Last weekend Gilles went to Lanaken with no fewer than 5 horses. He took Konak for the Belgian championship, J. Comghorla van Beek and Ermitage Kalone for the world championship for 7 year old horses and Feromas van Beek Z and Uncas S were also allowed to participate in the Sires of the world.
Bronze Belgian Championship
Gilles had several horses in advance from which he could choose for the Belgian Championship. In the end he chose for Konak , according to Gilles he was the one who was in the most form in recent weeks and also has the most experience. Gilles went to Lanaken with ambitions. On the first day Konak and Gilles jumped to a 4th place, on day 2 they jumped another clear round which moved them to place 2. The final of the Belgian Championship was scheduled for Saturday. It turned out to be a difficult and selective test, in which none of the 16 finalists managed to score a double clear round. In the end Gilles got 1 fault in both rounds of the final with Konak, which allowed them to conquer the bronze behind Jos Verlooy (Varoune) and Thibeau Spits (Classic Touch DH). An achievement we could only have dreamed of beforehand. This was also the youngest podium ever at a Belgian championship for seniors with an average age of 23 (Jos 26, Thibeau 20, Gilles 23).
Bronze Sires of the world
In Lanaken, in addition to the Belgian Championships and the World Championships for young horses, the Sires of the World GP is also something that's every year on the program. A 1m50 class for only approved stallions. In this competition Gilles counted on Uncas S (Udarco) and on Feromas van Beek Z. Gilles was able to qualify for the jump-off with both horses, which was an impressive performance in itself. With Uncas he got 1 jumping fault in that jump-off which gave him a 7th place. Gilles was last at the start with Feromas. Feromas again showed his qualities which resulted in a quick clear round that was just not fast enough for the win. 0.02 sec. Gilles was slower than Koen Vereecke and Kasanova de la pomme and 0.01 sec. slower than Christian Ahlmann and Dominator 2000 Z and so the whole podium was on 0.02 sec. of eachother, something that will probably never happen again in his entire career. This resulted in a 2nd bronze medal for Gilles.
Silver World Championship
For the world championship 7 year old horses Gilles had 2 horses with him. Ermitage Kalone jumped a round from the book in the 1st round, which gave him a nice clear round. Unfortunately it was different for the duo in the 2nd round. Ermitage again jumped very well and was on his way to a place in the final together with Gilles. In the landing of the water, Ermitage stepped on his hoof so that he lost his senses for a moment and he did not know that he still had to jump so he jumped next to the obstacle. Just a miscommunication between horse and rider and away was the final. Anyway, Ermitage Kalone showed his best side in the way he jumped all weekend and confirmed once again that we can expect a lot from him in the future. But the performance and especially the most unexpected performance of the weekend came from J. Comghorla van Beek. Gilles got Comghrola in his stable 10 days before the World championship. It was Hilke Kok-Mouws who rode her to a 4th place in the Belgian cycle for 7-year-old horses and could therefore select Comghrola for the World Championship. Hilke does not have a lot of experience at the level that was normally expected in Lanaken, so she entrusted Comghrola to Gilles. To get to know each other, Gilles immediately took her to CSIYH Bonheiden where they won the Final for 7 year olds. This gave the duo confidence for the coming week. Gilles remained realistic because he knew that the World championship is still of a much higher level. Rounds 1 and 2 of the World champiosnhip went smoothly. They became 5th and 8th respectively and went to the final as the best combination of the qualifications. Unfortunately, it started back to zero in the final for the 40 seeded. Despite the good qualifications, we didn't really know what to expect from Comghrola in the final, partly because we only had them in the stable for a few days. But J. Comghrola van Beek again jumped excellently and gave her 200% which resulted in a place for the jump-off with only 4. Gilles immediately thought “today I won't be 3rd again, now I'm going for it”. In the end, the jump-off didn't go quite according to plan, partly because they didn't know each other well enough yet. Comghorla jumped another clear round but their time was just not good enough for the win . But anyway we were very satisfied with the Silver . The title of Vice World Champion was therefore totally unexpected, which makes this medal a very special medal that will always remain with us.
It was a weekend to never forget!!
Another fact: after this weekend the number of medals from Gilles will be 16 (9 BC, 6 EC,1 WC). Something that is a very impressive achievement. Hopefully there will be a few more medals and beautiful moments in the future.