It was a great day for Nicola Philippaerts(BEL) after earning his first major win in the famed Spruce Meadows International Ring. This accomplishment earned him a coveted qualification spot in the CP International, part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping – an event that twin brother Olivier won back in 2014. Early to go in the order of a star studded nine horse jump off, Philippaerts had what would end up a winning plan with his 10 year old Belgium Warmblood H&M Harley VD Bisschop. He said, “My horse is naturally quite quick so I tried to go as fast as I knew I could with him, without taking too many risks – and Harley really jumped great. I was especially lucky because when Kent [Farrington] goes clear he is usually unbeatable so it was lucky for me that he had one down.”
Following for second place in this afternoon’s CANA Cup was Swiss champion Steve Guerdat aboard Cayetana, an 11 year old Selle Francais mare. Entering the jump off prior to Philippaerts, Guerdat was able to set the pace with the time to beat of 41.77 seconds. This time he would end up a fraction to slow off the winning time of 41.25.
Making his debut at the Spruce Meadows Masters was Maikel Van Der Vluten of the Netherlands. Having passed on the European Championships for his opportunity to travel to Calgary, he certainly showed he belonged among the podium finishers in tonight’s thrilling 1.60m competition.