A moist, but merry Lavazza race rocks the Soers!

It is a good job that equestrian athletes…

It is a good job that equestrian athletes aren’t football players, wimps, or pansies! Namely, this evening the Lavazza Prize turned into a water fight. And it was fantastic fun!

Six teams each comprising of an eventer, two show-jumping colleagues and a master at the long reins with a team of four horses in front of the carriage defied the weather conditions that Petrus confronted them with, caused more of a stir at the Soers than any storm possibly could. Among others, “Atemlos” by Helene Fischer was the fitting musical accompaniment. Whilst the riders and drivers demonstrated on the grass arena (which is not quite as immaculately green as before) that equestrian athletes are not just tougher than footballers, but at least as fit, the crowd rocked the stands!

The very international teams had top line-ups. In the end, Team 1 carried off the victory. Great Britain’s Alexander Bragg flew the flag for the eventers with Redpath Ransom. The rider from Chile, Samuel Parrot with Romance du Criolp and Italy’s Juan Carlos Garcia with Cocodrillo took over the part of the show-jumpers and the Hungarian driver, Jozsef Dobrovitz sped around the arena with his team of four horses: Baccara, Conversano XXVII-41, Incitato Szilaj and Indian. Their overall score was 197.5 seconds, which put Team 5 comprising of Ingrid Klimke/Parmenides, Mario Stevens/El Bandiata, Emanuele Gaudiano/Jasper and Georg von Stein into second place (202.47). Third place went to Team 3 with Michael Jung/Star Connection, Maurice Tebbel/Camilla PJ, Mathis Schwentker/Landprincess and Ijsbrand Chardon behind the carriage (206.07).

Black, red and gold festival in the DHL Prize

Mission possible! “We are going to claim the…

Mission possible! “We are going to claim the Cup back”, was the declaration by Hans Melzer with regards to the DHL Prize. And his riders did just that.

Ingrid Klimke with Horse Ware Hale Bob OLD, Michael Jung with La Biosthetique-Sam FBW, Sandra Auffarth with Opgun Louvo – the dream team took the victory again. And have added a new member to the family. Josefa Sommer and her own-bred and own-trained Hamilton fulfilled all expectations on their first appearance at the Soers. “It is incredible to be here with these three heroes!”, was her concise and eloquent summary on the podium at the press conference, after jumping clear in the cross-country, apart from picking up a few time faults. “Josefa was our pathfinder today and she did a super job!” said the national coach, praising the newcomer.

With an overall score of 107 minus points, the German team headed the field with a significant lead ahead of last year’s winners from Australia, who finished on a total score of 152.60 minus points. Shane Rose who came third in the individual classification with the Holstein-bred CP Qualified, said on behalf of his team: “It is no defeat, coming second behind the German team. This team has been almost unbeatable for years. I am delighted and grateful that we are able to ride here in Aachen. The conditions, how we are looked after – I wish there were more shows like this in the world.” His fellow team members were Christopher Burton with Nobilis (6th place/40.60), Katja Weimann with BP Cosmopolitan (22nd /74.50) and Emma McNab with Fernhill Tabasco (28th/85.40).

Third place on a total score of 160.60 went to Sweden, who were only represented by three riders, so there wasn’t a scratch result. However, they didn’t need one. The 2012 Olympic silver-medallist from London, Sara Algotsson Ostholt, came eleventh with Reality (47.80), directly ahead of her team colleague Louise Svensson Jähde with Wieloch‘s Utah Sun (48.20). Niklas Lindbäck and Focus Filiocus came 20th (64.60).


Ingrid Klimke’s second victory

The Master of Riding, Ingrid Klimke, has won the DHL Prize twice in her career. After retiring her World Champion horse SAP Escada FRH, her partner in success in 2015, from active sport a few months ago – she is now taking on her new tasks as a brood mare – Bobby (official name Horseware Hale Bob OLD) is her number one. And he really does do everything in his power to do justice to this status. After a good dressage (34.50) Bobby made sure that no faults were added to the score in the jumping or cross-country and thus secured his rider the victory.

Only two tenths of a point separated the 3-time Olympic gold-medallist Michael Jung with La Biosthetique-Sam FBW and the winning pair. The course had been a major topic of conversation beforehand. The national coach, Hans Melzer, said in advance: “It’s like a Championship course! It is going to be difficult to stay under the time. In retrospect Melzer explained: “The conditions were top, the footing super! So one can ride a little faster without risking injuries.”

Michael Jung said: “I didn’t find the cross-country course more difficult than in the past years. The fact that the start had been changed, one could canter away faster and was able to get into a good rhythm faster.” Ingrid Klimke, who rode last and thus had to wait on the warm-up place alone before riding off, confirmed: “Bobby wanted to take off straight after Sam and set off at such a pace at the beginning, that we were much faster than I’d planned at first.” But we did a lot of canter training at home in preparation, so we had plenty of energy towards the end and succeeded in reaching the finish safely.”

Shane Rose who ranked third explained: “The course was built so that the horses gained more and more confidence the better one rode. And the difficult tasks then became no problem at all.”

The Show Director, Frank Kemperman, thanked Rüdiger Schwarz and his team for assuring that the participants and spectators encountered top conditions today on the cross-country track. He also reported that although six pairs were eliminated, all of the riders and horses were in good health.

DHL Prize – Mission “We are going to claim back the Cup!” is underway

The German eventers got off to a super…

The German eventers got off to a super start in the DHL Prize at the CHIO Aachen. After the dressage and jumping, the team have a significant lead. But the road to victory tomorrow leads over a tough course.

The goal is obvious: “Our message is that we want the trophy back!” stated Hans Melzer, the eventing national coach, during the jumping competition of the DHL Prize earlier today. He has a good feeling that the team could do just that. His team riders, Ingrid Klimke with Horseware Hale Bob OLD, Michael Jung with La Bioshetique-Sam FBW, Sandra Auffarth with Opgun Louvo and Josefa Sommer with Hamilton – are lying in first, second, third and 14th place, in that order, after the dressage and jumping. To achieve this mission the trainer is obviously orientating his strategy on the success model of his colleague Becker, the national jumping coach: Three old hands (the silver-winning Olympic team of Rio, Klimke, Jung, Auffarth) and one newcomer (Sommer) result in the Nations’ Cup victory.

However, the course designer Rüdiger Schwarz has certainly set the riders a few difficult tasks in the course that stretches over the meadows of the Aachen Soers. Hans Melzer: “The course is comparable with a Championships course, really difficult. But I don’t think riding clear is going to be the problem, remaining under the allowed time is going to be the decisive criterion. That’s not going to be easy!”

The German’s have a clear lead. With an interim score of 105 minus points after the dressage and jumping, they are the overnight leaders, ahead of last year’s winners from Australia (122.70) and Sweden (135.80). The Australians also have promising prospects in the individual classification. Shane Rose with CP Qualified is currently lying fourth with 36.70 minus points, Christopher Burton and Nobilis are in seventh place (40.60). The remaining team members are Emma McNab with Fernhill Tabasco (45.40) and Katja Weimann with BP Cosmopolitan (66.50).

The Swedish team comprises of Sara Algotsson Ostholt with Reality (10th/41.80), Louise Svensson Jähde with Wieloch‘s Utah Sun (11th/42.20) and Niklas Lindbäck with Focus Filiocus (23rd/51.80).

Klimke, Auffarth, Jung and Sommer in the team for the DHL Prize, Ostholt’s Corvette failed the vet check

The eventers have arrived! The vet check of…

The eventers have arrived! The vet check of the eventers in the DHL Prize, the CICO3, took place today.

Andreas Ostholt brought two horses to Aachen with him. However, unfortunately, his potential partner for the European Championships, Corvette, didn’t pass the vet check. So, the rider from Warendorf will now only be competing with Pennsylvania. Like himself, Leonie Kuhlmann with Cascora, Kai Rüder with Colani Sunrise and Jörg Kurbel with Entertain You will be competing for Germany as individual riders.

The national coach, Hans Melzer, has nominated the three-time Olympic gold-medallist Michael Jung with Paradeross La Biosthetique Sam FBW; the double World Champion, Sandra Auffarth with Opgun Louvo; the team European Champion Ingrid Klimke with Horseware Hale Bob OLD and Josefa Sommer with Hamilton for the team.