“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).

Twelfth victory in succession for the Dutch team in the DHL Nations Cup of the Four-in-Hand Drivers

The Dutch four-in-hand drivers and the DHL Nations…

The Dutch four-in-hand drivers and the DHL Nations Cup at the CHIO Aachen, go together like a horse and carriage. For the twelfth time in a row the Oranje drivers won the team classification.


Koos de Ronde and the father and son duo, Ijsbrand and Bram Chardon, claimed the DHL Nations Cup for the Netherlands with a huge lead: The trio finished on an overall score of 330.120 minus points compared to second place, which went to France on a score of 377.430 minus points. The French team comprised of Benjamin Aillaud, Thibault Coudry and Anthony Horde. The Belgian team finished third with 381.210 minus points thanks to Dries Degrieck, Glenn Geerts and Edouard Simonet – to the extreme disappointment of the German drivers!


The team of Karl-Heinz Geiger had worked their way up into third place during the Marathon yesterday, but today in the Boehringer Ingelheim-Prize Michael Brauchle, Mareike Harm and Georg von Stein they fell back into fourth place. (383.230 minus points): “We are very disappointed, coming under the first three would have been good – no, actually it should have been a must,” the national coach commented.


Demanding Boehringer Ingelheim-Prize


The obstacle driving competition, the Boehringer Ingelheim-Prize, which was also the concluding competition of the Nations Cup, was tough, especially since the time was tight. The French driver, Thibault Coudry, who also won the “Top Score” class, mastered the course best. Second place went to the Australian driver, Boyd Exell, followed by Jérôme Voutaz from Switzerland, who was part of the victorious team in the Lavazza-Cup yesterday with his four Freiberger horses.


Prize of Family Richard Talbot


The individual classification, the Prize of Family Richard Talbot went to the Australian driver, Boyd Exell, for the ninth time. Last year he had to bow down to Ijsbrand Chardon, and today he claimed the victory back. First in the dressage, third in the Marathon, second in the obstacle driving competition – nobody else could top that. On an overall score of 158.57 minus points, Exell asserted himself against Koos de Ronde from the Netherlands (164.10). Last year’s winner, Ijsbrand Chardon finished third (166.02). Mareike Harm was the best German driver in sixth place (188.11).

13th victory in the Deutsche Bank Prize for Isabell Werth on her 50th birthday

Goose-bump alarm at the Aachen Soers! One highlight…

Goose-bump alarm at the Aachen Soers! One highlight followed the next in the Deutsche Bank Prize 2019. But the very best came at the end!


And once again this proved to be Isabell Werth. For the 13th time in total and for the third time in succession, she won the Deutsche Bank Prize at the CHIO Aachen. What’s more, with a different horse every time – Weihegold, Emilio and today Bella Rose. 90.450 percent, a personal record was the exceptional mare’s birthday present to her rider, who celebrated her 50th birthday at the Soers. The queen of dressage was congratulated with standing ovations and a “Happy Birthday” repertoire sung by 6,500 dressage fans. On the last centre line, the spectators clapped to the rhythm of the passage and finally broke out into thunderous applause. And Bella Rose? She raised her head, took a look round as if acknowledging the fact that homage was being paid to her just as much as to her rider.


“It’s Showtime“ – that is how the freestyle of Dorothee Schneider and her Sandro Hit son, who carries the same name, begins. Then, both set off to the Queen medley, the main theme of which is “The Show must go on”. No other music could suit this wonderful dancer better. The pair already scored a personal best in the Spécial yesterday. Today in the freestyle they did it again: Second place with a score of 89.660 percent. A visibly emotional German Champion, Dorothee Schneider: “The hairs on my neck were standing up while I was riding this freestyle in Aachen with this horse…” That said it all. And a whole stadium was delighted at experiencing the best Showtime, there’d ever been.


If there is a pair that personifies lightness, then it has to be Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and her Trakehner mare, Dalera BB. The music from the film “La La Land” perfect for the light-footedness and ease of this Easy Game daughter and Bredow-Werndl with her perfect seat, who finished third today on a score of 87.595 percent. The last minutes of the choreography with the extended trot, passage and piaffe, perfectly coordinated to the music, were as rhythmic as a metronome – one could have even awarded the pair 11s for the exercises. The Chief Judge, Dr. Evi Eisenhardt, commented as follows about the performances on Sunday morning: “Believe me not only the spectators had goose-bumps. We did too!”


Eight pairs with a score over 80 percent – that shows how high the level was in the Deutsche Bank Prize in 2019.


The favourite Cathrine Dufour wins the LUMILEDS-Prize

The Danish rider, Cathrine Dufour and her long-standing…

The Danish rider, Cathrine Dufour and her long-standing successful four-legged partner, Cassidy, were favourites to win the LUMILEDS-Prize, the Grand Prix Freestyle of the CDI4* Tour. And that’s precisely what they did and had a great deal of fun to boot.


“He was like a five-year-old again today,” laughed Cathrine Dufour after finding out that she had claimed the victory in the Grand Prix Freestyle, the LUMILEDS-Prize, with Cassidy and the freestyle choreography that already brought the pair the bronze medal at the European Championships in Gothenburg. Their score today 83.460 percent. “He performed the piaffe as if he hadn’t done it for ages.” She and the meanwhile 16-year-old Caprimond son have been a team for nine years. However, there are moments when Cassidy still manages to surprise his rider: “I think he just wanted to make sure the spectators had a great evening tonight,” the Danish rider grinned. “He simply wanted to march off, I had to really slow him down. And now we have won in Aachen. It is fantastic!”


As in 2018, Ingrid Klimke came second with Franziskus, who made expensive mistakes in the one-tempi flying changes today. The judges awarded the pair 78.945 percent for their performance. Ingrid had to do one extra flying change tonight too, out of her eventer’s clothes into her tails, she namely took part in the Lavazza Cup shortly before her appearance in the dressage arena!


Third place went to Austria to Ulrike Prunthaller with Quebec (77.260 percent).


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.


Over 80 percent for Charlotte Fry and Gamourdale in the WOTAX-Prize

It seems that British dressage riders, whose forenames…

It seems that British dressage riders, whose forenames are Charlotte, seem to be guaranteed to obtain scores of 80 percent upwards in the dressage arena. First there was Charlotte Dujardin, now it is Charlotte Fry. Today, she claimed the victory in the Intermédiaire I, the WOTAX-Prize with her World Champion, Glamourdale.


The judges awarded Charlotte Fry with the just eight-year-old KWPN stallion, Glamourdale, 80.412 percent, whom she won the World Champion of the Young Horses with last year. They gave the pair tens for the extended canter and for the seat and influence of the rider, who explained: “He simply loves presenting himself and was totally by me every step of the way. I thoroughly enjoyed it!” What is better representing Great Britain in the Nations Cup at Aachen or riding to victory with Glamourdale? “I really can’t say, both are incredible!”


The pairs that finished second and third were also delighted with their results. As in the Prix St. Georges, the Dutch rider, Joyce Heuitink, came second with the eight-year-old Apache son, Gaudi Vita, this time on a score of 73.265 percent.


Third place went to the Hubertus Schmidt with a horse that can only be described as a high-achiever: the just seven-year-old Denoix. Schmidt has been riding the Oldenburg-bred Destano son since he was five. He has hardly competed. Schmidt’s professional rider, Katharina Hemmer, competed him twice in medium dressage competitions for young horses, just to see how he behaved at shows. He won both. Then, he was allowed to mature in peace at home. Denoix took part in his first advanced level dressage competition in April, directly at the international show in Hagen. He came second in the first competition and won the Intermédiaire I. And today he picked up the white ribbon in the Deutsche Bank Stadium with an overall score of 71,794 percent.


Koos de Ronde wins the Prize of schwartz GmbH, the Marathon

Saturday is Marathon day for the four-in-hand drivers…

Saturday is Marathon day for the four-in-hand drivers in the Prize of schwartz GmbH. As in the previous year, the Dutch driver Koos de Ronde steered his horses through the solid obstacles in the fastest time. But there was also reason for joy from a German point of view.


The Dutch are in the driving competitions what the Germans are in the dressage at the CHIO: Virtually impossible to beat. The 35,000 visitors on the meadows of the Soers at the CHIO Aachen 2019 witnessed top sport today. Because not only the cross-country course of the events was extremely tough, the Marathon of the Prize of schwartz GmbH was also very demanding. The driver from the Netherlands, Koos de Ronde, sped into the lead ahead of the rest of the field for the second time. Since his fellow countryman, Ijsbrand Chardon, finished directly behind him in second place, the Oranje team is currently in the lead in the DHL Nations Cup classification with an interim result of 326.390 minus points, which means it is practically impossible to catch them up, even though their team member, Ijsbrand Chardon’s son Bram, was disqualified in the Marathon after one of his horses fell. Fortunately neither the horse nor the driver were hurt.


Boyd Exell (AUS) came third behind the two Dutchmen and was thus able to defend his lead in the individual classification, the Prize of Family Richard Talbot.


Germany’s drivers on the advance


The German drivers are bound to be in good spirits this evening, after lying in fourth place after the dressage the team was able to move up to third place after super performances in the Marathon competition today. Georg von Stein, Anna Sandmann, Mareike Harm and Michael Brauchle came sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth respectively in the Prize of schwartz GmbH. Whereby only the scores of Georg von Stein, Harm and Brauchle count for the team result.


The two best German drivers in the individual classification, the Prize of Family Richard Talbot are currently Anna Sandmann in seventh place and Mareike Harm in eighth place. The German national coach, Karl-Heinz Geiger’s summary after the Marathon: “All three team drivers under the top ten – that is super and particularly our two female drivers did an excellent job!”

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.