The twin brothers Nicola and Olivier showed up as real twins in Mechelen last week. Nicola and Olivier were both on the right track in the FEI World Cup. They seemed to be riding a clear round together with H&M Harley vd Bisschop and H&M Legend of Love. Unfortunately, for both brothers, the very last jump threw a spanner in the works.
Nicola “Just like yesterday, Harley jumped amazing. It is sad and disappointing, but the last oxer was the most difficult and high one of the whole course. I think that we could have been with 15 riders in the jump-off if they had dropped this last obstacle. It was a heavy round, within a strict timing. The horses already gave everything and then they had to deal with this difficult oxer. But hey, this is the sport. We will try to do better next year.”. They ended up 12th.
Same story for Oliver “I didn’t notice immediately that this last one fell after all. It was a tricky course with a very wide oxer at the and. Legend jumped really good. There is no other way than to say that this is very unfortunate. But that’s part of the sport.”.
On Friday night, Nicola completed a Belgian podium in the Grand Prix Mechelen. With H&M Harley vd Bisschop under the saddle, he finished in 31,77 seconds, just a few hundredths of a second to slow to beat Niels Bruynseels and Pieter Devos. Earlier that week, Olivier was one of the three riders that qualified themselves for the fourth jump-off in the Landrover Masters. Together with Extra, he managed to win the bronze medal.
For the World Cup, father Ludo was Stefaan Lammens’ co-commentator. He couln’t resist leaving his post to supervise his sons and give them some last tips and tricks right before entering the ring. “ We had some hard luck last week. Our home match just won’t succeed this year. The horses really did their utmost, my sons had an optimal preparation, but the good luck is not on our side. They really deserved to be in that jump-off, I can’t accuse them of anything at all. All of my four sons had one down in their most important class. Olivier, Nicola and Thibault all on the last fence, Anthony on the penultimate one. We can speak about a consistent family though.”
This leads us to the last update for 2017. Our family wishes everyone a healthy, successful, happy and warm new year!