Philip Rüping unbeatable in the Prize of Handwerk

Philip Rüping, professional rider at the yard of…

Philip Rüping, professional rider at the yard of Paul Schockemöhle, is the first German show-jumper to win a jumping class at the CHIO 2017. He excelled in the Prize of Handwerk after reaching the finish line clear in 60.10 seconds.

Philip Rüping and his ten-year-old Mecklenburg-bred mare, Chalypsa by Chacco-Blue knocked more than a whole second off the time of his fellow-competitors. This was the crowning glory after already having obtained a series of good placings over the past weeks. Namely, in the last five jumping competitions they have come under the top ten each time. And then today the highlight, the victory in the Prize of Handwerk at the CHIO Aachen.

Second place went to the Dutch rider, who currently seems to be blessed by success in almost everything, Harrie Smolders. With the emphasis on ‘almost’ everything, as we saw today. His 13-year-old KWPN gelding, Zenius by Nabab de Reve, crossed the finish line after a faultless round in a time of 61.56 seconds. Mario Stevens came third with the 11-year-old Hanoverian-bred mare, El Bandiata B by El Bundy. (0/61.69 seconds).

Media Night at the CHIO Aachen: The party after the party

From the party band to the party night:…

From the party band to the party night: While the Hermes House Band were doing their last encores in the Main Stadium late yesterday evening at the end of the Opening Ceremony, a true CHIO Aachen classic commenced in the “Champions’ Circle”: The Media Night.

The actress Veronika Ferres had to really think about it. The journalists on the red carpet wanted to know what she had looked forward to the most. “To all the horses and the athletes,” she replied, “but also to my friend Michael Mronz. And to driving into the Main Stadium in the carriage.” Which is where she paid tribute to Isabell Werth by presenting her with the “Silver Horse”, “an athlete that I greatly admire”. The actress Mariella Ahrens also travelled to the Soers, as well as the new Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, Armin Laschet. The co-presenter Hermann Bühlbecker had brought the actress Isabelle Huppert with him to Aachen. Previously, the guests from the public sector and from the worlds of sport, politics, business and the media experienced the spectacular Opening Ceremony focusing on this year’s partner country, the Netherlands, together with 40,000 spectators in the sold-out Main Stadium. Subsequently, they celebrated late into the night enjoying the exceptional CHIO Aachen atmosphere and the exquisite catering of “Do&Co” from Vienna.

Ferres, Werth and two horses

Veronica Ferres’ new film “Unter deutschen Betten” (Under…

Veronica Ferres’ new film “Unter deutschen Betten” (Under German beds) will appear in the cinemas in October. A comedy about a burnt-out diva, who sells herself as a cleaning lady. Reason enough for the actress, who attended the Opening Ceremony and the “Media Night” at the CHIO Aachen on Tuesday evening, to get in on all the fun. Kitted out with an overall, headscarf and duster, she polished the “Silver Horse”, the prize that she presented to Isabell Werth during the Opening Ceremony. Watched attentively by the dressage superstar Werth and her top horse “Weihegold”. Incidentally, Veronica Ferres’ wasn’t dirty enough. “I look like a doctor in this,” she grinned at the spotless white piece of clothing. Without further ado, she marched out of Stable 2 and right up to a huge pile of horse dung. Said “perfect” and rubbed the overall right through the dung. In true style and now, unfortunately, also rather smelly (Ferres), everything was ready for the photo and a brief chat about horses and the film.

You have a long-standing connection with horses…
Yes, I ride myself, have done since I was child, my uncle had a riding stables, directly opposite us. I sat on a horse just after learning to walk. It is a fantastic sport. I have also ridden with Isabell and Ludger Beerbaum during the opening ceremony of a show. That was an incredible feeling. If I wasn’t able to ride I would never have survived the appearance with Ludger and Isabell in canter (laughs).

And you are already familiar with the CHIO Aachen.
That’s right. I certainly have been here before, but it is an eternity ago. When did you say the club was founded? In 1898? Yes, it was around then the last time I was here. No, seriously: I am delighted to be a guest here and having the opportunity to meet up with my friend, Michael Mronz, the new Prime Minister of NRW Armin Laschet and of course all of the athletes.

And then you drove in a carriage …
Yes driving into the stadium in the carriage and presenting the amazing Isabell Werth with “The Silver Horse” was fantastic, the atmosphere is terrific. Isabell is an outstanding personality and she really deserved the award.

And beforehand you polished “The Silver Horse” personally.
Yes, that was good fun. Isabell and I laughed a lot and took a load of selfies. By the way, I found it very impressive how well-behaved and relaxed her horse “Weihegold“ is.

You are playing a cleaning lady in your new film that will be out in October, what is it about?
The film is a comedy and a wonderful story about friendship. It is very funny, it is the film version of a bestseller called “Under German Beds”. We demonstrate in a very amusing what people really look at home – taking a look at all walks of society. I play a pop singer, who is working on her comeback and everything goes wrong. The only person, who remains loyal to her, is her own cleaning lady. I move into her flat-sharing community and have to learn humility in order to become a real human being again. Ferres can be seen on her knees cleaning toilets.

Click here for the trailer.

Opening Ceremony 2017: “Hello” and “Welkom” to the great CHIO prelude

A full house, a fantastic atmosphere, what an…

A full house, a fantastic atmosphere, what an opening ceremony for the CHIO Aachen 2017. Around 170 horses and 790 people, on top of that carriages and caravans turned the official opening of the World Equestrian Festival into an exceptional evening in the Main Stadium.

“Welkom Nederland” was the motto of the evening. And that wasn’t just noticeable on the stands, but also on the “Holy Grass”. Even prior to the opening, a nostalgic triangle border scenario on the grass arena got everyone in the mood for the show. Scenes of days long gone by were brought back to life: Smugglers, customs officers, barriers, turnpikes and much more. However, these borders merged into one more and more in the course of the following dressage and jumping quadrille that was presented by young German and Dutch riders. And the rather unconventional opening speech by the show-jumping duo, Ludger Beerbaum and Jeroen Dubbeldam, on horseback in the midst of the representatives of the participating nations ultimately made these borders disappear altogether. “This is just as much a home game for you as it is for us,” stated Beerbaum. Dubbeldam added: “Yes, I really do feel at home here. The crowd especially have great respect for every rider. It is fantastic.”

When one thinks about the Netherlands, the Royal Family automatically springs to mind. They too had sent representatives of their Royal Stables to the Soers, together with magnificent carriages, riders and escorts accompanied by the music of the Dutch police band. This was followed by the fast-paced “Kick, Jump & Drive” under the motto “Getting serious”, here a German and a Dutch team comprising of four-in-hand drivers and show-jumpers fought out an exciting duel. Of course, wonderful Friesians, the most well-known horse breed from the Netherlands, were also in on the act. They performed a big quadrille and the Dutch advertising icon, “Frau Antje”, demonstrate that she also cuts a good figure in the saddle of a Friesian. A parade of bicycles primarily decorated in orange, barrel organs, stilt walkers in tulip costumes and many other show performances really transformed the Soers into a small piece of “Holland” on the spot. The newly appointed NRW Prime Minister, Armin Laschet and his Dutch counterpart – Theo Bovens, Governor of Limburg – made sure they didn’t miss out on the fun either. They visibly enjoyed being driven around the arena in a caravan carriage. The 90-minute Opening Ceremony came to a close with a musical highlight: The Dutch party group, the “Hermes House Band” really got the spectators going. Hartelijk bedankt Nederland!

Alvarez Moya and his clear round guarantee win the Sparkassen-Youngsters-Cup

Sergio Alvarez Moya from Spain rode to victory…

Sergio Alvarez Moya from Spain rode to victory in the Sparkassen-Youngsters-Cup with his talented young horse G & C Wolf and explained how one can recognise the quality of horses in Aachen.

An extremely well-spirited Sergio Alvarez Moya took pleasure in being celebrated by the crowd in Aachen after his superior victory in the Sparkassen-Youngsters-Cup with the just seven-year-old KWPN-bred gelding, G & C Wolf by Harley VDL. The pair crossed the finish line clear in a time of 65.37 seconds. The Spanish rider hadn’t really expected to win. Although G & C Wolf didn’t pick up a single fault in the past year, as Alvarez Moya reported. However, he had given the gelding a longer break after the season. “One is sometimes inclined to do too much, too early with the good horses,” he explained, “which is why I didn’t compete with him at any shows.” Aachen is only the pair’s second public appearance this season. “I competed in two small classes with him last week. He didn’t feel quite as good there. He was a little spooky. One noticed that the show routine was lacking somewhat.” He added that he had been totally different today: “He likes this stadium! That underlines the quality of a horse. The good horses excel in such an atmosphere. Others are shy and underperform.” Wolf obviously belongs to the first category.

The same also applies for the horses that ranked behind him. The eight-year-old Holsteiner Sandero by Sandro Boy came second with the Belgian rider, Gregory Wathelet. The chestnut gelding jumped marvellously with an excellent technique and always maintained a nice forward pace. The clock stopped at 66.99 seconds. The round of the horse that came third, the Irish-bred HHS Hercules, was equally nice to watch. The pedigree of the gelding is unknown, whereas the rider is one of the VIPs, who has been celebrating victories in Aachen for years: Beezie Madden from the USA. The two haven’t been a pair for very long. Their first show together was in mid-June in Spruce Meadows, the venue of the second Rolex Major. The pair competed there three weekends on the trot and picked up several placings – good training for the Soers, because the show also boasts a huge grass arena. A fast round in the time of 67.51 seconds in the Sparkassen-Youngsters-Cup is a good indication that the preparation in Canada paid off for the CHIO.

The best German rider was Marco Kutscher with the also eight-year-old Westphalian-bred stallion, Charco by Chin Quin. The stallion with a Russian owner impressed the spectators because he jumped so cautiously as well as recording the fifth fastest time (69.70).

Newcomer to Aachen wins the STAWAG Opening Jumping

Direct hit for Brazil’s Eduardo Menezes on his…

Direct hit for Brazil’s Eduardo Menezes on his CHIO debut – first time in Aachen, first competition and a victory straight off!

“It is incredible how many people are here on the Tuesday already,” said the amazed Brazilian rider, Eduardo Menezes, who lives in the USA, after doing his lap of honour in the Main Stadium of the Soers to the applause of the crowd. He had just won the opening jumping class of the CHIO Aachen, the STAWAG Prize with his 13-year-old Oldenburg-bred mare, Caruschka by Caspar. And in what style! He finished the course almost two seconds faster than the rest of his fellow competitors. That was no coincidence either: “When I ride, I want to win! And if I don’t succeed it is not because I didn’t try hard enough,” revealed the 37-year-old with a wink. Caruschka is his “speed horse”. Tomorrow in the Turkish Airlines-Prize of Europe, Menezes will be saddling his Olympic horse, Quintol, with whom he competed in Rio in 2016. So, his fellow competitors will have to watch out!

For a long time it looked like the Dutch rider Aniek Poels and the eleven-year-old Cornet Obolensky mare Cosma Go would win the class after reaching the finishing line clear in 61.01 seconds. But then Eduardo Menezes entered the ring with his grey mare and raced over the finish line in a time of 59.36, which meant Aniek Poels had to make do with second place.

Marcus Ehning, who is famous for his immaculate style, came third on the horse that he won the final of the Sparkassen-Youngsters-Cup with last year, the meanwhile nine-year-old Hanoverian-bred mare, Calanda by Calido. At the time Ehning said that Calanda could be his next superstar. Although he is actually not a man of many words, back then he raved that “Calanda is a fantastic horse”. She certainly proved that again today, when she jumped clear in 62.16 seconds to finish third.

The remaining German riders ranked as follows: Christian Kukuk in fifth place with Colestus, the new German Champion, Simone Blum, in seventh place with Flying Boy (Rang sieben), Holger Hetzel with Legioner (10th) and Markus Beerbaum with Comanche (13th).

Diverse other pairs jumped clear, took things easy in the opening jumping, preferring to kick of the World Equestrian Festival with a good performance, such as for instance Laura Klaphake, who is nominated for the Nations’ Cup on Thursday and who is making her debut in the regular classes.

Soers Sunday: Full house, fantastic programme

Who needs a holiday in faraway countries, when…

Who needs a holiday in faraway countries, when “Soers Sunday”, part of the supporting programme of the CHIO Aachen 2017 (July 14th-23rd), attracts one to the showgrounds at the Soers on the first weekend of the summer vacations? That is obviously what the around 30,000 visitors, who poured into the traditional grounds on Krefelder Straße and strolled around the CHIO Village, thought. The great thing about it: The weather also played along – a bit of sun, a few clouds, pleasant temperatures – and most important of all: no rain.

The “Open Day”, which the CHIO Aachen organiser, the Aachen-Laurensberger Rennverein e.V. (ALRV) invited all interested parties to attend free of charge once again in 2017, was already launched in 1998. It was actually planned as a one-off event, but the premiere went down so well with the visitors that it became a fixed item on the agenda of the World Equestrian Festival. It hasn’t lost any of its charm ever since, a fact that was certainly corroborated by this Sunday’s event. Shopping enjoyment and culinary delights in the CHIO Aachen Village that comprises of over 210 international exhibitors and numerous catering companies on the one hand; a colourful programme in many corners of the showgrounds on the other – the perfect Sunday outing for the entire family. “It is fantastic to see how much the people from Aachen enjoy Soers Sunday,” commented the Show Director, Frank Kemperman.

The event kicked off at 11.30 a.m. with a festive open-air ecumenical service in the Deutsche Bank Stadium. The official opening of “Soers Sunday” took place at 1 p.m. on the jumping warm-up area – the starting signal for a diversified and extravagant programme: Anyone, who had secured themselves one of the coveted places at the edge of the grass arena, was able to count himself lucky, because there was plenty to see: German riding ponies, tölting Icelandic horses and Friesians, a show with horses and falcons, a mini-trotting horse race, a fast-paced jumping quadrille, exciting insights into the training of driving horses and dog agility with the European Champion, Christian Kuko. Particularly the younger guests were able to look forward to further highlights including pony riding, children’s face painting, the games and campaign trailer of the Rhenish rural youth alongside the Driving Stadium as well as a visit from the CHIO Aachen mascot Karli. What’s more, this year Karli was joined by the equally fluffy and cult mouse from the “Sendung mit der Maus“ (Programme with the mouse) – an experience for both young and old alike.

Furthermore, in the scope of the charity cooperation “Moments of Luck”, four therapy centres from the region presented themselves to the audience with a programme they had put together themselves, whilst donation collectors passed through the entire showgrounds collecting donations for this campaign.

The “Concours International d’Attelage de Tradition (CIAT)” also proved to be a crowd-puller, which was organised by the ALRV in cooperation with the German Traditional Driving Association e.V. (DTV). The drivers already presented themselves on their magnificent historic carriages in stylish costumes yesterday on the market square in Aachen. Today, the second part followed. After a 15 kilometre optimum timed road drive through the Soers and Laurensberg, the visitors were able to experience the combined obedience and cone driving competition live in the Driving Stadium.

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