Photos: Stefano Grasso
The Devos Stables team have just returned from Doha, Qatar, following two weeks of top level CSI5* competition with Jade vd Bisschop and Claire Z.
Pieter said: “I was really proud with how both Jade and Claire jumped these past two weeks, particularly after such a long break competing at that level due to Covid. My intention for Jade was to bring her back slowly to this level, I had fairly low expectations for her and the aim was just to get her back into the rhythm of sport - however she jumped really well and I was very proud and pleased with her performances. She came 4th in the big opening tour during the first week, and jumped a clear round for the St Tropez Pirates during the second in the GCL competition. On Friday she was double clear and 4th again in the big class. It’s clear she’s happy to be back!
“Claire's result in the qualification for the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix didn’t reflect her performance. This was her first CSI5* competition since Valkenswaard last September and since then she has only jumped a few small competitions in Olivia. We built up all week to Saturday, she felt in really good form, and was jumping brilliantly throughout the first part until the spook. I’m disappointed obviously, as it’s very out of character for her, but that’s unfortunately sometimes the way with horses! I’m looking forward to getting back into the rhythm of the shows, and helping her settle back into top level competition - her jumping was as usual very good, so I believe the results will come once we have more consistency again.
“Overall I have some mixed feelings, Jade back on track but Claire didn’t quite have the result we hoped for. I hope to get back in the ring asap!”
Both horses are now safely back in Belgium, where they are housed in their own quarantine in a separate stables. Simon, Pieter’s travelling groom is the sole carer for the two horses, who are being closely monitored to ensure there is no risk of EHV-1. While Europe locks down, the team at Devos Stables will continue with training at home, and will hope to pick up from the momentum Doha. The safety and welfare of the horses is the first and only priority of the team, who will do their part to help stop this horrible virus.
For more news on the Devos Stables, check back here, or stay up to date on Pieter’s social media channels.