclain Ward produced the fastest four fault performance to take third riding HH Carlos Z in the $50,000 Weston Canadian Open. (CNW Group/Royal Agricultural Winter Fair)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20151114_C7974_PHOTO_EN_545053.jpg

Image with caption: "Olympic team silver medalist Leslie Howard of the United States placed second riding Utah in the $50,000 Weston Canadian Open. (CNW Group/Royal Agricultural Winter Fair)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20151114_C7974_PHOTO_EN_545055.jpg

For further information: Jennifer Ward, Jump Media, Cell: (613) 292-5439, jward@jumpmediallc.com

RELATED LINKS
http://www.royalfair.org

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