“Master of Faster” Kent Farrington wins the Rolex Grand Prix

The Course Designer, Frank Rothenberger, said it before…

The Course Designer, Frank Rothenberger, said it before the jump-off of the Rolex Grand Prix at the CHIO Aachen 2019: Kent Farrington is one of the fastest riders in the world. The words of the master of the obstacles proved to prophetic.


The winner of the Rolex Grand Prix 2019 comes from the USA: Kent Farrington with the Belgian-bred Kashmir van Schuttershof daughter, Gazelle. A very special victory for Farrington that he had very worked hard for. Daniel Deußer was the last to go in the jump-off with Tobago Z and had the chance to steal away Farrington’s triumph. Tobago gave his very best, but ultimately Gazelle did her name justice. Tobago flew over the last oxer and crossed the finish line in 44,35 seconds, the clock had stopped at 43.98 seconds for Farrington and Gazelle – which meant second place for Deußer and the victory for Farrington, accompanied by 330,000 of the prize-money – one million Euros in total – and the chance to win much more, because he is now the current contender for the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping!


Third place went to Ben Maher and his four-legged jumping star, Explosion W. The British rider and the Chacco-Blue son had already demonstrated their skills on Wednesday in the Prize of Europe and the pair also looked like they might take the victory, up until the last but one fence, when the rail fell. The time would have sufficed. Maher and his Chacco Blue son were namely four hundredths of a second faster than Farrington and Gazelle. The World Champions Simone Blum and Alice, who also picked up four faults, finished behind them in fourth place.


The tactics of the comeback


Kent Farrington had one thing in mind when he entered the ring for the jump-off: Not to come second again! That had been the case in 2014, when he was indeed the fastest with Voyeur, but he knocked a rail. “I wanted to have my name eternalised on the winners’ board”. So, his tactic was to ride fast but not take too many risks. “I didn’t want to have the fastest four fault ride again. It is such an impressive list of fantastic riders, who have won the Grand Prix of Aachen. I am so proud to now be one of them!”


Especially since Farrington has had an extremely hard time since 2018. In 2017, he won the Rolex Grand Prix in Geneva and as number one in the world rankings and commenced the 2018 season as contender for the Rolex Grand Slam. However, while he was training a horse at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, he had an accident. He suffered a compound break of his lower leg, which had to be operated on and meant he was out of action for months. “It was really bad and a real test of how much I really wanted to do all of this here. The reason he is once again the contender for the Rolex Grand Slam has four legs: “Gazelle, has helped me fight my way back to the top again.”


Overjoyed Deußer


Daniel Deußer was pipped at the post in the Rolex Grand Prix, but he was nevertheless more than satisfied with his second place: “My horse jumped clear three times. Of course, I would have loved to have won the Grand Prix of Aachen. But I am overjoyed at coming second.” Especially since the CHIO Aachen 2019 has been an incredible show for him. Third place in the Prize of Europe with Tobago, second place in the Nations Cup with Calisto Blue and the victory in the Prize of North Rhine-Westphalia with Killer Queen and ultimately also second place in the Rolex Grand Prix with Tobago. What a week! Particularly when one takes into account that his eleven-year-old Tangelo van de Zuuthoeve son is hardly taller than the obstacles he flies over: “Yes, I sometimes feel like I am riding a pony,” Deußer confirmed with a grin. “But he has a huge heart and always gives his very best however high the obstacles are in the ring.”


Ben Maher and his airplane


Ben Maher admitted that he was disappointed “but at the same time also very happy!” No wonder, because the entire show jumping world is jealous of his horse: “Explosion is incredible! He is so uncomplicated and loves the sport!” Perhaps his chance will come next year in the Rolex Grand Prix of Aachen, which is incidentally being staged slightly earlier in 2020, namely from May 29th to June 7th. Save the Date!


Felix – the happy – Haßmann in the SAP-Prize

Felix Haßmann and the SAP-Prize, that’s a good…

Felix Haßmann and the SAP-Prize, that’s a good combination! In 2017, the 33-year-old already came second in the competition, this time he crossed the finish line first, both times with his speedy partner, SL Brazonado.


Felix Haßmann’s SL Brazonado already proved how fast and agile he is earlier this week when he came second in the competition over ditches and banks. The SAP-Prize was the rider’s last opportunity to pick up a further rosette at the CHIO Aachen 2019. It turned out to be the golden one – with a clear round in 57.72, the rest of the field didn’t have a chance of catching Haßmann. The Dutch rider, Doron Kuipers claimed second place with (58.21), followed by Eduardo Menezes from Brazil with Ennebel van het Posthuijs (59.31).


German riders occupied the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh places in the following order Marcus Ehning with Calanda (59.44), Jan Wernke with Queen Mary (60.10), Simone Blum with Con Touch S (61.04) and André Thieme with Aretino (61.64).

The Lavazza-Cup – when the Soers explodes!

The Lavazza-Cup is the triathlon of the CHIO…

The Lavazza-Cup is the triathlon of the CHIO Aachen. Each team comprises of a four-in-hand-driver, an eventer and a show-jumper. Six trios took part tonight. And they really electrified the Soers!


Reserved restraint is out of place when the Lavazza-Cup is on the agenda. The crowd can cheer the participants on as loudly as they please! After all time is money here. As it turned out, the team that was first to go comprising of the SAP Cup winner Ingrid Klimke with Weiße Düne, the Swiss driver, Jérôme Voutaz and the Swiss show-jumper Pius Schwizer with Grand Cooper, delivered the fastest time: 143.63 seconds. The following five teams tried in vain to beat that time.

Second place went to the Austalian/German/Belgian team made up of Christopher Burton with Limited Edition, Jan Wernke with Quebec and the driver Glenn Geerts, with a total score of 150.93.

Australia was represented twice in the team that came third: the eventer Andrew Hoy was responsible for the solid fences with Bloom des Hauts Crets and Boyd Exell took over the part of the four-in-hand driving. The team was rounded off by Sven Schlüsselburg and Quentin Tarantino. Their overall time: 151.52 seconds.


Allianz-Prize goes to McLain Ward

The Saturday highlight in the Main Stadium at…

The Saturday highlight in the Main Stadium at the CHIO Aachen 2019 was the Allianz-Prize, a 1.55-metre jumping competition with a winning round. The victory went to the USA.


32 pairs in total set off on the 540-metre long course comprising of 13 obstacles and 16 fences. Ten of them went through to the winning round. The number one in the world ranking list, Steve Guerdat, achieved the fastest round with Venard de Cerisy, reaching the finish line in 53.51 seconds. However, two rails down stood in the way of the victory. Which McLain Ward (USA) snapped up with the horse that he only introduced to the international circuit at the start of the year: the ten-year-old Oldenburg-bred mare, Noche de Ronda.


The clock stopped at 55.29 seconds, which left Martin Fuchs (SUI) with Silver Shine behind him in second place (0/56.20). Third place went to the British rider, Ben Maher (0/58.98) with F One USA, the horse he took a bad fall with on Wednesday, luckily both remained unscathed and were fit to compete today.


Noche de Ronda was originally registered in Germany under the name Ramba Zamba RT. “RT” for the breeding alliance Richter-Irps & Tiefenthal. She is by Quintender out of a dam by Lovis Corinth/Sandro-Ramino. Before McLain Ward started riding her she had only competed in one young horse competition in Germany with Dennis Schlüsselburg. This year McLain Ward has already won three classes and come under the top ten with her in four other competitions at just five shows. Today, they added a further victory to the list.


Vogel (the bird) flew to victory in the German U25 Trophy

Richard Vogel wins the German U25 Trophy of…

Richard Vogel wins the German U25 Trophy of the Stiftung Deutscher Spitzenpferdesport, Prize of Family Müter, for the second time in succession. A particularly valuable victory for him.


Riding the 13-year-old Holstein-bred Lesson Peak, the 22-year-old Richard Vogel crossed the finish line in the fastest time of the four riders, who jumped clear in the jump-off of the German U25 Trophy of the der Stiftung Deutscher Spitzenpferdesport, Prize of Family Müter: 41.42 seconds. Enno Klaphake with Urus (42.42) finished second. Finja Bormann was overjoyed at coming third with A Crazy Son Of Lavina (42.42). The fourth rider to jump clear was Maximilian Lill with Capitale (45.08).


Up until the beginning of the year, Richard Vogel rode for Ludger Beerbaum. He left Riesenbeck in January to move back to Baden-Württemberg, where he has turned self-employed with a training and competition yard in Viernheim, near Mannheim. He took the horse he won with today with him, Lesson Peak. The horse previously celebrated several victories with Philipp Weishaupt and Vogel is very grateful that his former employer has entrusted him with the Lord Z son. Otherwise, he only has young horses to ride at the moment, which have, nevertheless, also been keeping him very busy – he has namely succeeded in qualifying nine five and six-year-old aspiring jumping horses for the National Championships in September, one with the record score of 9.8: Carlchen S by Comme il faut. The S stands for no less than his breeder and owner, Hugo Simon.


Enno Klaphake, 19 years old, the brother of the Nations Cup winner of the CHIO Aachen 2018, Laura Klaphake, has just taken his GCE A-levels and is in the lucky position to be able to concentrate on riding at present before he starts his apprentice like his elder sister. As is true of all his horses, Urus, his U25 horse belongs to Paul Schockemöhle.


Finja Bormann works as a professional rider at the Drei Eichen Stud in Niedersachsen, which belongs to the Müter family, who sponsor the U25 Trophy. Finja replaced Leonie Krieg, who had actually qualified for Aachen. It was her fourth appearance in the German U25 Trophy and she was delighted: “Clear at last!” Although it is not her only achievement this year. She also won the Grand Prix of Nörten-Hardenberg, represented Germany in the Nations Cup for the first time in Aalborg and jumped clear in five classes of the Big Tour at Arnheim. Her reward: She has qualified for her first CSI5* next week, which is why she didn’t risk too much in the jump-off today. But who knows perhaps she will be competing in the Big Tour of the CHIO Aachen soon…

Cian O’Connor’s third victory in the Yageo-Prize

The Irish riders and the Yageo-Prize, the speed…

The Irish riders and the Yageo-Prize, the speed and handiness competition over ditches and banks, go together like a horse and carriage! It is the fourth time in succession that a rider from the green island triumphed in this jumping competition over natural obstacles. And his name is Cian O’Connor for the third time.


“Well, us Irish do love riding fast!”, was how Cian O’Connor summed his recipe for success up in a nutshell. And solid fences? “They are familiar territory!” After all, as a fully-bred Irish citizen, he already flew over hedges and ditches as a child on the hunting field. He won the class in 2016 and 2017 as well as this year. In 2018, he had to bow down to his fellow Irishman, Shane Sweetnam.


The tasks that the riders are faced with in the Yageo-Prize are very similar to those on the hunting field: Walls, bushes and of course the big, open water ditch in the Main Stadium of the Soers. These put the courage of several horses to the test. This wasn’t the case for Cian O’Connor’s KWPN gelding Diego by Colman. O’Connor borrowed the grey horse from his pupil Nicola Pohl especially for this class. A decision that evidently paid off. Even the “Master of Faster” Felix Haßmann and his speedy SL Brazonado didn’t have a chance against O’Conner and Diego, who galloped over the finish line in a time of 57.62. The last to go, Felix Haßmann and SL Brazonado, gave it their best shot, stayed clear but couldn’t match O’Connor’s time: The clock stopped at 60.25 seconds, second place. Jörne Sprehe came third with her Stakkato Gold son, Solero on a time of 60.49 seconds.


There was one rider, who is even more familiar with solid fences than Cian O’Conner, who actually also beat his time: The eventing Olympic gold medallist Sandra Auffarth. The double World Champion of 2014 had saddled her Derby specialist, La Vista, and really did manage to slice two hundredths of a second off Cian O’Connor time. Unfortunately, she took one of the rails with her. Since knocking an obstacle in this competition is penalised with four extra seconds on the clock, Auffarth “only” landed in fourth place with La Vista, who has come second in the Derby twice.

Daniel Deußer‘s Wonder Child in the RWE Prize of North Rhine-Westphalia

In 2018, Daniel Deußer’s, Killer Queen VDM, was…

In 2018, Daniel Deußer’s, Killer Queen VDM, was successful in the Sparkassen-Youngsters-Cup, now she already claimed the victory in one of the most important competitions of the CHIO weekend, the RWE Prize of North Rhine-Westphalia.


Nine-years-old, the most successful horse in the Sparkassen-Youngsters-Cup 2018, victorious in a jumping competition in the 4* Tour at the Hamburg Derby and now also in the RWE Prize of North Rhine-Westphalia at the CHIO Aachen in 2019 – Daniel Deußer’s Killer Queen VDM by Eldorado v. Zeshoek is something like a four-legged wonder child. “I always knew she is a horse for the Big Tours. I am glad that the results are already starting to reflect this!”


In a time of 44.65 seconds, Killer Queen crossed the finish line in the fastest time in the second round, which meant he took a second off the time of Olivier Philippaerts and the very experienced Cue Channa, whom Malin Baryard-Johnsson competed at the Olympic Games with in Rio in 2016 and who was also a member of the Swedish squad that won team silver in 2017, (0/45.79). Third place went to the overjoyed Luciana Diniz with her new crack, Vertigo du Desert, whom she has been jumping from top result to top result with since March (0/46.42).


In the presence of NRW Minister President, Armin Laschet, Daniel Deußer and Killer Queen demonstrated how the course of Frank Rothenberger could be mastered best. Some of the other riders got into trouble along the way, particularly at the open water jump. This is where André Thieme and his just nine-year-old mare, Crazy Girl, took a fall, which looked quite bad at first, but fortunately both horse and rider didn’t sustain any serious injuries. Crazy Girl had a gash on her left front leg that was treated in the veterinary clinic on the showgrounds. Philipp Weishaupt and his mare Che Fantastica, went their separate ways without the water being involved. The mare’s bit snapped, so Philipp Weishaupt couldn’t steer her and he had to jump off. He landed rather unfortunately on his coccyx, but was able to leave the course on foot. Che Fantastica sustained no injuries.


Deußer is now in the favourable position to have qualified three horses for the Rolex Grand Prix on Sunday: Killer Queen, Calisto Blue, the horse he claimed second place with in the Nations Cup yesterday and Tobago, whom he came third with on Wednesday in the Turkish Airlines-Prize of Europe. However, he has already decided who he will saddle: Tobago Z.

André Thieme’s mare Crazy Girl is fine

In the RWE Prize of North Rhine-Westphalia the…

In the RWE Prize of North Rhine-Westphalia the mare of the show-jumper André Thieme, Crazy Girl, took a fall at the open water jump and sustained a wound, which had bled strongly at first. The veterinarians were on-site immediately to carry out the necessary first aid measures in the arena, before the mare was transported away from the ring in the horse ambulance. She was brought to the veterinary clinic at the Soers. After a thorough examination, the team of vets gave the all-clear: Crazy Girl had suffered a gash that had bled quite heavily, but which was only a few centimetres in length. A few stitches and the wound was sewn together. Otherwise, the mare is fine and her rider didn’t sustain any injuries either and was able to leave the ring on foot.

Evelina Tovek‘s next feat in the VBR-Prize

Her debut appearance at the CHIO Aachen 2019…

Her debut appearance at the CHIO Aachen 2019 is guaranteed to stick in the mind of the 25-year-old Swedish rider Evelina Tovek for a long time to come. After her victory in the Mercedes-Benz Nations Cup with the team yesterday, she went one further today in the VBR-Prize.


Riding the ten-year-old, Rhineland-bred Contendro daughter, Cortina, Evelina Tovek namely recorded the fastest time in the 1.50-metre two phase jumping competition, the VBR-Prize. The clocked stopped at 32.48 seconds. As the last to go, it lay within the power of the Dutch rider, Jur Vrieling, to snap the victory away from the Swedish rider with his eleven-year-old Dallas by Douglas, but he ultimately took 0.52 seconds longer to reach the finish line. Third and fourth place also went to the Netherlands thanks to Willem Greve with Faro (32.25) and Maikel van der Vleuten with her experienced horse Verdi (36.46), who already carried him to team gold at both the European and World Championships.


Evelina Tovek has been living in Germany for two years. She is located at Henrik von Eckermann’s Stables near Bonn and her current focus lies on competing. Since she has been training with the rider who used to work for Ludger Beerbaum and who is the current contender for the Rolex Grand Slam, her performance has continually improved. But neither she nor her trainer had reckoned with her joining the ranks of the world elite that fast: “Yesterday, Henrik said to me that he had never imaged at the beginning that we would win the Nations Cup in Aachen together just two years later.” Tovek’s goal this year is to compete at the European Championships. Next year her aim is to be nominated for the Olympic Games.