The Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup has a new winner, and this time it’s a Belgian. This year’s WEF Challenge Cup went to the Belgian show jumping rider, Olivier Philippaerts. The 24-year-old rider emerged victorious at the highly competitive Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup.
According to reports, the Belgian rider has beat over 53 fellow competitors to take home the $35,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup in week six of the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida. Riding the 10-year-old BWP gelding H&M Ikker, Philippaerts made a spectacular jump-off in 37.61 seconds to take an unassailable lead and beat rivals. Philippaerts was followed by Francisco Musa and Imperio Egipicio, while American rider Callan Solem finished third.
Born in 1993, Olivier Philippaerts is a Belgian H&M model and a show jumping rider. He made his first big break in 2012 at the Piazza di Sienna FEI Nations Cup of Italy, where he finished third. This was quickly followed by another big win at the 2012 CSIO Spruce Meadows Masters Tournament, where he became the youngest horse rider to win the highly competitive CN International Grand Prix.
This year's event marks the first time the Belgian rider has brought horses over from Europe to compete in the action-packed American horse competition. Philippaerts has picked H&M Ikker because he believes the horse would enjoy the journey and compete well. The 10-year-old BWP gelding will take a short break before returning for World Equestrian Festival 8 on February 28.
In addition to Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup, the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival also includes two big events, the $132,000 Rushy Marsh Farm Grand Prix CSI 3 and the $100,000 WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular.
The Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) is an annual equestrian competition that runs for 12 weeks between the month of January and April in Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, Florida. The WEF is also the largest and longest-running equestrian competition in the world, with over 57 miles of different trails surrounding the equestrian festival.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons