Postie's horse delivers in big event

CAMERON MAXWELL -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:29 AM ET

Tauber VH Kapelhof is proving itself as one of the top speed horses.

The Belgian stallion carried Belgium's Ludo Philippaerts to his second title in two days at the Masters, as the duo claimed yesterday's $30,000 Prudential Steel Cup.

Philippaerts and Tauber VH Kapelhof also captured Wednesday's Akita Drilling Cup.

Interestingly, Kapelhof is owned by a postman in Belgium named Theo van der Meyden, a working-class guy who decided to buy a foal, hoping he'd turn into something special.

"He bought it as a foal from a friend and there's always potential when you buy a foal from Darco," said Philippaerts, who has been riding Kapelhof since it was seven years old.

"Theo just does it for fun and he's lucky that he got that horse."

The legendary Darco, who has sired plenty of show jumping horses, would be Kapelhof's daddy and he's a mount Philippaerts rode in the late 1980s.

Unfortunately, van der Meyden couldn't come to Calgary because he has to work, so the onus is on Philippaerts to make some dough, which hasn't been a problem so far.

"I have to earn some money with this horse because Theo has no time to come," said Philippaerts, who has won $17,500 in two days, with a laugh.

And the nine-year-old stallion has done nothing but win in the speed classes.

"He's a really nice horse and it's always been a winner, even when it was four, five and six years old. It won nearly everything in the area," noted Philippaerts, adding the mount could jump some Grand Prix classes but his bread and butter is speed.

American Norman Dello Joio and Quriel finished second, also going clear in the jump-off but he was half a second slower than the Belgian.

Brazil's Bernardo Alves and his mount, Concept 2, finished third.

There were two nasty spills during the class. First, Great Britain's Mark Armstrong came out of the saddle and fell off his mount, Graf Gold at the ninth fence, a double straight. He was not badly injured.

Then German standout and world No. 2-ranked rider Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum's horse, Souvenir, tripped over the final fence and Michaels-Beerbaum was thrown off, landed hard and was carried out of the International Ring on a stretcher.

Her brother-in-law, Ludger Beerbaum, said she was conscious and could move her arms and legs after the incident but was still taken by ambulance to Foothills Hospital and later released.

NATIONS BATTLE: It'll be Great Britain going first in Saturday's BMO Financial Nations' Cup after the draw was held yesterday.

The two-time defending champion Germans are second, followed by Belgium, the Netherlands, Canada and the always hard-to-beat Americans'

The Canadians, who were third last year, have never won a Nations' Cup at Spruce Meadows.


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