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Gilles Thomas wins CSI5* velocity class

  • The striking black stallion Feromas Van Beek Z captured attention on his debut appearance at London’s Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT), winning the final day’s CSI5* Total Waste Management trophy 1.45m speed class with just under 1sec in hand.

    The 10-year-old, who is by Fantomas De Muze (Sandro Boy) out of Tangelo Van De Zuuthoeve mare Cerona van Beek, has been ridden by 24-year-old Belgian rider Gilles Thomas, the recent winner of the King George V Gold Cup at the Royal International, for the past three years.

    It is the combination’s second year of jumping the LGCT, where they have been a member of the Global Champion’s League (GCL) team Valkenswaard United.

    Gilles had originally planned to aim for a clear in this €6,350-to-the-winner class, as he was jumping the stallion again in the following CSI5* 1.55m, but in the end couldn’t resist riding for the win.

    “I thought they would all be riding a bit faster and at the moment when I came in, I thought maybe it’s easy to beat. I went for it, and the winner’s mentality came in!” he said.

    “He is easy to ride and he is very, very careful,” he added. “So actually it is good for me to jump a smaller class. He doesn’t like to go slow, as then he needs to put in a bit more effort to reach the back poles, so he likes a bit of rhythm and that is also why I went a bit quick.”

    This year the partnership won the qualifier for the grand prix at the Falsterbo CSI5* and in the last 12 months have collected top placings at the LGCTs in Paris, St Tropez and Samorin. They also headed the U25 grand prix in Lanaken in April.

    The stallion is approved for breeding with both the AES and BWP and had his first crop of foals in 2020.

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