Brussels Stephex Masters, Day 1 results
Unwinding in the sunlight, shining winners, and many highlights on the agenda for day 2
Yes, we have liftoff! The moment we have been waiting for has finally arrived, and how we have enjoyed it. Read on to discover the first winners of the 2023 Brussels Stephex Masters, find out more about the must-sees in our lifestyle village, and discover what we have lined up for you on day 2.
Frederic Vernaet takes the first CSI3*-competition at the Brussels Stephex Masters (powered by Kask)
“This class was right up Okina’s alley”
As always, the last class of the day never disappoints. In a CSI3* class against the clock, with jumps reaching 1.45m in height, the first attendees of the 2023 Brussels Stephex Masters witnessed a lightning-fast and exhilarating competition. Out of the participants, 9 riders cleared the course. It became clear that in order to clinch this victory, one had to be exceptionally quick and maintain perfect lines. And that’s precisely what our first big winner of 2023 demonstrated. Frederic Vernaet (Belgium), riding Okina van de Bien (Toulon x Blue Boy V. Berkenbroeck), showcased a flawless performance on the immaculate green grass of the Grand Place arena. He finished a full second ahead of runner-up Julien Gonin (France | Estrella de La Batia – Diamant de Semilly x Lando) and had a 2.5-second lead over third-place Skye Morssinkhof (Belgium | G-Vingino-Blue – VDL Zirocco Blue x Orame).
For Frederic, the Brussels Stephex Masters couldn’t have started on a brighter note: “Upon seeing the course, I felt confident about a potential win. Courses like these are right up Okina’s alley. She’s inherently swift and also a very careful horse. Despite taking some risks around the corners, she seemed to approach every jump with utmost ease today!” Frederic has been a regular at the Brussels Stephex Masters: “I anticipate another stellar week. This year, I’ve brought along five horses, two young horses and three set to compete in the 3* classes. I’ve attended every edition of the Stephex Masters thus far, and I wouldn’t miss it for anything. Every year, even before I arrive on the first day, I just know that the organizers have elevated the event even further. With each passing year, it becomes grander and more beautiful. In 2022, we were introduced to the splendid new grass arenas that add a touch of magic to the event. This year we were treated to expanded warm-up areas and even more impressive event grounds. Taking a win here feels nothing short of incredible.”
Young and Ambitious: European Champion Clémentine Lux (13) Continues Her Winning Streak at the Brussels Stephex Masters
“My goal this week? Secure a top 10 position every day!”
Today, two CSI1* competitions were on the schedule, serving as the perfect showcase for young and upcoming riders among other talents. One of them immediately stood out. The mere 13-year-old Clémentine Lux claimed victory in the 1.15m class (powered by Annick Van De Weghe) and secured a respectable 4th place in the subsequent class (1.25m – powered by SX Exclusive Breeding Collection). The competition should take note: she has her sights set on the title of best CSI1* rider. It’s high time we got to know her better!
Clémentine: “Last week, I won the Belgian Cup for pony riders. And now this. It’s incredible!” Clémentine is a hard worker. This earned her a gold medal at both the European and Belgian Children’s championships. Clémentine: “I currently ride both horses and ponies, and I must admit, I still prefer ponies. It’s more exciting as the jumps are proportionally higher and I can ride at a faster pace.” Her proud mother, Françoise Lejeune, added: “From a young age, I recognized that Clémentine was born for this sport. She always wanted to ride faster, jump higher, and learn more. That’s why we fully support her passion, and she’s homeschooled. In the past, she sometimes missed the win because she overthought things. But now, with guidance from a mental coach, she competes to win. Later this week, the jumps will be even higher. But that’s what she loves. We definitely want to take home that tack box awarded to the most consistent rider in the CSI1*.”
It’s no surprise that Clémentine is eyeing a professional riding career. Clémentine: “The next step might be an internship at a stable in the UK or Ireland. Irish pony riders are doing incredibly well, and I’m eager to become fluent in English. This is crucial for an international career. But for now, my focus is on the Brussels Stephex Masters. Every day, I aim to secure a top 10 position. Nothing less will do!”
Press release Stephex Press | Photo BRUSSELS STEPHEX MASTERS – Sportfot (c) Frederic Vernart with Okina van de Bien first place in 1.45 m class CSI3* sponsored by Kask
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