Double victory for Belgium in the classes for six- and seven-year-old horses today. Stephanie Falisse and Bel Star took the victory in the 6 year old class, and Bart Clarys rode Katinka vh Blondveld to the first place in the 7 year old class.
The Belgian riders are in great shape at Flanders Horse Event, as we could once again see in the classes for young horses today. Stephanie Falisse rode a double clear with her Selle français gelding Bel Star in this two phases special class, in a 28.11 sec. time for the second round, beating yesterday’s winner Arnaud Doem and Findlay du Moulin à Papier.
Stephanie: “I only have young horses, that’s my specialty. I obtained the eighth place yesterday because I wasn’t fast enough. Arnaud and Dirk (Demeersman) are really, really fast! That’s why I decided to try and beat their times today.”
“Bel Star is my best horse”, she continues, “he really wants to stay clear, is very powerful, is able to take a fence from far away or from close by, doesn’t scare easily and has a very good canter. The only inconvenience with him is that he can sometimes behave like a stallion, and that’s why I’m in Beervelde: I wanted to school him before taking him to Gesves next week.”
When we ask Stephanie what we can wish her for the rest of the event, the answer is: “I’d like to stay clear in the finals tomorrow with Bel Star and Gema Star. The time is not important, what matters to me is for them to learn.”
Dirk Demeersman and Little-Billy obtained the third place in this six year old class.
As for the seven year old class, the victory went to Bart Clarys. Bart saddles his Belgian Warmblood mare Katinka van het Blondveld (s. Contact vd Heffinck) for the occasion, and performed a double clear in a 29.25 sec. time in the second phase. Fast enough to beat British rider Joe Clee (Kafka vd Heffinck, 29.98 sec.) and Sam Polleunis (Qanuk Z, 30.08 sec.).
Bart: “I had a quiet first day yesterday, starting my stallion Best Mix Caspar ssb easily in the 1m30 to see how things would go. Caspar has been out for a little while, and is fine physically, but I wanted to get a feel of him before taking him to the 1m50 classes”.
Bart had 2 and 1 fences down in yesterday’s young horse classes: “my horses are green and were impressed by the big arena here, but that went a lot better today!”
About Katinka vh Blondveld, who won the seven year old class: “Katinka is a Contact vd Heffinck daughter and is owned by Paul Baert. She is not the easiest on the bit, but makes up for that by her excellent mindset. That’s really her strong point, she wants to work and think with you and really fo for it!”
According to Bart, the line from fence 7 to 9 was a tricky one: “the horses could loose balance in that turn when the riders took risks and tried to go fast. However, I had a good feeling and when that happens with Katinka, things usually go well. I did not expect to win, because there’s a bit of luck involved as well, but I knew I had a good chance.”
Bart’s reply when we ask him what we can wish him for tomorrow’s finals? “I want to win them both!”
Bart Clarys will ride the 1m50 tonight as well as the accumulator. Tomorrow, he will take Joie de Toulon to the big tour.
“Joie de Toulon is a daughter of Cigane Z, one of my best horses. I hope to perform a clear in the Grand Prix, but I will see how she reacts first.”
Bart Clarys end his interview on a very positive note about Flanders Horse Event: “it’s a very nice show with a lot of people attending, which is always nice for the riders. All the owners are present here, and together with a big audience, it makes this show a unique event to school te horses.”