Pieter Clemens put his best foot forward to win Saturday evening’s Masters One Sam Edelman 1.50m. The list of riders who moved forward to the 10-horse jump-off read like a who’s who of international show jumping but the 25-year-old Belgian was undeterred, taking a daring inside turn to solidify his position among the best of the best.
First to go in the jump-off, Great Britain’s Amanda Derbyshire immediately went to the top of the leaderboard and stayed there with a time of 35.05 seconds riding Luibanta BH. Rider after rider attempted to better her time to no avail until the final competitor entered the ring. Clemens was all business aboard Caldero, and his daring turn had the crowd gasping before he thundered through the timers in 34.82 seconds to take the win.
Demonstrating the camaraderie within the international show jumping community, the inside turn that would prove to be the key to his victory was suggested by John Madden, husband of two-time U.S. Olympic team gold medalist Beezie Madden.
“I didn’t plan to do it but John Madden came to me just before I was about to go in and told me to take a look, he thought it was possible to go inside there,” explained Clemens, who has worked for 2006 World Champion Jos Lansink for the past four years. “So, I went to take a look and it worked!”
Clemens will certainly have fond memories of his first trip to America!