Nicola Philippaerts Flies to Speed Class Win at Stormy AL SHAQAB
Photo: LGCT / Stefano Grasso
The third CSI 5* competition of the Longines Global Champions Tour of Doha saw international combinations rocket around the AL SHAQAB arena. The 1.50m speed class had twenty-four starters and half of those jumped clear rounds, meaning the riders really had to step on the gas in order to be in the placings.
The first clear was jumped by Cindy van der Straten (BEL) and the gutsy Chacco R in 71.73 seconds, however they didn’t hold onto the lead for long as speed demon Marlon Módolo Zanotelli (BRA) let his horse J-Figyelem travel with ease round the 180m x 20m arena to land his stop as the 7th fastest clear round by the end of the class.
New face on the Tour this year Kim Emmen (NED) put in a brilliant attempt but was pushed out of the final top 3 by last to go Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS) and her ten year old mare Veronese Teamjoy.
Belgium's Nicola Philippaerts (BEL) had a sensational season last year and is off and running to replicate that again in 2019. He took out strides where he could and galloped through the finish line in 59.87 seconds finishing on top of the podium. Julien Epaillard (FRA) and Usual Suspect d'Auge put their foot down from the start in hope to beat Nicola’s time. Unfortunately, he was just pipped to the post but took home second place, just 0.03 seconds behind Nicola.
The next class will kick off at 19.45 local time, tune into the livesteam on GC TV to watch it.