Belgians Forge Ahead

29 May 2017

They had to settle for runner-up spot at the first two legs of the FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping Europe Division 2 series, but over the weekend at the third round in Lisbon, a hugely impressive Belgian side clinched victory by a significant margin.

Finishing with just four faults on the board, and without having to call up their last-line partnership Nicola Philippaerts and Chilli Willi for a second time, they had a 17-fault advantage over the runners-up from Spain.


The combination of the clever track and the challenge of jumping under floodlights in the second round made for an interesting evening.  Belgium’s Fabienne Daigneaux-Lange told us;



"This show is fantastic! It was my first time in Lisbon and I enjoyed very much jumping here. It was the first time I jumped under floodlights and I really enjoyed that too!"




Belgium heads the Division 2 leaderboard with a massive 280 points

Clears from Philippaerts, Constant van Paesschen and Fabienne Daigneux-Lange put the Belgians out in front on a zero score at the halfway stage, but the Spanish were close behind with just four on the board.


I had so much fun in the first round that I would have liked to have jumped again!

Nicola Philippaerts - Team Belgium


Spain added 17 faults second time out despite a lovely double-clear from pathfinders Diego Perez Bilbao and HH Best, and when Van Paesschen and Daigneux-Lange were also foot-perfect in both rounds, the Belgians were all but untouchable.



The youngest horses competing in Lisbon were the eight-year-olds Epicor D Gandarinha ridden by Portugal’s Antonio Matos Almeida and Keoki ridden by Ireland’s David Simpson.






The Belgians intend to make great use of their time in Division 2 with a busy campaign over the seven-leg series which now moves on to a new venue at Uggerhalne in Denmark next Saturday.



Did You Know?

Team Belgium previously competed in Europe Division 1 and look determined to regain promotion at the end of the current Europe Division 2 series.


Two teams from Europe Division 2 can qualify for the FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping 2017 Final in Barcelona, Spain in September.



Text by by Louise Parkes

Images by Ricardo Gomes & Ana Philipa Scarpa